The California Pharmacists Association recognizes the following 2020 award recipients for outstanding contributions to the profession of pharmacy. The individuals and chapters celebrated here are well known for their lifelong support, innovative contributions, leadership, and mentorship to the profession and the community.
CPhA Pharmacist of the Year
This award recognizes a CPhA member pharmacist for outstanding activities in the profession of pharmacy. Recipients of this award have demonstrated leadership at multiple levels of pharmacy. They are energetic leaders who have stimulated others to actively participate in the profession, advocacy, and community affairs related to the practice of pharmacy.
Almost 20 years ago, Dr. Michael Negrete realized that many of the chronic stressors from his community-based pharmacy practice were negatively influencing who he was being as a pharmacist, and as a person. That realization led to the work in which Michael has been engaged for the last two decades: helping others discover and bring their “whole selves” to their personal and professional lives.
Dr. Negrete is a Director of the national Pharmacy Leadership Education Institute (PLEI) and has collaborated with many friends and colleagues to bring this work to pharmacy organizations across the US, especially in California where for almost a decade he has co-led CPhA’s annual Leader Development Weekend and CPhA’s 9-month-long Leader Development Institute. It was in large part due to this work that Michael was recognized as CPhA’s 2020 Pharmacist of the Year.
In these programs, Dr. Negrete advocates for a “whole person approach” to leadership, where leaders see their teammates, not as bodies to be managed, but as whole people with minds, hearts and spirits that should be understood and engaged in the pursuit of shared goals. Michael believes it is through this type of holistic engagement that leaders enable a group’s true potential to be unleashed.
Howard Thurman, the great author, educator and civil rights leader once said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Inspired by this quote, Michael developed a dream for pharmacy to be a profession full of individuals who have truly come alive. Individuals who understand and engage their whole selves (values, interests, strengths and needs) in their work, and encourage others to do the same. Just imagine what a profession full of such enlivened and wholly engaged individuals could accomplish!
CPhA Excellence in Innovation
This award recognizes a CPhA member pharmacist that is directly involved in a project or practice of pharmacy that has significantly improved patient care, had a significant impact on the profession of pharmacy, added to the scope of pharmacy practice, created a new type of pharmacy specialty, introduced a concept that has altered the view of the pharmacist, or invented a new chemical composition, method of delivery, raw material or machinery related to the field of Pharmacy.
Nathan Painter is a Clinical Professor and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist at UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. He manages a pharmacist-run clinic at UCSD Family Medicine Clinics. He has expertise in managing patients with various chronic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, anticoagulation, and pharmacogenomics. He teaches in many of the certification courses for CPhA and has partnered with the California Board of Pharmacy to train pharmacists on furnishing naloxone throughout the state. Dr. Painter completed a nationally recognized pharmacogenomics certificate program and has spoken on pharmacogenomics and how to incorporate into clinic practice.
Bowl of Hygeia
This award recognizes a pharmacist for outstanding and continuing activity in the community outside of the profession. Recipients of this award have demonstrated how pharmacists can elevate themselves and their profession in the eyes of the public through participation in community civic programs or participation in government activities at the local or state level.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Bob attended UC Berkeley prior to Pharmacy School at Washington State University, graduating in 1966, at which time he received the Rexall Award for contributions to Pharmacy School activities.
After 10 years in various community pharmacies, he worked at St Luke’s Hospital for 11 years, eventually becoming the Pharmacy Director. He spent 29 years at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, first as Director of Pharmacy and completing his tenure as a staff pharmacist. As Director, he started the Clinical Pharmacist program at PAMF, which now numbers seven positions.
He was a charter member of the Pharmacists Society of San Francisco and a member of both the San Mateo County and Peninsula Pharmacists Associations. He was instrumental in creating and revising the Bi-Laws of all 3 organizations and was given the “Pharmacist of the Year” award from both PSSF and SMCPhA. He served twice as Trustee of CPhA, as well as a member and President of CalPhPAC. He was an Adjunct Clinical Professor for extern rotations for both UOP and UCSF. He also served as a member of the 4th District Medical Quality Review committee for the Medical Board of California. Bob has made presentations before the California Legislature, Board of Pharmacy, Medical Groups and several senior organizations. He has been active in promoting expanded roles for pharmacists.
Bob, along with his wife Debbie, received the Menlo Park School District “PTA Volunteer Award” after they served as After School Sports Coordinators for three years. He also coached Little League baseball, AYSO soccer and basketball for ten years, culminating by serving as Regional commissioner for AYSO and Chairman of the Board for the Alpine Little League.
He has been married to Debbie for 51 years and they have a daughter, Tracy, and a son, Carl. After spending his entire life residing in the San Francisco Bay area, he recently relocated to Bend, Oregon, to be closer to family.
CPhA New Practitioner of the Year
This award recognizes the outstanding new practitioner who has demonstrated leadership at multiple levels of pharmacy. Recipients of this award are energetic leaders who have stimulated others to actively participate in the profession, advocacy, and/or community affairs related to the practice of pharmacy.
Dr. Jennifer Courtney has worked as a pharmacy professional for over 20 years. She graduated from Calfornia Northstate University College of Pharmacy with her Doctorate of Pharmacy in 2015. She now works at her alma mater as an Assistant Professor in the Clinical and Administrative Sciences Department and works as an Independent Pharmacist. She has served our organization, and the pharmacy profession, in many ways including numerous positions on the Sacramento Valley Pharmacists Association Board of Directors, a Leader Coordinator in our CPhA Leadership Development Institute, and continues to serve on many CPhA committees and as a delegate in the House of Delegates. Additionally, she serves as the CPhA/APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists’ advisor and as a preceptor for IPPE and APPE student pharmacists. She loves teaching future pharmacy professionals about the pharmacy field and the different opportunities that they have in our profession.
Dr. Courtney enjoys giving back to and being an advocate for the pharmacy profession. She believes that all pharmacists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians should have the opportunity, tools, and training to practice at the top of their license. She works with the California Board of Pharmacy and other organizations to train pharmacists to furnish naloxone to their patients without a physician’s prescription. Additionally, she has incorporated naloxone and hormonal contraception training into the university curriculum so that when her students become practitioners, they will be ready to furnish these products to their patients.
Dr. Courtney is very active in her profession and the community. She is heavily involved in health education and outreach events. She volunteers her time to opioid abuse conferences, immunization clinics, and local health screening and education fairs where she precepts student pharmacists. She tries to be a professional connector for not only student pharmacists but also to other pharmacists who want to get re-involved and give back to their profession. She teaches them to look for possibilities in any situation and that every learning experience is an opportunity to grow.
CPhA Student Pharmacist of the Year
This award recognizes a student pharmacist who is active in their student chapter, active in their local CPhA chapter, and demonstrate a willingness to become involved in the future of the profession as evidenced by involvement in CPhA professional activities. Recipients of this award are involved in community projects, attending CPhA educational events or other programs designed to bring credit and public acceptance to the profession. Recipients are involved in advancing their schools academically and professionally.
Eric Dobberpuhl, a final year student pharmacist from Chapman University School of Pharmacy (CUSP), started his pharmacy journey by becoming a member of the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) and American Pharmacist Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) as a pre-pharmacy student. Instantly, Eric got involved in leadership by serving as Undergraduate Liaison on the Founding APhA-ASP/CPhA Executive Board at CUSP. After a year of service to his local community, Eric campaigned and was elected as an APhA-ASP Regional Officer. In this position, Eric collaborated and communicated with 20 colleges of pharmacy across six states in the West. After a year of service at the regional level, Eric campaigned and was elected to the APhA-ASP National Executive Committee. In this role, Eric was on a team of five student pharmacists that represented 32,000 student pharmacist members across the country. This position allowed Eric to represent California while providing incredible experiences in leadership, management, and communication. One of Eric’s favorite memories during his term was delivering the keynote presentation at the 2019 APhA-ASP Midyear Regional Meeting.
Additionally, Eric was a local leader in Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society, Rho Chi Honor Society, and Phi Delta Chi Pharmacy Fraternity. Eric also enjoyed being on a team that conducted research on the Safety, Handling, and Disposal of Oral Anticancer Chemotherapy. Eric helped present the team’s research to the California Board of Pharmacy, who were inspired to adopt a policy statement encouraging pharmacists to affix a warning symbol to prescription labels for oral chemotherapy medications. Eric also served his community by working as an Intern Pharmacist at Rite Aid Pharmacy in Corona Del Mar.
Getting involved in pharmacy organizations allowed Eric to develop his professional and leadership skills, which he then used to lead, inspire, and serve others. Eric attributes his success to the skills he learned at the CPhA Leadership Development Weekend, which he has attended twice. Eric states that after completing the Fundamentals Track and Coaching Track, he felt that he was equipped to take on any challenge by understanding how to maximize his strengths and leading from behind to empower others.
CPhA Technician of the Year
This award recognizes a CPhA member Pharmacy Technician for outstanding activities in the profession of pharmacy. Recipients of this award demonstrate exceptional capabilities, raising the standard of excellence within practice.
Paul Sabatini has 30 years of pharmacy experience in the practice settings of; adult education, community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, pharmacy benefit management, transition of care analytics and publishing as well as, being a former private business owner.
Mr. Sabatini received his Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management in 2012, and, his Masters of Arts degree in Adult Education and Training in 2014. He also holds a certificate in Lean Six Sigma for Healthcare.
During the course of the past 12 years, Mr. Sabatini has taken on numerous leadership roles within both of California’s professional pharmacy organizations, such as:
- 2018-2019 Chairperson, CPhA SIG for Pharmacy Technicians,
- 2019 Chairperson, Pharmacy Technician Executive Leadership with CSHP,
- 2009 to 2012 Chairperson, Technician Division Executive Committee with CSHP,
- 10 years as the CSHP, Seminar Continuing Pharmacy Education Committee Pharmacy Technician Representative
- A Pharmacy Technician Delegate in both houses of CPhA & CSHP.
At the local affiliate chapters of both organizations, Mr. Sabatini has served as the Sacramento Valley Pharmacy Technician Liaison for CSHP, as well as the Chairperson for the CSHP Sacramento Valley Rib Fest Fundraising Event. He has also attended many Sacramento Valley CPhA meetings when his schedule permits. On the legislative front, Mr. Sabatini was and is a strong proponent and supporter of SB 496, SB 716 and SB 159 along with testifying to the Board of Pharmacy in support of changing the education requirements and tasks for California’s Pharmacy Technicians.
During the 15 years as a professor of Pharmacy Technology, he was deeply involved with making the profession a welcoming place for new and bright Pharmacy Technicians. Mr. Sabatini’s teachings enabled new trainees to enter into the healthcare field with the hopes of them being optimally equipped with patient safety always in their minds.
Whether he is helping Pharmacy Technician Trainees, Pharmacy Students or professional colleagues both Pharmacists & Pharmacy Technicians alike, the work he willingly takes on and pursues to help make our profession visible in a positive manner, is what he loves to do through the means of providing education and time for all.
Steven C. Feldman Compounding Award
This award recognizes an individual who is a leader in California pharmacy by virtue of his or her activities to advance the practice of compounding. Recipients of this award have made significant contributions in compounding.
Erin Michael, MBA, MS, CPhT, is a Certified Pharmacy Technician working in the compounding pharmacy space. Erin has been working in pharmacy for more than 25 years, 23 of which have been in compounding. She started her compounding career in Eureka, CA at an independent pharmacy where she was the Lead Compounder and the General Manager of multiple locations. Erin was instrumental in developing and implementing programs to promote and grow the compounding and traditional parts of that business. She joined PCCA in July 2006.
During her tenure at PCCA, she has served as a Territory Manager, Member Development Specialist, CPMS Marketing Consultant, and currently holds the position of Director of Outside Sales. Her passion for compounding has led her to state capitol and to DC when she regularly advocates for the profession and shares how compounding helps patients. She travels the country teaching, speaking and supporting a team of 14 who helps compounders perfect and grow their compounding practice. She currently serves on numerous committees within CPhA, is President of the Pharmacy Compounding Foundation Board and a Board of Director on the Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding. She received her MBA from American Intercontinental University in 2007 and her MS from the University of Alabama in 2017. She has been recognized as PCCA Technician of the Month in August 1999 and California Pharmacists Association Technician of the Year in 2003.
California Pharmacy Hall of Fame
Dr. Besinque is a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and the Director of Experiential Education at the Chapman University School of Pharmacy. After completion of her undergraduate degree, she completed her PharmD at the University of Southern California. After receiving her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, she completed a PGY1 post-graduate residency with the Veterans Affairs and USC School of Pharmacy in Ambulatory Care.
After completing her residency, she began teaching at the USC School of Pharmacy. While at USC, she held various positions including: as coordinator the clinical therapeutics courses, preceptor for acute care and for psychiatry, Director of Professional Experience Program, and Assistant Dean for Curriculum and Assessment. She served on numerous committees including the curriculum committee, residency council, scholarship standards committee, executive committee, non-tenure track committee of the academic senate and the interprofessional education committee. She also provided clinical pharmacy services at Kenneth Norris Cancer Hospital, LAC-USC County Medical Center and the USC University Medical Center (now Keck). While teaching at USC she completed a graduate program in higher and post-secondary education at USC Division of Medical Education. In addition to teaching within the School of Pharmacy, she taught courses in the Academic Medicine graduate program for the Keck School of Medicine. In 2016, Dr. Besinque was appointed as Professor and Chair of Experiential Education at Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy where she was involved in curriculum design, assessment and interprofessional activities.
Previously, Dr. Besinque served as the President of CPhA, on the Board of Directors for ARHP, Chair of the House of Delegates and member of the BOD for CSHP, President of SCCP and as a CPhA Trustee.
Dr. Besinque has presented papers at numerous pharmacy and educational conferences around the world. She lectures and writes extensively on the topic of contraception, emergency contraception, faculty development and preceptor training, and women’s healthcare programs. She is also a reviewer for several journals on the topics of pharmacy/medical education and women’s health.
Douglas Hillblom, PharmD, is President and Founder of Arena Health, LLC, a Healthcare consulting practice he establish in March of 2016 where he has served as an expert witness, policy consultant and market access issues. Dr. Hillblom has an extensive background in pharmacy policy issues, drug contracting, and payment policies having experience as Vice President of Professional Practice and Pharmacy Policy for OptumRx where he had been engaged in the professional practice and pharmacy policy area since 2007. Prior to joining OptumRx his experiences included working for the California Department of Corrections, Department of Health Service in the Medi-Cal division for over a decade, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in pharmaceutical contracting and strategic purchasing, and as a consultant for the California Department of Justice. He has served as an expert witness on behalf of the State of California, in areas such as drug pricing litigation and Medicaid fraud. Dr. Hillblom has been a contributing author on numerous pharmacy related issues including drug pricing, payment policy drug toxicity and electronic health records. He also has spent several years working on pharmacy professional practice issues with the California Pharmacist Association and has served in several capacities including as a member of the Board of Trustees and as President.
Dr. Fred Weissman received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy in 1963, and his law degree from Loyola Law School in 1989. Dr. Weissman’s pharmacy experiences have been varied. He has practiced as a community pharmacist, hospital pharmacist, Director of Pharmacy Services for a 550-bed facility at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Long Beach, and as a military clinic pharmacist while in the Army during the Viet Nam war. His true enthusiasm has been pharmacy education. In January 1998, he was appointed Associate Dean for Faculty/Student Affairs and Admissions at the U.S.C. School of Pharmacy and served in that capacity until June 2016. He presently maintains a faculty appointment of Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy.
Dr. Weissman was among the first to work with a team of four other professors in the early 1970s to develop and implement the beginning stages of clinical pharmacy education. During his teaching career, he has taught a number of both classroom and experiential courses, and for the last 25 years, he has coordinated the Pharmacy Law course. Since 1992, he has provided pharmacy law board review sessions for students at other Schools of Pharmacy and major pharmacy corporations that have included Western, Loma Linda, UOP, West Coast Univ., Washington State, Ketchum, CVS, and Walgreens). He has authored two textbooks (A Guide To California Community Pharmacy Law in its 9th Ed.; Pharmacy Practice And Tort Law, and is presently working on a third text to be published later this year, entitled California Hospital Pharmacy Law). He has also authored numerous journal articles on pharmacy law, and is a member of the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Contemporary Pharmacy Practice.
Shortly to retire from education (and he greatly disfavors the word “retire”), Dr. Weissman has been trained and certified to serve as a court mediator and has transitioned to this new role doing mediation work involving 3 courts: the Juvenile Dependency Court in Monterey Park, the Van Nuys and the Chatsworth Superior Courts involving small claims and unlawful detainer cases.
Dr. Weissman has been honored by his students by being chosen one of the outstanding teachers of the year four times during the last 17 years. He was also honored in 2003 as the USC Pharmacy School Alumnus of the year. He was recently honored to serve as this year’s commencement speaker at the graduation ceremony at West Coast University.
CPhA Chapters of Excellence
Central Valley Pharmacists Association
Orange County Pharmacists Association
Peninsula Pharmacists Association
Sacramento Valley Pharmacists Association
San Diego County Pharmacists Association
Pharmacists’ Professional Society of the San Fernando Valley
San Gabriel Valley Pharmacists Association
San Joaquin Pharmacists Association
CPhA-ASP Chapters of Excellence
California Health Sciences University
California Northstate University
Loma Linda University
Marshall B. Ketchum University
University of the Pacific
University of California, San Francisco
University of Southern California
West Coast University
Western University of Health Sciences
CPhA- ASP Innovative Chapter of the Year
This award recognizes California’s most innovative CPhA-Academy of Student Pharmacist (ASP) chapter embodying CPhA’s core values of visionary leadership, innovation, diversity of thought and opportunity, and entrepreneurship.
If you have any questions regarding the CPhA Awards Program, you may reach the CPhA Awards administration staff at email@example.com or (916) 600-6495.