October 29, 2021
MONTGOMERY, Alabama – The Harrison School of Pharmacy was well-represented with eight major award winners at the 2021 Alabama Pharmacy Association Annual Meeting.
Becky Sorrell (Class of 1983) won the Bowl of Hygeia while Spencer Durham (’07) won the Mitchel C. Rothholz President’s Award. Jessica Hung (’14) took the Excellence in Innovation Award with Grant McGuffey (’14) selected as the Distinguished Young Pharmacist. Sue Boyles (’87) and Charlie Thomas (’65) were the two recipients of the APA Advocate Award. HSOP staff member Dave Brackett received the J. Wayne Staggs Distinguished Service Award while Class of 2022 member Jennifer Rammage won the R. Lee Evans Student Professionalism Award.
Becky Sorrell, a 1983 graduate of the Harrison School of Pharmacy, received the Bowl of Hygeia. The Bowl of Hygeia is considered one of pharmacy’s highest awards and is presented annually by participating pharmacy associations in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The recipients are selected by their respective associations for their outstanding record of community service and have distinguished themselves through their actions.
“Rebecca Sorrell leads a life of service to others,” said Louise Jones, APA chief executive officer. “In addition to her dedication to pharmacy, she has a longstanding commitment to her community and those most in need.”
Sorrell owns Ritch’s Pharmacy in Mountain Brook along with her husband Ralph, also a pharmacist. She actively mentors pharmacy students, interns and externs and works to better the world through pharmacy. She has also served with the M-Power Ministries Free Medical Clinic located in Avondale in Birmingham, to coordinate pharmacy services. Beyond her local community, Sorrell serves on international missions to Panama in her capacity as a pharmacist, including as as a pharmacy consultant for Iglesia Evangelical Metodista de Panamá Medical Mission Teams, coordinating with teams from around the country to make sure the pharmacy in Panama runs efficiently and serves the needs of the people there.
Dr. Spencer Durham
Dr. Spencer Durham, an associate clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and director of alumni and professional affairs, received the Mitchel C. Rothholz President’s Award. The award is presented to recognize outstanding voluntary contributions to both the Alabama Pharmacy Association and the profession of pharmacy.
“The recipient of this award is selected by the APA president and recognizes outstanding voluntary contributions to both the Alabama Pharmacy Association and the profession of pharmacy,” said Jones. “Dr. Durham’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic has proven invaluable to this state. We are proud to recognize his contributions with this award.”
In his role as director of alumni and professional affairs, he works with HSOP alumni and other health care professionals across the region to foster the development of innovative practice models and to expand and enhance opportunities for continuous professional development. In 2020 Governor Kay Ivey appointed him to the Alabama Coronavirus Task Force where he worked to mitigate risk and ensure the safety of the citizens of the state.
Dr. Jessica Hung, a 2014 graduate of the Harrison School of Pharmacy, received the Excellence in Innovation Award. The national award is coordinated by the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, and is sponsored by Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. to honor a pharmacist who has 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.
“We are proud to recognize Dr. Hung for her contributions,” said Jones. “Her willingness to push the boundaries of current pharmacy practice have resulted in better care for patients throughout the state.”
Her work at Semmes Pharmacy led to national recognition as one of four pharmacies to demonstrate exceptional medication therapy management services. Hung has established a diabetes education program that has demonstrated marked improvements for patients. As an owner and partner in JH Clinical, she oversees the vaccination programs for a large group of pharmacies in south Alabama. Her pharmacy was selected to be one of three to receive the first COVID vaccines when shipments rolled into the state. Her efforts, along with the other two pharmacies, helped to pave the way for filing and reimbursement of administration fees for pharmacies.
Dr. Grant McGuffey, a 2014 graduate of the Harrison School of Pharmacy, received the Distinguished Young Pharmacist. The award is presented each year to a young pharmacist who has been practicing for 10 years or less, has been actively involved in APA and participates in pharmacy and/or community service on both a state and national level.
“APA’s future is bright with young leaders like Dr. McGuffey,” said Jones. “We are incredibly proud to recognize his achievements with this award.”
McGuffey has been an active APA member since 2010 when he joined as a first-year pharmacy student. Selected as a member of the 2016 APA Leadership Class, the APA Research and Education Foundation has identified him as a promising leader for the profession. He is a member of the APA Board of Trustees and was appointed to the State Board of Pharmacy Selection Committee last year.
Sue Boyles, a 1987 graduate of the Harrison School of Pharmacy, received the APA Advocate Award. The award recognizes members who are strong advocates for APA and consistently participate in its programs, events and activities. The recipient leads by example and encourages others to become involved through engagement in the association.
“Sue has been a loyal and devoted member of APA for over thirty years and rarely misses the chance to attend an APA event, always making people feel warm and welcomed,” said Jones. “We are lucky to have members like Sue who are an example of what it means to be an encourager and to serve others with a happy heart.”
Boyles works at Walmart Pharmacy in Bay Minette. She is a career-long member of APA and has been one of the association’s biggest cheerleaders throughout her career.
Charlie Thomas, a 1965 graduate of the Harrison School of Pharmacy, received the APA Advocate Award. The award recognizes members who are strong advocates for APA and consistently participate in its programs, events and activities. The recipient leads by example and encourages others to become involved through engagement in the association.
“Charlie goes out of his way to make his colleagues and the staff of APA feel appreciated,” said Jones. “Not only does he know how to give a pat on the back, but we would be lost without his knowledge of Alabama pharmacy and APA history.”
Thomas practiced in community pharmacy for over 35 years, owning a pharmacy in Huntsville for 10 years. He also served as the Pharmacy Director for the Alabama Department of Public Health until his retirement in 2017.
Dave Brackett, the coordinator of clinical services and residency program director in the Division of Clinical Affairs and Outreach, received the J. Wayne Staggs Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award was established in 1993 and renamed in 2003 in memory of Wayne Staggs. This award recognizes an APA member who has provided exceptional leadership and devoted service to APA.
“APA is incredibly lucky to have leaders like Dr. Brackett,” said Jones. “His willingness to give of his time and talents has greatly benefitted the pharmacy profession.”
An APA member for more than 14 years, Brackett has served the association in numerous ways. He has led as chair of the Member Benefits Committee, Organizational Affairs Committee and Education Committee. He has served on the APA Board as Speaker of the House and as the 2019-20 President.
Jennifer Rammage, a member of the Harrison School of Pharmacy Class of 2022, received the R. Lee Evans Student Professionalism Award. The award is presented annually to a student of HSOP who is an APA member. It recognizes a student-leader who demonstrates a high level of professionalism in school and other pharmacy-related endeavors.
“Her passion for serving is evident and she truly understands the importance of advocacy for her profession,” said Jones. “We look forward to seeing what her future holds.”
Rammage joined APA as a first-year pharmacy student and has remained an active member since. During her time in pharmacy school, she took part in APA legislative events and annual convention and has been active on campus as well.
Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 25 percent of all pharmacy schools in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the School offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master’s in pharmaceutical sciences. The School's commitment to world-class scholarship and interdisciplinary research speaks to Auburn's overarching Carnegie R1 designation that places Auburn among the top 100 doctoral research universities in the nation. For more information about the School, please call 334.844.8348 or visit http://pharmacy.auburn.edu.