Washington, DC – The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) is pleased to announce that the Kaiser Permanente Colorado Pharmacy Department has been named the 2019 recipient of the Warren E. Weaver/Richard P. Penna Award in the organization category.
Beginning with the 2019 award, nominations for the Weaver/Penna Award were solicited separately for organizations and individual persons, and an Award is provided to one recipient in each category at the discretion of the BPS Board of Directors. For the individual category in 2019, the BPS Board of Directors chose to issue a joint award to Dick R. Gourley, PharmD, and Peter H. Vlasses, PharmD, DSc (Hon), FCCP.
Organization Category Award
Kaiser Permanente Colorado Pharmacy Department (KPCO) began its advancement of clinical pharmacy services in 1993 with three Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialists (BCPS). Starting with primary care, BPS board certified pharmacists at KPCO became synonymous with achievement of the highest standards in quality medical care. These standards have been disseminated to medical specialties at KPCO and have resulted in BPS board certified pharmacists embedded in every patient-centered medical home, 13 medical specialties, and multiple population management teams throughout KPCO.
BPS board certification has contributed to a culture of excellence in the department and enhances recruitment and retention of innovative and skilled clinicians. As a result, KPCO currently employs 154 BPS board certified pharmacists in a world-class pharmacy department.
Sheila Botts, PharmD, FCCP, BCPP, Regional Administrator, Clinical Pharmacy Services, Kaiser Permanente Colorado noted: “The early and sustained investment in BPS certification has resulted in an exceptional pharmacy department that has few peers in the healthcare industry. Our department has received the highest accolades of the profession through numerous local and national awards for our clinical programs. We have set the standard and lead the nation in several quality metrics such as Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 5-Star ratings.”
Margaret Ferguson, MD, MBA, President and Executive Medical Director, Colorado Permanente Medical Group stated the following in her letter of support: “Today [BPS] board certified pharmacists are trusted clinical partners and reliably address the most complex drug therapy challenges across all points of care in our health system. They are valued thought partners in care delivery innovation and serve as formal and informal leaders across the health system. In fact, our physician group respects and advocates for their presence on all care teams.”
The presentation of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties Weaver/Penna Award to Kaiser Permanente Colorado Pharmacy Department will be made February 19, 2019 in Denver, Colorado.
Individual Category Award
In 1989, Drs. Dick Gourley and Peter Vlasses, two widely respected leaders in the pharmacy profession, were asked to work with clinicians and academicians to broaden the support and understanding of BPS by developing a dialog about the role of BPS. They did an outstanding job of creating this dialog in the charged environment of pharmacy’s implementation of the PharmD as the single-entry degree for the profession. The input and direction received through this dialog was used to develop a blueprint for the future of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties.
Dick Gourley went on to become Chair of the BPS Board of Directors from 1995-1997. Pete Vlasses was Chair from 1998-1999. Dr. Gourley was also the first pharmacy school dean (at University of Tennessee) to require faculty to have BPS certification.
John Gans, former Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Pharmacists Association stated: “This recognition of Dr. Gourley and Dr. Vlasses for their important contributions to the history and development of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties is certainly well-deserved. I am very pleased that the BPS Board of Directors has chosen them for receipt of this prestigious award.”
The presentation of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties Weaver/Penna Award to Dr. Dick Gourley and Dr. Peter Vlasses will be made at the Spring meeting of the BPS Board of Directors in Cary, North Carolina.
About the Warren E. Weaver/Richard P. Penna Award
BPS announced the establishment of the Warren E. Weaver/Richard P. Penna Award as part of the BPS 40th Anniversary celebration. The award recipient must be an individual or organization who has advanced health quality and/or patient care by promoting the recognition and value of specialized training, knowledge, and skills in pharmacy and the BPS board certification of pharmacists.
The award will be conferred at a meeting or venue deemed appropriate by the BPS Board of Directors based upon the affiliation of the award recipient. The award will bear the images of Warren Weaver and Richard Penna and the BPS logo inscribed with the recipient’s name and date of presentation. In addition, the BPS offices will display a perpetual plaque recognizing previous award recipients.
The award honors Warren E. Weaver who was the first Chair of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. Weaver was a founding trustee of the Virginia Pharmacists Association Foundation and, on the national level, he served as 1968-69 president of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).
In 1973, Weaver was appointed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) to the Taskforce on Specialties in Pharmacy, which led to the establishment of the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties—now the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). Weaver went on to serve BPS from 1975 to 1981 and was elected the first chairman, serving in that role from 1976 to 1979. Weaver passed away in July 2014 at the age of 93.
The award also honors Richard (Dick) P. Penna who joined the staff at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) in 1966. Among his many professional accomplishments, he was a co-developer of APhA’s Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs and was an advocate for pharmacist patient counseling and clinical activities. Penna served as the APhA staff member assigned to the Taskforce on Specialties in Pharmacy in 1973, and he went on to assume responsibility as the first secretary/executive director of BPS in 1975.
In 1985, Penna joined the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy as associate executive director and was named executive vice president and chief executive officer in 1995. The prestigious APhA Remington Honor Medal was presented to Penna in 2002, recognizing his distinguished service to the profession of pharmacy. Penna passed away in August 2011 at the age of 75.
About the Board of Pharmacy Specialties
The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) was established in 1976 as an autonomous division of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). The mission of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties is to improve patient care and increase awareness of the need for BPS Board Certified Pharmacists as integral members of multidisciplinary healthcare teams through recognition and promotion of specialized training, knowledge, and skills in pharmacy and specialty board certification and recertification of pharmacists throughout the world.
Board Certification through BPS has become recognized as the gold standard for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced practice levels as a result of the rigorous standards mandated by BPS board certification and recertification. Today over 41,000 pharmacists worldwide hold BPS certification.
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