Hugo H. Schaefer Award

2023 Hugo H. Schaefer Award Recipient

Ruth A. Smarinsky, PharmD

Photo of Ruth A. Smarinsky

Ruth Arnold Smarinsky, PharmD, is Senior Advisor for Direct Relief, an international humanitarian organization that provides donations of medicines and other health resources to vulnerable people in more than 100 countries. Prior to becoming Senior Advisor, she served as Director of Pharmacy and Clinical Affairs for the organization. Ruth has actively been involved with growing the Direct Relief’s programs to increase access to medication at community clinics and health centers throughout the U.S., both on an ongoing basis and during times of disaster. She has developed a number of innovative programs, including a bulk patient assistance program, hurricane preparedness kits, and national distribution of naloxone. Direct Relief has since grown to be the largest charitable organization for the distribution of prescription drugs in the United States. In 2022, Direct Relief donated more than $61 million in funding and $1.9 billion (wholesale acquisition cost) of specifically requested products to 93 countries, all 50 U.S. states and 3 U.S. territories. Prior to working at Direct Relief, Ruth was Director of Pharmacy for Venice Family Clinic, the largest free clinic in the U.S., and set up its pharmacy services including clinical pharmacy programs. Much of her career has been devoted to providing access to quality pharmaceutical care for underserved patients. She has served as volunteer faculty for the University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy (her alma mater), Western University School of Pharmacy, and USC School of Pharmacy. She completed her residency training at University of California, Irvine in Ambulatory Care and Hospital Pharmacy Administration.


The Hugo H. Schaefer Award was established by the American Pharmacists Association in 1964 to honor the long-time APhA Treasurer, Hugo H. Schaefer, for a lifetime of contributions to the profession of pharmacy and in particular for his service to APhA. The purpose of the award is to recognize an individual who has made outstanding voluntary contributions to society as well as to the profession of pharmacy and APhA.

Nomination criteria

The nominee must be an APhA Member who has made outstanding voluntary contributions to society, the profession of pharmacy, and APhA. Remington Honor Medalists are not eligible.

Nomination process

The nominator is responsible for submitting a complete award nomination.

The nomination is to include the following items:

A letter from the nominator describing the most important achievements of the nominee and explaining why the nominee meets the criteria for the award

Letters of recommendation are optional; two letters are preferred with a maximum of six letters accepted

A current curriculum vitae or detailed résumé

Selection process

The selection is made by the APhA Board of Trustees based upon careful review of complete nominations.

Nature of award

The award, presented at the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition, consists of a medal bearing the likeness of Hugo H. Schaefer mounted on a wooden base, which is inscribed with the recipient’s name and date of presentation. The recipient also receives a complimentary APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition registration and reimbursement for meeting-related travel expenses, according to current travel policies and up to the maximum amount budgeted by APhA.

Past Recipients

2022 Stephen L. Foster

2021 Marianne Rollings

2020 Duane M. Kirking

2019 Kenneth M. Hale

2018 Robert Alesiani

2017 Clark H. Gustafson

2016 Bruce R. Canaday

2015 Baeteena M. Black

2014 Leonard L. Edloe

2013 Robert L. Day

2012 Jeffrey N. Baldwin

2011 Thomas R. Temple

2010 Gary W. Kadlec

2009 Henry Lewis III

2008 Jordan L. Cohen

2007 J. Lyle Bootman

2006 Joseph G. Valentino

2005 Carlo Michelotti

2004 Daniel A. Hussar

2003 R. Timothy Webster

2002 Jean Paul Gagnon

2001 Fred T. Mahaffey

2000 John W. Hasty

1999 Louis M. Sesti

1998 Herbert S. Carlin

1997 Linda F. Golodner

1996 Mary Munson Runge

1995 Michael A. Schwartz

1994 Paul G. Rogers

1993 William J. Grosz

1992 Bob Gude

1991 Jacob W. Miller

1990 James B. Powers

1989 Samuel W. Kidder

1988 Robert C. Johnson

1987 Joseph D. Williams

1986 William J. Edwards

1985 Edwin A. Mande

1984 George B. Griffenhagen

1983 Joseph A. Oddis

1982 Adela Schneider

1980 Jere E. Goyan

1979 Grover C. Bowles

1978 Arthur G. Zupko

1976 Philip R. Lee, MD

1974 Gaylord A. Nelson

1973 Willard B. Simmons

1971 Harry C. Shirkey, MD

1969 E. Claiborne Robins

1967 Wallace Werble

1966 William S. Apple

1965 Hubert H. Humphrey

1964 Hugo H. Schaefer

Return to Main Awards Page