Wyoming Pharmacist of the Year

The Wyoming Pharmacy Association held the 93rd Annual Convention in Casper June 25-26.  It was during this convention that they recognized Terry Carr, RPh as the Wyoming Pharmacist of the Year.  On the right Jennifer Nevins, past winner presenting this award.
The Wyoming Pharmacist of the Year almost wasn’t a pharmacist.  While attending the University of Wyoming he chose to take a year off and work construction.  It was his first Wyoming winter as a construction worker that helped him make the decision to go back to pharmacy school.  He graduated from the University of Wyoming in with a BS in Pharmacy in 1974. 

Everyone that I speak to about this pharmacist says that his is a wonderful person.  He always has a smile on his face.  Along with his great smile, he has one other very distinguishing feature.  Early on, while working at Decker’s Pharmacy he was informed of the unwritten policy about no hair below the lip.  Being a little bit of a rebel, he shaved his hair below the lip – but kept his mustache in very showing fashion.  His handlebar mustache along with his smile always makes you feel welcome. 

He currently works at Medicap in Gillette.  When speaking with owner Suzy Hooker, she stated that the staff and customers think he is just the most wonderful pharmacist.  Terry always has a smile on his face and is ready to help whenever needed.  She stated that Terry is a joy to work with even though he thinks that there is too much “shemaglobin” and not enough “hemoglobin” working at Medicap. 

The rebel in him continued when he decided during his retirement to take a job in Wheatland at Pioneer Manor.  His reasoning for taking this position was so that he could drive his Jaguar to work.  He typically walks to work in Gillette.   While I am not sure if he has received a speeding ticket – he tries each time his works there by seeing how fast he can get that Jag going on the long lonely road. 

Another great quality is his ability to play along – or join in any activity.  This has been exhibited by him dressing up for beach days at Pioneer Manor in a micro mini grass skirt.  During the 91st Annual WPhA Convention he dressed up like me – with a sun visor, earrings and necklace. 

During his time at Pioneer Manor, the residents took a liking to him, particularly the female residents.   They would ask him for assistance in buttoning sweaters.   And not just one button, but every button. 

 His experience working in retail facilities, nursing homes and hospitals has also made him a very well rounded Board Member for the State Board of Pharmacy.  The Wyoming Pharmacy Association appreciates that while his role as a board member is to be a patient safety advocate, he brings a pharmacist practical approach to pharmacy issues that are brought up throughout the state.   It was unanimous that Terry Carr was the Wyoming Pharmacist of the Year. 



Wyoming Technician of the Year

During the Wyoming Pharmacy Association 93rd Annual Convention, Rhea Cooksey-Dixon was recognized as the Wyoming Pharmacy Technician of the Year. 

Rhea has worked as a pharmacy technician for the Sheridan VA Pharmacy for the last 25 years and for the Miles City, Montana VA prior to that.  She has always entered her workday with a pleasant attitude and has always been the first person to volunteer for special projects.  She took over all purchasing and contract compliance in pharmacy at a crucial time upon the resignation of the technician occupying that position.  She was integral in the transition to the McKesson AcuDose pharmacy automation system which was set up throughout the Sheridan VA and affiliated Community Based Outpatient Clinics.  Rhea has taken on the role of working with all patients needing ostomy and urostomy supplies ensuring they receive the correct products and providing excellent customer service. Providing excellent customer service to all veterans and other VA disciplines appears to be her motto.  She strives continually to maintain and improve her technician skills and has attended many of our WPhA technician seminars.  Last year she received the award of Employee of the Month at the Sheridan VA Medical Center, and following that was named Employee of the Year, which is quite an honor in an organization with more than 500 employees.  The Employee of the Year was voted on by peers throughout the facility and demonstrates her kindness and willingness to assist her colleagues as well as the patients she serves, which makes Rhea Cooksey-Dixon the Wyoming Pharmacy Association Technician of the Year.

Bowl of Hygeia Award Winner


 Linda Martin, RPh was recognized as the Bowl of Hygeia Award Winner for the state of Wyoming.  This award is presented by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals to an individual who has devoted their time, talent, and resources to better their community and the profession of pharmacy.  Pictured on the right is Dr. Hornecker, presenting this prestigious award.   

Dr. Martin is an educator at the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy where she teaches a variety of courses including drug literature, and pharmacoeconomics.  She is a caring and active instructor in which she encourages critical thinking and hard work from her students.  Dr. Martin is also very active in the field of pharmacy, as she is a member or has been a member of WSHP, WPhA, ASHP, AACP, DIA, and PLS. 

Dr. Martin is a volunteer at the Laramie Downtown Clinic, a clinic for the un- and under-insured population of Albany County. This recipient is a member of the Board of Directors for Laramie Reproductive Health, including a term as treasurer and vice president. This recipient is a past board member of Friends of Albany County Family Planning and has served on a number of fund raising committees for that organization.

Wyoming Distinguished Young Pharmacist of the Year

The Wyoming Pharmacy Association held the 93rd Annual Convention in Casper June 25-26. It was during this convention that Matthew D. Staton, Pharm.D., was recognized as the Distinguished Young Pharmacist of the Year. The Distinguished Young Pharmacist award was created in 1987 to encourage newer pharmacists to become involved in association activities and civic projects, and to recognize one such pharmacist in each state for individual excellence and  outstanding contributions.

Wyoming's Distinguished Young Pharmacist, Matthew Stanton came to the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, Wyoming in 2004 as a traveling pharmacist and decided to join as a full time staff member. Since that time, Matt has worked virtually all the staffing positions including the main pharmacist, ICU pharmacist, Telemetry pharmacist, Overnight pharmacist, and Clinical pharmacist. Matt has proven himself invaluable in each position he has staffed, bringing an engaging attitude and tireless work ethic. Matt will do whatever it takes to get the job done and ensure that the patient is getting the best care possible. Matt has served on various committees and patient education sessions, including post operative education of cardiac patients. Matt is now demonstrating his leadership abilities at Wyoming Medical Center as the Clinical Education Coordinator. Matt also has a passion for fly fishing and hunting when time permits.  Recreationally, Matthew is part of the Wyoming Fly Casters.  His strong passion for pharmacy truly helps others understand the importance of pharmacy.  Matthew is also a member of WPhA and WSHP.   

In conclusion, the Wyoming Pharmacists Association recipient, Matthew D. Stanton, embodies all the qualities one looks for when evaluating individuals for this award.  

Wyoming Innovative Pharmacy Practice Award

During the Wyoming Pharmacy Association 93rd Annual Convention, Natasha Gallizzi, Pharm.D. was recognized as the Innovative Pharmacist of the Year.  On the right is Dr. Hornecker.  The following passage was provided by Donna Artery about Natasha Gallizzi's great contribution to field of pharmacy. 

When legislation was passed in 2005 for the Drug Donation Program, many legislators as well as the Board of Pharmacy were leary of the bill and expected the program to be mediocre at best.   Many questioned how retail pharmacies and residents of Wyoming would receive the program and if this program would truly benefit them.

I was asked to take over this pilot program as part of my job when I began to work for the Wyoming Department of Health in October of 2006.  At that time, State Pharmacist Roxanne Homar, told me the Free Clinic of Laramie County was interested in being a pilot for this program.  I spoke with the Board of Pharmacy, sent letters to retail pharmacies as well as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospices, etc. to inform them of the program and ask for donations of their left-over medications.  As donations began pouring in, it became evident that the expertise of a pharmacist was needed to oversee the program.  It was at this time, we hired Natasha Gallizzi.

Natasha began to expand and improve the program immediately.  Drugs were checked for expiration dates, appropriateness of donation, inventoried and put on the shelf for distribution through the free clinic, which was open one night per week.  Soon, it became apparent the program could support a “centralized pharmacy” in Laramie County and would be able to supply medications for needy (un-insured and under-insured) clients throughout the week.  Natasha began writing grants, opened dialogue with Cheyenne Regional Hospital officials, collaborated with Laramie County Community Partnership, United Way, and other health-care clinics in Cheyenne with a goal of establishing a pharmacy for this vulnerable population.  In addition, Natasha coordinated with other Laramie County help centers and developed a “universal intake form” for clients that allowed prospective patients to fill out one form and be immediately directed to the specific help center for which they would qualify. 

Space for a pharmacy was donated by Cheyenne Regional Hospital and Natasha set up the pharmacy.  The space was remodeled with volunteer help and became a licensed pharmacy after the Wyoming Board of Pharmacy approved her project.   

When the Free Clinic of Laramie County lost funding and was closed in December of 2009, the Centralized Pharmacy client load tripled. Today, the pharmacy is staffed with two technicians and two prescription assistance employees as well as Natasha.  The figures below illustrate the tremendous success she has achieved:

         2009 Report from Centralized Pharmacy:

           No. of Prescriptions Filled                           5,529

           Retail Value of Rx’s Filled          $603,115.00

           Appoximate Value of On-Hand Inventory   $598,647.43 

I am inspired by Natasha’s tireless contribution to the medication needs of those less fortunate in this community and current economy.  She is definitely deserving of this award and I encourage you to choose Natasha Gallizzi as the 2010 Innovative Pharmacist of the Year.  


Wyoming Health System Pharmacist of the Year

During the convention Kendall George, RPh, was recognized as the Wyoming Health System Pharmacist of the Year.  Chris Bergman (right) of Pfizer, Inc. presented the award to Kendall.    

Kendall George took the open pharmacist position in Campbell County Memorial Hospital in Gillette in1980.  Seven years later, through hard work and dedication, Kendall was promoted to Chief Pharmacist.  Besides being very proactive and dedicated towards hospital pharmacy, Kendall previously has been the president of WSHP and one of the two delegates to ASHP House of Delegates.  Kendall has been known to always strive to improve patient care and for his involvement within pharmacy.  Throughout the years, Kendall George has earned the respect of his peers, especially those which who he works with and supervises. He was selected for this award due to his dedication to the practice of hospital pharmacy and the advancements he has made within it. Congratulations Kendall George.

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