Foundation’s Pinnacle Awards honor ‘shining examples’

Awardees in three categories hail from California, Washington State, Arizona


In the 16th annual celebration of the Pinnacle Awards program, the APhA Foundation honored awardees in three categories during a ceremony on the Potomac View Terrace at APhA headquarters on June 24.

Steven W. Chen, PharmD, FASHP, FCSHP, accepted the Individual Award for Career Achievement. The Community Health Association of Spokane (CHAS) won the Group Practice–Health System–Corporation Award. The Government Agency–Nonprofit Organization–Association Award went to the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy Medication Management Center (MMC).

“This evening’s award recipients are shining examples of how pharmacists can improve medication use in our country and help patients achieve better health outcomes,” said Mindy Smith, BSPharm, APhA Foundation Executive Director, in her welcoming speech.

“We have been leading the charge to bring all of pharmacy together to obtain provider status for pharmacists—a challenging goal that requires many components for success,” said APhA President Steve Simenson, BSPharm, FAPhA, in his remarks. “One of the most important of these components is to convey the work being done by the APhA Foundation to conduct practice-based research that proves the value of pharmacists as a member of the health care team.”

Dan Luce, BSPharm, President of the APhA Foundation Board of Directors, served as the night’s emcee. Following short videos featuring each Pinnacle Award winner, Luce presented the awardees with a crystal eagle symbolizing their contributions to health care quality through the medication use process. Premier support for the celebration was provided by Merck and support was also provided by an educational donation from Amgen.

Upon receiving the career achievement award, Chen, Associate Professor and Hygeia Centennial Chair in Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, noted that he was not ready to retire. “I feel like we’re celebrating a victory at halftime. And we all know what usually happens in those games,” joked Chen. “My team will assure you that there will be no slacking after halftime.” He also noted, “I’ve been blessed with the best collaborators anyone could ask for.”

Peg Hopkins, Executive Director of CHAS, accepted the award on behalf of her nonprofit community health center that provides access to all patients, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. “As an FQHC [federally qualified health center] system, we are used to being on the bottom end of the food chain and people not noticing what we do. But my pharmacists, as you can probably tell, are true heroes,” Hopkins said warmly. “I consider myself to be the number one advocate for pharmacists to be recognized for their full right of practice as providers.”

Kevin Boesen, PharmD, as the founder and director of MMC, accepted the award for his pharmacist-run call center that since 2006 has provided medication therapy management services to more than 1 million Medicare patients nationwide. “Pharmacists can play a tremendous role in health care—not only today, but in the future,” Boesen declared. “I truly commend APhA for their push to give pharmacists full provider status. It’s what we need, and more importantly, it’s what our patients need.”