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CONTACT: Valerie Briggs
Director of External Communications
Direct: (703) 838-2686


NEW ORLEANS, LA (Oct. 19, 2009) – The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) announced the top student chapter and outstanding student chapter members at the 111th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition. The 2009 NCPA Student Chapter of the Year is the University of Arkansas. The first runner-up is the University of Southern California. The second runner-up is Ohio Northern University. The 2009 NCPA Most Improved Chapter winner is Wilkes University, Nesbitt College of Pharmacy. In addition, 33 pharmacy students were honored as NCPA Outstanding Student Chapter Members of the Year after being nominated by their peers and faculty at each of their respective schools.

"If independent community pharmacies are going to flourish in the challenging health care marketplace, it will be because of pharmacy students who gravitate towards working in a patient-focused environment and going into ownership," said Sharlea Leatherwood, RPh, NCPA Foundation president. "The University of Arkansas, the University of Southern California, Ohio Northern University and Wilkes University, Nesbitt College of Pharmacy deserve recognition. Each school clearly distinguished itself and ably embraced independent community pharmacy though impressive activities and participation levels."

NCPA commended all chapters for their hard work. The award criteria included commitment to community service, creating new members, promoting independent community pharmacy, and advocating legislative action. The selection process was very difficult with so many chapters distinguishing themselves.

The chapters are the most integral part of the NCPA Student Outreach Program that was launched 20 years ago by NCPA Foundation Trustee Joe Mosso, who was president of the National Association of Retail Druggists (NARD, which became known as NCPA in 1996). The Foundation has provided nearly $800,000 to help underwrite the program, which is designed to increase student awareness of pharmacy ownership and the entrepreneurial opportunities in pharmacy. There are now over 4,000 student members and 80 Chapters in 109 U.S. pharmacy schools. A few of the most effective and popular programs the chapters encourage members to participate in are the NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, NCPA Ownership Workshops and the NCPA Effective Pharmacy Management Course. Setting up mentorships and rotations with independent community pharmacies is also commonplace.

"Each NCPA Student Chapter Member of the Year winner is determined by the people who know them best—their fellow students and the faculty," said Holly Whitcomb Henry, RPh, NCPA President and Seattle, Washington pharmacy owner. "While that criteria is unique, what makes these students really stand out is their involvement with independent community pharmacy activities and the encouragement they give to others to get involved in this more patient-friendly and entrepreneurial side of pharmacy."

NCPA Student Chapter Outstanding Member of the Year Awards:

Brittany Provence Drake University School of Pharmacy
Chad M. Fagan Ferris State University School of Pharmacy
Christopher Alvarado University of the Incarnate Word Fiek School of Pharmacy
Laurence M. Namdar LECOM School of Pharmacy
Shannielle Danner Massachusetts College of Pharmacy /Worcester Campus
Kathleen A. Dau Massachusetts College of Pharmacy/Boston, MA
Hillary Volsteadt Mercer University College of Pharmacy
Stephanie Liou Midwestern University-Glendale School of Pharmacy
Richard Boyd Ohio Northern University School of Pharmacy
Adrayana Phillips Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy
Michelle Chesnut Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Jason Rivera Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Jason Wang St. Louis College of Pharmacy
Brenda Ojeda Texas Tech University School Pharmacy
Jason Hemminger The Ohio State University School of Pharmacy
Emily Delkhah The University of Southern California School of Pharmacy
Joshua Speck Touro University College of Pharmacy -California
Kristen Gawronski University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy
Gene Nicholas Anderson University of Appalachia College of Pharmacy
Kenna Cassat University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy-Charles M. West
Emily Calovich University of Colorado at Denver
Abraham Duncan University of Georgia School of Pharmacy
Melissa Rufenacht University of Kansas School of Pharmacy
Scott Halvorson University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Pharmacy
Regina Scott University of New Mexico School of Pharmacy
Jennifer Evans University of Southern Nevada –South Jordan (Utah)
Whitney Brace University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy
Megan Jolley Milne University of Utah School of Pharmacy
Lauren Michelle Marston Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy
Manpreet Chahal Washington State University School of Pharmacy
Stephanie Field West Virginia University School of Pharmacy
Jennifer Vuu Western University of Health Sciences
Joelle Babatsky Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1953 to honor former NARD Executive Secretary John W. Dargavel. Contributions to the NCPA Foundation are tax-deductible as charitable donations to the extent permitted under federal tax law. The NCPA Foundation supports the growth and advancement of independent community pharmacy through low-interest educational loans and scholarships to pharmacy students, critical research and programs to improve the success of independent pharmacy, community service programs, and financial assistance to community pharmacy owners for their recovery in the event of disaster, accidents, illness, or adverse circumstances. For more information or to make a donation, visit

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains represent an $84 billion marketplace, employ over 300,000 employees and dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines. To learn more go to


Valerie Briggs
Director, External Communications and Marketing Outreach
National Community Pharmacists Association
100 Daingerfield Road
Alexandria, VA 22314