CPhA Awards 2021

The California Pharmacists Association recognizes the following 2021 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

Michael Pavlovich

Michael Pavlovich, PharmD

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.

Dr. Pavlovich operates Westcliff Compounding Pharmacy in Newport Beach, CA. He was CPhA President in 2000 and APhA Trustee from 2008-2014. He is a 1989 graduate, cum laude of the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy. He is Adjunct Clinical Professor for numerous schools of pharmacy across the country, training student pharmacists in sterile and non-sterile compounding techniques.

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He is holder of two patents pending for dosage forms used in the management of opiate and alcohol addiction. Mike is one of only two pharmacists ever named to serve as the US Olympic Committee’s Team Pharmacist, serving during the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing in 2008. He has addressed professional healthcare organizations nationwide on a variety of pharmacy-related topics and has advised clients from the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL and NCAA for over 20 years. He represented APhA on a joint task force with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association charged with creating guidelines for managing medication in the athletic medical facility and contributed to NATA’s “Position Statement: Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids”. He has practiced in long-term care, hospice, mail-service, compounding, and community pharmacy.

Mike has been interviewed on local and national television to address various pharmacy-related topics and has served as technical advisor for several public service announcements on opiate abuse.
Mike has chaired the APhA Policy Committee, and the APhA House of Delegates Nominating Committee and has served numerous committees of APhA and CPhA. He has been recognized by APhA-APPM as Fellow (2014), and for Distinguished Achievement Award in Specialized Pharmacy Practice (2012), and by CPhA as Student of the Year (1989), and Distinguished Young Pharmacist (1995).

Mike is married to Lisa and is father to Nicole, Aaron, and Ty.

CPhA Excellence in Innovation

Danielle Colayco

Danielle Colayco, PharmD, MS

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.

Danielle Colayco, PharmD, MS (she/her) is the Executive Director of the Komoto Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes health equity and access to healthcare services in partnership with under-resourced communities through assistance programs, education, and community-based research. She also serves as Director of Health Outcomes for Komoto Healthcare, an independently owned group of outpatient pharmacy companies, where she oversees preventive healthcare services and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

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Dr. Colayco believes that everyone deserves a fair opportunity to live well, no matter who they are or how much they earn. She earned her PharmD and MS in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy from the University of Southern California (USC).

Dr. Colayco volunteers her time as Chair of the Social Impact Subcommittee on the Board of Councilors to the Dean of the USC School of Pharmacy, a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council at USC, and a member of the Quality Improvement and Utilization Management Committee for Kern Health Systems, a managed Medicaid health plan.

In her free time, Dr. Colayco enjoys practicing yoga and hanging out at the beach with her family.


Bowl of Hygeia

Katherine Bass

Katherine E. Bass, PharmD

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.

Katie was first exposed to pharmacy through her father, Mike Bass a long-time retail pharmacist, who opened his own pharmacy, San Joaquin Drug in 2000. Katie attended CSU Chico where she earned her BS in biology with a minor in chemistry. She then attended UH Hilo for her Pharmacy Doctorate. Katie stepped up to the helm at San Joaquin Drug and adjusted the course of the business toward growth. She expanded the drugstore that her father founded on prescriptions and over-the-counter sales to become a full-service pharmacy offering enhanced patient services. Soon, Katie extended her enhanced pharmacy services to a second location and Yosemite Drug was founded. When COVID struck, Katie’s pharmacies were the first to offer testing in the area and vaccinations soon followed with clinics almost every week

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Katie goes far beyond expectations to help her patients in any way she can. She goes personally to the schools to perform COVID tests, volunteers to vaccinate at free clinics and goes to patients’ homes to test or vaccinate. Katie is a mentor to students from local high schools and universities. In addition, the pharmacy supports local organizations and schools, sports teams, and events every year for the community.

Katie is an active advocate for independent pharmacies throughout California. She is well known to our local elected officials for her advocacy and community support. She currently serves as the chair for the Special Interest Group of Pharmacy Owners in CPhA. She is a member of Phi Delta Chi, NCPA, CPESN, CPhA, CPAG, Coarsegold Chamber of Commerce, Oakhurst Chamber of Commerce, Merced Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and a graduate of the Leadership Development Institute.

Katie lives and breathes pharmacy practice. She has successfully established and led two community pharmacies through the COVID-19 pandemic. She has integrated her pharmacies into the communities they serve and actively supports those communities with her time, her skills, and her money. She believes that rural communities, otherwise underserved, depend most on their local community pharmacists to bridge their healthcare gaps. Katie has expanded her assets, her skills, and her services to meet those needs.

Katie resides in Fresno, CA with her husband, Jeff Meyer, and their son Aulin. They are expecting their first daughter in August 2021.


CPhA New Practitioner of the Year

Patrick Tabon

Patrick K. Tabon, PharmD, APh, BCPS, BCGP, BCACP

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. Patrick Tabon is currently an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy. He has a diverse background in pharmacy practice and has worked in various settings developing clinical services for older adults and patients during transitions of care. Dr. Tabon is a graduate from the Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Upon graduation, he completed his PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, WA. He is board certified in Pharmacotherapy, Geriatrics, and Ambulatory Care through the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties. Dr. Tabon is also a current Master of Public Health Candidate at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. He hopes to expand on his pharmacy knowledge with his MPH to impact underserved communities in the Southern California area.

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Dr. Tabon has clinical pharmacy experience in a variety of settings including community, acute care, and managed care practice settings. He previously worked as a heart failure disease manager and with geriatric patients in Orange County. He has experience in specialty medication reviews, population health analytics, and pharmacy leadership. He currently works with the USC Medical Plaza Pharmacy and Keck Hospital of USC in creating improved discharge services for patients in the community practice setting. He also works on an interprofessional geriatric team with Eisner Health in Downtown Los Angeles caring for older adults in underserved communities. On top of teaching at the USC School of Pharmacy, he serves as faculty educating students in the USC physical therapy, dentistry, occupational therapy, and physical assistant programs about the valuable role pharmacists play on the healthcare team.

Dr. Tabon was a past recipient of the OptumCare National Superhero Award for his work in developing new models of care utilizing technology and pharmacist-based services. His idea to incorporate pharmacists into primary care clinics utilizing telehealth technologies won the Optum Clinical Innovations Award in 2016. He was also awarded the USC School of Pharmacy Professor and Preceptor of the Year by the student pharmacists in the Class of 2020, 2021, and 2022 this past year.

Dr. Tabon believes in helping others find success in their own lives. He has mentored hundreds of students and residents over his career in California, Washington, and Oregon. He continues to support the profession behind the scenes by helping colleagues find their internal compass to get through dips in their professional and personal lives. He hopes that his actions will inspire others to pay it forward for future generations.


CPhA Student Pharmacist of the Year

Van Cathy Pham

Van Cathy Pham
Marshall B. Ketchum University School of Pharmacy, Class of 2022

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.

Van Cathy Pham, is a third-year student pharmacist from Marshall B. Ketchum University College of Pharmacy (MBKU). At the start of her pharmacy journey, she became a member of the California Pharmacist Association and American Pharmacists Association- Academy of Student Pharmacists (CPhA-ASP and APhA-ASP). Venturing beyond the school chapter, Cathy was involved with the Orange County Pharmacists Association (OCPhA) Mentee and Mentor program. The overwhelming positive experience she had with OCPhA, motivated her to volunteer in social events where she eventually took on the task of creating member focused events and became Chair for OCPhA Social Committee. During the pandemic, Cathy was able to successfully integrate different online platforms to host a virtual event that allowed for continued networking experiences for all OCPhA members.

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Cathy’s continuous challenge to work in leadership roles at school and outside organizations led her to become elected as President of CPhA- ASP MBKU chapter by the end of her first year in pharmacy school. Some ways in which Cathy has contributed to her community was by uniting with MBKU organizing College of Pharmacy to create an inter-professional volunteer opportunity to distribute COVID vaccines. One of Cathy’s favorite memories is working alongside faculty, physician assistant students, and student pharmacists to deliver vaccination clinics throughout Orange County. While managing her various roles, in her free time, Cathy also serves her community by working as an Intern Pharmacist at Albertsons Sav-On in Huntington Beach.

Getting involved with the pharmacy organization allowed Cathy to develop her leadership and interpersonal skills, which she leveraged to inspire and lead others to help within their community. Her success is attributed to her involvement with the school CPhA chapter and local CPhA chapter. Cathy intends to utilize the valuable skills of leadership, communication, and professionalism, learned from these experiences to ultimately empower others.


California Friend of Pharmacy

Vince Fong

Assemblymember Vince Fong

This award recognizes any individual who has shown outstanding devotion and service to the profession of pharmacy in California. The nominee should have contributed to, supported, and/or advanced the profession of pharmacy; and should have participated in professional, educational, political and/or community affairs related to pharmacy practice.

In 2016, Vince Fong was elected to represent the 34th Assembly District, which encompasses most of Kern County.

Vince serves on the following Assembly committees: Budget Committee (Vice Chair), Transportation Committee (Vice Chair), Appropriations Committee, and Business and Professions Committee.

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Vince began his career with Congressman Bill Thomas, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, working on international trade policy. He then returned home to serve the residents of Kern County.

For nearly a decade, Vince served as district director to House Leader and Congressman Kevin McCarthy, until Vince was elected to the State Assembly in 2016.

Vince is a lifelong resident of Kern County. He earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and masters from Princeton University. He serves on the boards of the Jim Burke Education Foundation and Honor Flight Kern County where he works to send WWII, Korean War and Vietnam Veterans to Washington, DC to see their memorials.

Steven C. Feldman Compounding Award

Rick Rhoads

Rick Rhoads, PharmD

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.

Rick Rhoads is the Director of Compounding at University Compounding Pharmacy, where he has been employed for the last 14 years. He has extensive experience in sterile and non-sterile compounding, as well as training in Aseptic GMP. Rick is passionate about promoting and improving the compounding profession through education. He is a frequent speaker and has published compounding articles in IJPC and AJHP. Rick is a member of the USP Compounding Expert Committee (2020-2025 cycle) and the Chair-Elect of the CPhA Compounding Special Interest Group. When he is not working in the pharmacy, Rick enjoys fishing near his home in San Diego.

California Pharmacy Hall of Fame

The California Pharmacy Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who are, or have been, an inspiration to the practice of pharmacy in California, as exemplified by, but not limited to, the following: a long and distinguished history of service, achievement in several arenas, character, innovation, trend setting and altruism. Any individual who has been an inspiration to the practice of pharmacy in California is eligible for the Hall of Fame.

Colleen Carter

Colleen R. Carter, PharmD, FCPhA

Colleen Carter received her PharmD degree from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy. She was an active member of SAPhA.

After graduation, she became a member of the Pacific Pharmacy Associates (PPA) which later became the Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association (PPAA).

She has been awarded an Alumni Fellowship and Alumnus of the year by the University.

Dr. Carter has served on many committees for CPhA, some more than once. She has served as Vice Speaker and Speaker of the House of Delegates, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees. She has also served on the CPhA House of Delegates since 1981 and the APhA House of Delegates, as a delegate for CPhA, for many terms. Colleen has also been active in her local associations, holding many offices, including President.

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Dr. Carter spent 33 years with Longs Drug Stores, Inc. as staff pharmacist, pharmacy manager and trainer for pharmacy technicians and new pharmacy managers. She was also involved in store acquisitions in Las Vegas and Beverly Hills and helped with many store openings. Longs awarded her with the Pharmacy Manager of the Year. She also worked for Walgreens and UC Santa Barbara Student Health Pharmacy.

In her spare time, Colleen returned to the track. She officiated in high school, NCAA, national and international competitions, including 4 Olympic Trials and 2 Olympic Games. She was the first woman name honorary referee of the Santa Barbara Easter Relays. She also received the honor of Official of the Year from USATF Southern California, Santa Barbara region.

Colleen is a member of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and Lambda Kappa Sigma Pharmacy Fraternity.


Steve Gray

Steve W. Gray, PharmD, JD

Steve’s 40+ year professional year passion is to serve patients and their communities by Expanding and Enriching the Scope of Practice for pharmacists.

His career focuses on Government and Professional Affairs. He had responsibility for pharmacy law advocacy and compliance for a National managed care organization. He has played a key role in pharmacy law innovation and evolution for over 40 years. This included use of computers in pharmacy, establishing CDTM practice, Central Pharmacy innovation and SB 493 that substantially expanded pharmacists’ scope of practice, established the Advanced Pharmacist license (APh) and Provider Status for all California pharmacists.

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Steve has a PharmD from USC and a JD from Northrup University. He is a licensed California pharmacist and attorney. He has been very active in pharmacy legislative and regulatory affairs for over 40 years and a well know participant in Board of Pharmacy meetings.

He holds healthcare executive certifications from USC and UNC, Chapel Hill. Steve is an Instructor for Pharmacy Law and Ethics for the University of California San Diego. Steve has been a faculty member and guest lecturer for several other California Schools of Pharmacy. He was the featured speaker for KGI’s White Coat Ceremony. He has been an invited speaker for the Oregon, Florida and Texas pharmacy organizations

Steve is active in AMCP, APhA, and ASHP and a Past President of the American Society for Pharmacy Law (ASPL). He is a member and a Past President of both CPhA and CSHP for whom he has been a featured speaker and very active in their government relations.

In addition, he is a Past President of AMCP, the national organization of managed care pharmacists, for which he has been a presenter and a Keynote moderator at its national and international meetings.

Steve was honored by CSHP as its Pharmacist of the Year and a Lifetime Membership. He is the current President of the Institute for Pharmacy in the Public Interest (IPPI).

His 40+ year very innovative pharmacy experience includes the US Army, retail/community and hospital practice, traditional and cGMP compounding, pharmaceutical repackaging, wholesaling, residency program administration, drug benefit administration, and more.

Irv Sitkoff

Irwin L. Sitkoff, PharmD, RPh

I’m married with four grown children (the youngest is 61!) and twelve terrific grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. I grew up in Los Angeles and did my prepharmacy at LACC. I immediately enrolled in the first PharmD program at USC and graduated early in January 1954 the first PharmDs.

I received my working and managerial experience in several pharmacies, mainly the Ace and Roxy Rexall Drugs. Early on, I decided to become an independent pharmacist and operate my own pharmacy. In March of 1962, I was able to buy the Florence Owl Rexall Drugs in the community of Florence, and through luck and sweat turn it into the pharmacy I always dreamed of. We became a health center through certification in ostomy and wound therapy, diabetes, DME, basic orthopedics, wherever we could help, council, behavior modify and improve our patients. Over the years I configured the store to achieve these goals with bubble paks, private consultation and fitting room, patient teaching.

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I was greatly helped by my wife and Millie Kwan, RPh. They helped me through several major changes. At the same time, we helped improve the community from being a major force in the Florence-Firestone Chamber of Commerce to contributing time and energy in various community improvements from Model Cities, the “Enterprise Zone,” the “Empowerment Zone,” Sheriff’s bicycle patrol, B.I.D., Sr. Citizen Center, Adopt a School Programs, and Headstart.

At the same time I bought the store, I slowly became more involved with our state and national pharmacy organizations. North and Southern Ca. Pharmacy Association becoming CPhA., NACP, APhA, and ACA. They all had their place, especially CPhA. We were even the depot and developed a drug formulary for the Flying Samaritans helping take care of patients in several towns of Baja California. I was close to USC Pharmacy volunteering as an Adjunct Professor and Preceptor – mostly under Mel Baron.

During the Civil Unrest in 1992, my pharmacy was destroyed, but my Rx files were saved by a computer tape backup. We took care of our patients by shifting to filling and delivering Rx’s with the help of Harold Washington, Sr., PharmD at his Bevins Pharmacy expedited by Millie Kwan, RPh. I worked, planned and with much help was able to open a temporary location half a block away in 12 days well stocked and Ok’d by the DEA and accredited by the Board of Pharmacy. We always helped and pushed our personnel to achieve and go for their dreams.

A local student in the area came to work for me when he was 16, continued through the USC School of Pharmacy and bought my pharmacy when I was 70 in the year 2000. Helped out there for 6 years, worked part time at a few pharmacies, and Mel Baron was instrumental in asking me to help out and set up Eisner Pharmacy in the Eisner Ped. and Family clinic, now known as Eisner Health. It’s a wonderful place to work and I’ve been there 11 years part time except for the Covid Pandemic and am back working again for one of the best PICs and pharmacy administrators Nicole Alton, PharmD.

During the last 10 years, our local pharmacy association had some hard times. We were able to combine Santa Monica Bay, South Bay, Hollywood-Wilshire, and Central LA Pharmacy Associations into one strong one. Greater LA Pharmacists Association with the help of CPhA, and Jon Roth, Marshal Abdullah, Janice Cooper, Jerome Mo, Kathy Besinque, and especially our current president, Gail Orum, were instrumental in helping make GLAPhA strong.


Designated Fellows of CPhA

Being recognized as a fellow of CPhA is an honor. It signifies that you have made significant contributions to CPhA and to the profession of pharmacy that go far beyond regular pharmacy practice.

Fellows have demonstrated sustained contributions and excellence in pharmacy practice, professional leadership, teaching, professional advocacy and community engagement. FCPhA recognition serves as a highly visible way to promote public awareness of pharmacists who have distinguished themselves within CPhA and the profession.

Richard Dang, PharmD, APh, BCACP
Nathan Painter, PharmD, CDCES, FADCES
James Patrick Person
Sally Rafie, PharmD, BCPS, APh, NCMP, FCCP
Ken Thai, PharmD, APh

CPhA Chapters of Excellence

Central Valley Pharmacists Association
Orange County Pharmacists Association
Peninsula Pharmacists Association
Sacramento Valley Pharmacists Association
Pharmacists’ Professional Society of the San Fernando Valley

CPhA-ASP Chapters of Excellence

California Health Sciences University
California Northstate University
University of California, San Diego
University of California, San Francisco
University of Southern California
West Coast University
Western University of Health Sciences

CPhA- ASP Innovative Chapter of the Year

West Coast University

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.

We are proud to recognize the CPhA-ASP Chapter – West Coast University for continuing to find innovative ways to exemplify CPhA’s mission during a very challenging year. This chapter worked with a local radio station, KROJ 101.5 FM, to present talks about high blood pressure, high cholesterol, secondhand smoke and how it relates to asthma and lung disease, and managing diabetes, proper medication use, and lifestyle modifications. They reached more than 800 community members in the San Fernando Valley with each of these radio segments. The student pharmacists who presented gained valuable experience while also promoting the health and wellbeing of the community.

If you have any questions regarding the CPhA Awards Program, you may reach the CPhA Awards administration staff at eteal@cpha.com or (916) 600-6495.