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Pharmacists from Around the Country Honored for their Excellence in Innovation

Upsher-Smith and The National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA) Partner to Recognize Innovators in the Profession of Pharmacy

MAPLE GROVE, Minn.Feb. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC (Upsher-Smith) and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA) are pleased to honor the 2021 NASPA Excellence in Innovation Award recipients. Forty-one pharmacists from across the nation were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the profession of pharmacy. The annual award is coordinated by NASPA and sponsored by Upsher-Smith.

“Upsher-Smith is proud to partner with the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations to recognize deserving pharmacists from across the country who have managed to shine brightly for their patients, even in the shadow of a global pandemic,” said Rusty Field, President and CEO of Upsher-Smith. “These men and women have worked tirelessly to improve patient care in their communities and it is an honor to recognize them for their exemplary service.”

Joni Cover, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Acting CEO of the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations added, “Throughout the pandemic, pharmacists have worked tirelessly on the frontlines to protect patient health. NASPA is pleased to continue its tradition of spotlighting dedicated pharmacists who are advancing the profession of pharmacy. We are very grateful to our longstanding partner, Upsher-Smith, and participating state pharmacy associations for their continued support of the Excellence in Innovation Award.”

The 2021 Excellence in Innovation Award recipients include:

  • Alabama: Jessica Hung, PharmD
  • Alaska: Erin Narus, PharmD
  • Arizona: Nicole Scovis, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP, CMWA
  • Arkansas: Blake Torres, PharmD
  • California: Danielle C. Colayco, PharmD, MS
  • Colorado: Michelle L. Izor, PharmD
  • Connecticut: Amy Ricupero, PharmD, MEd.
  • Delaware: Chaitanya Gadde
  • Florida: Jade D. Montejo, PharmD
  • Georgia: Lindsay J. McCoy, PharmD, BCPP
  • Illinois: Harry M. Zollars, PharmD
  • Indiana: Patrick Sorgen, PharmD, CSP
  • Iowa: Casey Villhauer, PharmD, BCGP
  • Kansas: Lawrence Davidow, RPh
  • Kentucky: Hope Maniyar, PharmD
  • Louisiana: Carl J. Savoie, RPh
  • Maryland: Arnold J. Honkofsky, RPh, SCC
  • Michigan: Meijer Pharmacy Team
  • Mississippi: Anna Kathryn Ward, PharmD
  • Missouri: Lisa M. Cillessen, PharmD, BCACP
  • Montana: JoEllen Maurer, BSPh, MHA, BCPS
  • New Hampshire: Bethany A. Francis, PharmD
  • New Jersey: Antonio V. Minniti, RPh, FACA
  • New Mexico: Rebecca DeMoss, PharmD
  • New York: Mayank Parikh, PharmD
  • North Carolina: Claire Austin, PharmD
  • North Dakota: Brody Maack, PharmD
  • Ohio: Alexa S. Valentino, PharmD, BCACP, TTS
  • Oklahoma: Chris Schiller, PharmD
  • Oregon: Julie Dewsnup, RPh, CDE
  • Pennsylvania: John DeJames, RPh
  • Rhode Island: Kerry LaPlante, PharmD, FCCP, FIDSA
  • South Carolina: Ranarda Jones, PharmD, MBA
  • Tennessee: Jason Vinson, PharmD
  • Texas: Aaron Gibson, PharmD, MS
  • Virginia: Kristi R. Fowler, RPh
  • Washington: Ahmed Ali, PharmD
  • Washington, DC: Samir Balile, PharmD
  • West Virginia: Matthew Rafa, PharmD
  • Wisconsin: Trisha Seys Ranola, PharmD, CDCES, BCGP, FAIHM
  • Wyoming: Matt Meyer, PharmD

About the Excellence in Innovation Award
The Excellence in Innovation Award recognizes qualified pharmacists who have demonstrated significant innovation in their practice, method, or service directly or indirectly resulting in improved patient care and/or advancement of the profession of pharmacy. The award is presented by participating state pharmacy associations.

About Upsher-Smith
Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC is a trusted U.S. pharmaceutical company that strives to improve the health and lives of patients through an unwavering commitment to high-quality products and sustainable growth. The company brings generics and brands to a wide array of customers, always backed by its attentive level of service, strong industry relationships, and dedication to uninterrupted supply. For more information, visit

About the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations
The National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA), founded in 1927 as the National Council of State Pharmacy Association Executives, is dedicated to enhancing the success of state pharmacy associations in their efforts to advance the profession of pharmacy. NASPA’s membership is comprised of state pharmacy associations and over 70 other stakeholder organizations. NASPA promotes leadership, sharing, learning, and policy exchange among its members and pharmacy leaders nationwide. For more information, please visit the NASPA Web site


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