American Pharmacists Association Announces Recipients of 2021 Awards and Honors

CONTACT: Frank Fortin

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) today announced the selection of recipients of the Professionwide Awards as part of the 2021 APhA Awards and Honors Program. 

Honorees will be officially recognized at APhA2021, which is scheduled to take place March 12–15, 2021. The APhA Awards and Honors Program is the most comprehensive recognition program in the profession of pharmacy. For more information, visit

American Pharmacists Association – Professionwide Awards:

It was announced on October 14, 2020, that Marialice S. Bennett of Columbus, OH, is the recipient of the 2021 Remington Honor Medal, the highest honor in pharmacy that is bestowed by APhA. Following are the additional Professionwide Award recipients: 

Hugo H. Schaefer Award – Marianne R. Rollings, BSPharm, FAPhA, of Richmond, VA. The award recognizes outstanding voluntary contributions to the organization, the profession, and society. Ms. Rollings, with more than 40 years of pharmacy practice and service to the profession, is recognized for her role as a strong advocate for the profession of pharmacy. Her broad impact on the profession of pharmacy includes being a mentor for student pharmacists and a role model for women throughout her career. Her work also includes international engagement; leadership in multiple local, state, and national pharmacy association activities; and long-term community service.

Hubert H. Humphrey Award – Douglas A. Miller, PharmD, of Plymouth, MI. The award recognizes APhA members who have made major contributions in government and legislative service at the local, state or national level. Dr. Miller is recognized for his outstanding leadership in the profession of pharmacy and his commitment as a public servant in elected and volunteer roles throughout his career of more than 40 years.

Good Government Pharmacist-of-the-Year Award – Veronica Vernon, PharmD, of Indianapolis, IN. The award recognizes an individual pharmacist who actively contributes to the community through his or her involvement in the political process. Dr. Vernon is recognized for her commitment to advocacy throughout her career, beginning as a student pharmacist leader. She is also recognized for her active engagement in Indiana Pharmacists Association initiatives, service on APhA’s Government Affairs Committee and Political Action Committee Board of Governors, and personal initiative to teach others how to advocate.  

Honorary Membership – John Clymer, AB, of Burke, VA. Honorary membership in APhA is conferred by the Board of Trustees upon individuals, either within the profession of pharmacy or outside of it, whose activities and achievements have had a significant positive impact on public health, the pharmacy profession, and its practitioners. Mr. Clymer is recognized for his leadership of the National Forum, which comprises more than 100 public, private, and nonprofit organizations. His collaboration efforts across many public health sectors, including pharmacy, have supported the pharmacist’s role in team-based care and overall efforts to recognize pharmacists as providers.  

Honorary Membership – Eric J. Johnson, MBA, MS-MIS, CPA, of Oklahoma City, OK. Honorary membership in APhA is conferred by the Board of Trustees upon individuals, either within the profession of pharmacy or outside of it, whose activities and achievements have had a significant positive impact on public health, the pharmacy profession, and its practitioners. Mr. Johnson is recognized for his dedication to student pharmacists through his role at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center College of Pharmacy. He also has provided time and service to APhA and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and has had a significant impact on pharmacy education and practice.

Honorary President – Gregory J. Higby, BSPharm, MS, PhD, RPh, of Madison, WI. Honorary President of APhA is conferred by the Association upon a member who has made significant contributions to the Association. Dr. Higby is recognized for his more than 30 years of dedication to maintaining the history of the profession of pharmacy through his leadership of the American Institute for the History of Pharmacy and active engagement in national pharmacy organizations. 

Gloria Niemeyer Francke Leadership Mentor Award – Albert I. Wertheimer, PhD, MBA, BSPharm, of Naples, FL. The award recognizes an individual who has promoted and encouraged pharmacists to attain leadership positions through example, acting as a role model and mentor. Dr. Wertheimer is recognized for his broad level of mentorship throughout a career of nearly 50 years. His impact has spanned the globe through international engagement, while also being focused in specific areas. His work to develop the fields of sociobehavioral pharmacy and pharmacoeconomics has led to his mentorship of many student pharmacists, researchers, and pharmacists.

H.A.B. Dunning Award – Walmart Inc. This award recognizes an exemplary contribution to APhA and the practice of pharmacy by a pharmaceutical manufacturer, provider of support products or service, or other entities such as wholesalers, chain corporations, etc. Walmart is recognized in part for its efforts to train more than 18,000 pharmacists on substance use disorders, and pain and safe opioid management. Walmart additionally has continued this commitment to education and training by supporting a free comprehensive opioid training program for all U.S. pharmacists and pharmacy technicians nationwide.

Distinguished Federal Pharmacist Award – Cynthia A. Gunderson, PharmD, of Red Lake, MN. The award recognizes pharmacists who distinguish themselves and the profession through outstanding contributions in federal pharmacy practice resulting in significant improvements in the health of the nation and the populations they serve. Dr. Gunderson, a strong mentor and collaborator, is recognized for her impact on patient care in her role with the Indian Health Service at Red Lake Hospital. Her work as Chair of the IHS National Committee on Heroin, Opioids and Pain Efforts exemplifies her leadership, teamwork, and dedication to patients.

Generation Rx Award of Excellence – Charles “CK” Babcock, PharmD, CPE, BCACP, of Huntington, WV. The award recognizes a pharmacist that has demonstrated a commitment to the mission of substance abuse education. Dr. Babcock is recognized as having a broad impact on patients through his efforts to implement drug abuse and misuse educational programs. His nominators shared stories from patients and health care professionals highlighting these efforts, which led to personal change for the patients he has served. His collaboration with other health care professionals is extensive, and his community service exemplifies the criteria for this award.

Recipients of the 2021 APhA Academy Awards and the 2021 APhA Fellows were announced earlier this week.