The California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) recognizes the winners of its 2022 awards. The awardees were recognized as part of the Awards Ceremony on April 23, 2022 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, NV during Western Pharmacy Exchange 2022.
CPhA’s awards program has a long history of recognizing pharmacists, student pharmacists and technician members of CPhA who are contributing at a high level to CPhA and the profession. The CPhA Awards Committee, chaired by Elizabeth Johnson, PharmD, once again had difficult decisions to make in selecting recipients from a pool of highly-qualified individuals,
The 2022 award recipients are as follows:
Pharmacist of the Year
Ruth Arnold Smarinksy, PharmD (Camarillo, CA)
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.
Ruth Arnold Smarinsky, PharmD, is Senior Advisor for Direct Relief where she has been employed for the past 16 years. Prior to becoming Senior Adviser, she served as Director of Pharmacy and Clinical Affairs for the organization. She has actively been involved with growing the organization’s USA programs including disaster response and preparedness as well as ongoing support to safety net providers in the United States including a bulk patient assistance program and naloxone access. Direct Relief has grown to be the largest charitable organization for prescription drugs in the United States. In 2021, Direct Relief donated more than $56 million in funding and $1.654 billion (wholesale acquisition cost) of specifically requested product to 97 countries, all 50 states and 6 US territories. Prior to working at Direct Relief, she was Director of Pharmacy for Venice Family Clinic, the largest free clinic in the USA at the time and set up their pharmacy services including clinical pharmacy programs. Much of her career has been devoted to providing access to quality pharmaceutical care for underserved patients. She has served as volunteer faculty for the University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy (her alma mater), Western University School of Pharmacy, and USC School of Pharmacy. She completed her residency training at University of California, Irvine in Ambulatory Care and Hospital Pharmacy Administration.
Bowl of Hygeia
Maria Lopez, PharmD (San Francisco, CA)
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.
Maria Lopez Pharm.D, AAHIVP is the founder and President of Mission Wellness Healthcare. As the daughter of migrant farmworkers, she is a first generation college student and pharmacist from the Imperial and Central Valleys of California. The work of Dr. Lopez has focused on public health and infectious disease. In 2016 she led the first community pharmacy pilot program in California for pharmacists conducting point of care Hepatitis C testing and in 2018 the implementation of a pharmacists’ initiated pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP) program for HIV prevention with the San Francisco Department of Public health. This program served as a model for California Senate Bill 159 to authorize pharmacists to initiate PrEP and PEP. Dr. Lopez has led a training on SB159 for CPHA, and several pharmacist’s PrEP trainings for the American Pharmacists Association. She serves as Capacity Building Assistance Consultant under the San Francisco Department of Public Health, which serves public health departments in the western region of the United States. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Lopez oversaw COVID testing and vaccines at multiple sites in San Francisco county and the Bay Area. Utilizing her pediatric residency training experience, she created a pediatric vaccine training program for pharmacists on behalf of the National Community Pharmacy Association. Dr Lopez has presented to a number of stakeholders, including public health, industry medical and pharmacy at the local, state and national level. She has also published in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Lopez holds voluntary Professor appointments at UCSF and Touro Schools of Pharmacy in addition to being the residency director of a community PGY1 at Mission Wellness.
New Practitioner of the Year
Marina Dykhne, PharmD (Los Angeles, CA)
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. Dykhne, PharmD, APh, BCACP, CDCES, BC-ADM is Associate Clinical Professor at West Coast University School of Pharmacy. She received her PharmD and completed Ambulatory Care Residency at Western University of Health Sciences. She practices as a clinical pharmacist in primary care at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) where she focuses on chronic disease management and disease prevention in the areas of cardiovascular health, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes. Dr. Dykhne is extensively involved in professional pharmacy organizations and has passion for legislature and policy that improves patient care and expands pharmacists’ scope of practice. Her research interests include expanding pharmacists’ scope of practice, improving patients access to care and student teaching and learning outcomes.
Student Pharmacist of the Year
Reilly Oki, 2022 PharmD Candidate, California Northstate University (Tracy, CA)
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.
Reilly Oki is a fourth-year pharmacy student at California Northstate University (CNU) who started his pharmacy journey by becoming a member of the American Pharmacists Association/California Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA/CPhA – ASP). Throughout his first year, Reilly got involved with the school’s activities as well as the Sacramento Valley Pharmacists Association (SVPhA). He quickly became an advocate for students to get involved in student organizations. After a year of being engaged with the organization, several students encouraged and supported him to apply for the Student Trustee position, which he was elected for 2 consecutive terms. Over the last year, he has diligently worked as a co-founder of the SVPhA Mentorship Program and with the overwhelming support of the board, launched a pilot program and eventually, the first full year program. Making the best of the situation given the pandemic, the founders were able to recruit mentors from across the nation to help show students the importance of being involved and making everlasting connections.
Reilly displays qualities of being an exemplary leader, which is attributable to his involvement in a multitude of pharmacy organizations. These organizations fostered both his leadership and professional skills, which he utilizes in guiding and inspiring others. His success is also a result of the skillsets he acquired at Leader Development Weekend. After completing the two tracks, he felt more comfortable being able to make the most of his strengths and helping lead from behind in order to empower others to succeed as well.
Reilly has been and continues to be a leader, making an impact at school as well as within the local community. He served as the President of the Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society and held other leadership positions within the Phi Delta Chi Pharmacy Fraternity. During one of his APPE rotations, Reilly had the opportunity to and enjoyed working with a team of pharmacists, nurses, and the Department of Public Health in Hawaii to provide COVID testing for over 500 patients each day. Currently, Reilly serves the community by working as an intern pharmacist at CVS in Ripon.
Technician of the Year
Cynthia Bennett (Cerritos, CA)
This award recognizes a CPhA member pharmacy technician who has demonstrated exceptional capabilities, raising the standard of excellence within practice.
Cynthia Bennett, CPhT,CSPT is a Certified Pharmacy Technician and Certified Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician. She started her career in the in-patient hospital setting as a staffing technician. Her career in pharmacy spans over 24 years with various specialties; in-patient pharmacy from a staffing technician to implementing various pharmacy automations and eventually pharmacy leadership. She was also an IV compounding technician in a sterile compounding pharmacy and home infusion pharmacy, a chemotherapy compounding technician in an oncology pharmacy, and several years in academia for both a pharmacy technician program and a PharmD program. Cynthia currently works with the Vice President of Pharmacy Operations for PIH Health as well as continues to teach Sterile Compounding to her students at MBKU. Sterile Compounding is a huge part of her pharmacy career, both in hospital pharmacy as well as academia. Teaching is one of her greatest passions in Pharmacy.
Ms. Bennett has also held several roles for CPhA, CSHP and ASHP. She is currently the immediate past chair for the PTEL (Pharmacy Executive Leadership) for CSHP, the Technician Chair the CSHP-SPC, an active member for Practice Advancement and Advocacy Advisory Group for ASHP, the technician liaison for OCSHP and SBLBSHP as well the first Pharmacy Technician on the OCPhA Board of Directors. Cynthia was also awarded the Pharmacy Technician of the Year for OCSHP in 2019-2020. Advocating for the Pharmacy profession as well as the role of the pharmacy technician has always been a priority.
Having the privilege to work with great pharmacy leaders and mentors that encourage growth and continue to support the Pharmacy profession as a whole has made the biggest difference in her career.
Excellence in Innovation
Crystal Zhou, PharmD (San Francisco, CA)
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.
Crystal Zhou is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Pharmacy. She began her pharmacy career in the acute care setting as a PGY1 resident at UCSF and continued her residency training as a PGY2 ambulatory care specialty resident with a focus in primary care and family medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. As a clinical pharmacist, she has worked in a variety of outpatient cardiology settings, including general cardiology, pulmonary hypertension, advanced heart failure, and cardiac rehabilitation. In addition to her teaching and clinical responsibilities, Dr. Zhou is reimagining the role of clinical pharmacists in the community, currently focusing on creating a more sustainable Barbershop hypertension management model in the San Francisco Bay Area and creating innovative ways to deliver remote care to patients with low socioeconomic status.
Hall of Fame Inductees
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.
David Adler, PharmD (San Diego, CA)
David Adler completed his PharmD and Clinical Pharmacy Residency (`70, `71) at the UCSF School of Pharmacy. As an activist student he helped found the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic and after joining the UCSF faculty, was asked by then Dean Jere Goyan to expand the UCSF fourth-year clinical education program to UCSD in conjunction with the UCSD School of Medicine. This included training sites for 20 fourth-year UCSF students and development of a clinical pharmacy residency program and specialty clinics including the innovation of anticoagulation clinics and other specialty clinics. In 1976, a lifelong collaborative clinical pharmacy practice career began with Hematologist Samuel Rappaport, MD in managing patients requiring chronic anticoagulation therapy, thus leading to the anticoagulation clinic movement. UCSD joined with ASHP to become a center for pharmacist anticoagulation training in the early 80’s.
Through a meeting in 1982 with former pharmacy dean of the University of Saigon To Dong, Dr. Adler learned of the plight of academically well-trained Vietnamese refugee pharmacists, resulting in the development of a resettlement program at UCSD that UCSF pharmacy faculty provided, from which 110 refugee pharmacists qualified for the FPGEE, the NAPLEX and California and other state board examinations. The success of this program became a model for other similar programs.
From 1978-1995 David served state pharmacy organizations in several capacities including CSHP President, Treasurer, Chair House of Delegates and has been recognized as CSHP Pharmacist of the Year and Distinguished Pharmacist of the Year.
In 1988, a UC School of Pharmacy was proposed at UCSD. David was asked by Founding Dean Palmer Taylor, PhD to assist in the development of the second school and the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was approved by the UC Regents, with David serving as Founding Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and an inaugural class began in 2002.
After 45 years in teaching, clinical practice, clinical research and community and university service, David retired in 2016 as Emeritus Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and resides with his wife Penny in San Diego. Their daughter Michelle lives in Eswatini, son Darrell and family in Connecticut, and daughter Laura in San Diego.
David wishes to thank all colleagues, staff, students and residents with whom he has worked collaboratively, and who passionately hold their commitment to society and to patient care in the safe and cost-effective use of drugs.
William Stuart, RPh (Long Beach, CA)
William A. Stuart, RPh, is a compounding pharmacist with over 37 years of practice experience, the majority of which have been in the specialty field of sterile compounding. A 2nd generation pharmacist, William knew at a young age that he would be following in his father’s footsteps, making pharmacy his life’s work. A scientist, pharmacist, and businessman, he has dedicated his passions and skillsets to developing the highest standards for patient safety and transforming the family pharmacy business, Hartley Medical, from the “corner drug store” to one of the largest and most respected compounders of intrathecal medications in the country.
Over the years, William has presented, both domestically and internationally, on the important roles of compounding pharmacies in a patient’s continuum of care, specifically within his focus area of sterile injectables for treating chronic pain and movement disorders. Due to the nature of sterile compounding, he has designed and developed a state-of-the-art clean room facility that utilizes the latest technologies and implements industry leading environmental monitoring and staff assessment procedures. He considers Hartley’s dedication to patient safety through disciplined processes one of its defining characteristics.
William credits his father for having instilled in him a strong work ethic, a commitment to innovation, and a focus on doing the right thing for the customer and the patient. He has infused these core values at the bedrock of Hartley Medical’s operations and is a staunch advocate for higher standards in sterile compounding. William is proud to have steered Hartley Medical through the many regulatory challenges all too common in pharmacy and healthcare.
John Tilley, RPh (Downey, CA)
Mr Tilley graduated from Idaho State University College of Pharmacy in 1977.
He began working at Zweber Apothecary in Downey, Ca, in the fall of 1977. In
1983, he purchased the 3 store pharmacy chain.
By 1999, John owned 5 pharmacies, all in Downey. In 2000, John started opening pharmacies inside Stater Brothers Markets in Southern Calif. By, 2003, John had 21 pharmacies he owned and operated. He has since sold the pharmacies to Stater Bros, and has closed two of his pharmacies in Downey, but still owns 3 pharmacies today.
Mr Tilley has served as the President of the Downey Chamber of Commerce, and served on many committees for the City of Downey. With regards to pharmacy, Mr Tilley has been active in CPhA, APhA, the American College of Apothecaries, and NCPA. He served as President of CPhA in 1997, and President of NCPA in 2007. He has been the recipient of the Bown of Hygieia award, and also CPhA’s, Pharmacist of the Year Award. In 2001, he was appointed to the California State Board of Pharmacy, and his business was recognized in California as the Small Business of the Year.
Throughout his career, Mr Tilley has testified numerous times in both Sacramento and in Washington DC to Senate and House sub-committees, regarding, Medi-cal reimbursement, and nationally on prescription drug pricing, Patent extensions, and Medicare Part D.
John has been married 42 years to Karen Tilley. They have 4 children, Alyson, Kirk, Shannon, and Erin.
Micah Hata, PharmD (Fountain Valley, CA)
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.
Friend of Pharmacy Award
California Senator Josh Newman
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.
Senator Newman was first elected to the state Senate in November 2016 after running a successful grassroots campaign on a message of service, common sense, and accountability.
Prior to being elected to the State Senate, he was a veterans’ advocate and executive director of a nonprofit for veterans.
After graduation from Yale University, where he majored in History with a focus on 20th Century politics and government, he served as an artillery officer in the United States Army, with duty assignments with a nuclear weapons unit in South Korea and a conventional artillery battalion in the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii.
He relocated to California from Hawaii following the completion of his active duty military service obligation. His professional experience since then has included work in local government, public affairs and marketing, film and television production, and Internet media technology.
In 2012, he founded an initiative, ArmedForce2Workforce, to assist young military veterans in the pursuit of rewarding, career-oriented employment following the completion of their own military service and return to the Greater Los Angeles/Orange County area. He was inspired to run for office due to his “frustration with the lack of progress and support from various levels of government in doing right by the young men and women who had bravely served us during a time of true national need.”
As their representative to the State Senate, he has successfully guided more than 20 pieces of legislation that support veteran services and mental health resources, improved local schools, helped businesses create jobs, and protected open space.
Working with CPhA, Senator Newman helped pass legislation to prohibit imposition of business quotas on pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in order to increase profit margins. This is the first of its kind in the nation.
This single piece of legislation will have a positive impact on thousands of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the state by improving their working conditions which will result in better outcomes for patients.
Mr. Newman has been a consistent and outspoken supporter of community pharmacy.
Senator Newman and his wife Darcy live in Fullerton with their young daughter.
CPhA-ASP Innovative Chapter Award
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. This is the fourth year in a row that West Coast University has been recognized with this award.
CPhA recognizes CPhA local and CPhA-ASP chapters as Chapters of Excellence for their pursuit of CPhA’s mission and goals in promoting the health of the public through the practice of pharmacy.
The following CPhA local chapters are being recognized:
- Central Valley Pharmacists Association
- Orange County Pharmacists Association
- Peninsula Pharmacists Association
- Pharmacists’ Professional Society of the San Fernando Valley
- Pharmacist Society of San Francisco
- Sacramento Valley Pharmacists Association
- San Diego County Pharmacists Association
- San Gabriel Valley Pharmacists Association
The following CPhA-ASP chapters are being recognized:
- Marshall B. Ketchum
- Loma Linda University
- University of California, San Diego
- University of the Pacific
- University of Southern California
For more information about CPhA awards, visit cpha.com/awards.