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Published on Tuesday, December 7, 2021

American Pharmacists Association Announces Recipients of 2022 APhA Academy Awards

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) today announced the selection of recipients of the APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice & Management Awards and APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Research & Science Awards as part of the 2022 APhA Awards and Honors Program. Announcements of the APhA Fellows and Professionwide Awards will follow this week.

Honorees will be officially recognized at APhA2022, March 18–21, 2022, in San Antonio, TX. The APhA Awards and Honors Program is the most comprehensive recognition program in the profession of pharmacy. For more information, visit

APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice & Management (APhA-APPM) Awards:

  • The Daniel B. Smith Practice Excellence AwardBrian Komoto, PharmD, of Delano, CA. The award recognizes a pharmacy practitioner, in any practice setting, who has distinguished themself and the profession through outstanding performance and achievements. Dr. Komoto created a 5-location enterprise out of his company, Komoto Healthcare, incorporating innovative services such as IVIG, dialysis therapy management, transition care services, and more. In addition, Dr. Komoto established the Komoto Family Foundation, which has saved patients over $3.7 million since its creation.
  • The Thomas Menighan Pharmacy Management Excellence AwardJulie M. Akers, PharmD, BCACP, FWSPA, of Spokane, WA. The award recognizes an individual who has developed and/or implemented an innovative, original pharmacy program or service that is significant to their practice area. Dr. Akers has demonstrated sustained advocacy efforts for pharmacist provider status, enhanced service implementation, and the management and training for both pharmacists and student pharmacists in the state of Washington.
  • The Distinguished Achievement Award in Pharmacy ServiceLakesha M. Butler, PharmD, of St. Louis, MO. The award recognizes an APhA member in any practice setting who has distinguished themself and the profession through outstanding performance in pharmacy practice. Recently, Dr. Butler led 14 national pharmacy organizations against racial injustice. She serves as the inaugural director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville. Apart from this transformative work, Dr. Butler has extensive speaking experience and has served the profession in many leadership roles.
  • The William H. Briner Distinguished Achievement Award in Nuclear Pharmacy PracticeWendy Galbraith, PharmD, FAPhA, BCNP, of Oklahoma City, OK. The award recognizes an APhA–APPM member who has made significant or sustained contributions to the practice of nuclear pharmacy. Dr. Galbraith has been practicing in nuclear pharmacy for over 30 years and is recognized for attaining distinction as an outstanding practitioner through multiple publications, exceptional student mentorship, and dedicated involvement in the APhA–APPM Nuclear Pharmacy Practice SIG.

APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Research & Science (APhA-APRS) Awards:

  • The Ebert PrizeYuma Yamada, PhD, of Sapporo, JP. The award recognizes the author of the best report of original investigation of a medicinal substance published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (JPharmSci). Dr. Yamada and colleagues are recognized for their article," Mitochondrial Delivery of an Anticancer Drug Via Systemic Administration Using a Mitochondrial Delivery System That Inhibits the Growth of Drug-Resistant Cancer Engrafted on Mice." Their research demonstrates the efficacy of a novel liposome formulation, MITO-porter, stabilized for long circulation time and capable of delivering drug cargo to the mitochondria. Moreover, their work establishes enhanced permeation, retention, and efficacy selective to cancer cells in an in vivo cancer model.

    (Colleagues: Reina Munechika, Satrialdi, Fumika Kubota, Yusuke Sato, Yu Sakurai, Hideyoshi Harashima)

  • The Clinical Research Paper AwardBenjamin Y. Urick, PharmD, PhD, of Chapel Hill, NC. The award promotes and encourages high-quality clinical research or practice-based research in the clinical sciences by recognizing an original research article in this area published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPhA). Dr. Urick and colleagues are recognized for their article, "Patient outcomes from implementing an enhanced services pharmacy network," a well-designed quasi-experimental study assessing a relevant pharmacy topic that has the potential to impact pharmacist provided care. The results have relevant real-world implications, and while mostly positive for the profession, they were balanced in their stated identified study limitations, with insightful suggestions for future research directions related to pharmacists' impact on outcomes, spending, and care utilization.

    (Colleagues: Troy K. Trygstad, Joel F. Farley)

  • The Research Achievement Award in the Pharmaceutical SciencesKaren S. Hudmon, DrPH, MS, BSPharm, CTTS, FAPhA, of Indianapolis, IN. The award recognizes and encourages outstanding, meritorious achievement in any of the pharmaceutical sciences. Dr. Hudmon has been nationally and internationally recognized for research, education, and policy work that led to legislation permitting pharmacists to prescribe smoking cessation medications in several states. Most notedly, her involvement in Rx for Change, a comprehensive tobacco cessation education tool that provides the knowledge and skills necessary to offer comprehensive tobacco cessation counseling has been used extensively throughout pharmacy.
  • The Wiederholt Prize for Best Published Papers Award for Economic, Social, and Administrative Sciences – Kyle Melin, PharmD, MSc, BCPS, of San Juan, PR. The award recognizes the best paper published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPhA), which describes an original investigation in economic, social, or administrative sciences related to pharmacy. Dr. Melin and colleagues are recognized for their paper, "Readiness to Provide Pharmaceutical Care to Transgender Patients: Perspectives from Pharmacists and Transgender Individuals." Their work examined pharmacist readiness to provide pharmaceutical care for transgender patients by assessing pharmacists' knowledge and attitudes toward transgender patients. Its relevance and contribution to health disparities and equity and the use of a guiding conceptual framework capture the core of this award.

    (Colleagues: Claudia R. Hilera-Botet, Dializza Vega-Vélez, Valeria M. Salgado-Crespo, Darlene Santiago, Jonathan Hernández-Agosto, Aryam Muñoz-Burgos, Zaritza Cajigas, José Javier Martínez-Vélez, Carlos E. Rodríguez-Díaz)

About the American Pharmacists Association

The American Pharmacists Association is the only organization advancing the entire pharmacy profession. Our expert staff, and strong volunteer leadership, including many experienced pharmacists, allow us to deliver vital leadership to help pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians find success and satisfaction in their work, while advocating for changes that benefit them, their patients, and their communities. For more information, please visit


Renee Kalu; 202.429.7532;

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