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ONU receives numerous awards, appointments at OPA Annual Conference and Trade Show

May 2, 2016

Alumni and faculty from Ohio Northern University’s Raabe College of Pharmacy received four awards and several appointments during the 138th Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA) Annual Conference and Trade Show in Columbus, Ohio, from April 15-17.

Chester “Chet” Kaczor, a 2006 ONU pharmacy graduate, was installed as president of the OPA. He also was awarded the 2016 Pharmacy Leadership Award from the National Community Pharmacists Association. An active OPA member since 2004, Kaczor has served on multiple committees, including Legal & Regulatory, Public & Professional Relations, and Long Range Planning in addition to serving on the Board of Trustees. Kaczor also has been instrumental in the creation of several focus groups for the OPA, including the New Practitioner Experience and provider status group. Kaczor is currently the director of pharmacy services at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.

Cathy Kuhn, a 2006 ONU pharmacy graduate, took office as president-elect of the OPA. Kuhn is the clinical coordinator for the Kroger Pharmacy, Columbus Division. Kuhn was the 2011 recipient of the American Pharmacists Association’s Distinguished New Practitioner Award and the 2013 recipient of OPA’s Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award. In addition, she volunteers at Grace in the City and Northwest Chapel in Dublin, Ohio.

Ryan Schneider, a 2005 ONU pharmacy graduate, took office as vice president of the OPA. Schneider is interim chair and assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Findlay College of Pharmacy. Schneider also practices part-time as a community pharmacist for CVS in Lima, Ohio.

Thomas Kier, a 1982 ONU pharmacy graduate and ONU associate dean of pharmacy operations, received the 2016 Beal Award for outstanding contributions to the pharmacy profession. This award is presented annually to honor a pharmacist who has made continued, outstanding contributions to the advancement of the pharmacy profession. Throughout his career, Thomas Kier has helped advance the practice of pharmacy at ONU and in the state of Ohio by addressing ethics and the moral development of pharmacy students. He has introduced national assessments that evaluate the ethical development of pharmacy students at ONU. As ethical development and empathy are imperative to the pharmacy profession, his work has assisted in maintaining pharmacy’s status as one of the country’s most trusted professions. Thomas Kier also has committed much of his professional life to assisting pharmacists and pharmacy students with addiction and chemical dependency.

Karen Kier, a 1982 ONU pharmacy graduate and ONU professor of clinical pharmacy, received the 2016 Keys Award for her longstanding commitment to the OPA. Karen Kier has been a member of OPA for more than 25 years, dedicating her time to multiple committees, including OPA Public and Professional Relations as well as Medication Therapy Management. She has served on the OPA Board of Trustees representing District 3. She also has volunteered her time to educate pharmacists on recently released medications at OPA’s Annual Conference for the last 10 years. Karen Kier is a previous recipient of OPA’s Beal Award for service to the profession of pharmacy.

Kelly Reilly-Kroustos, ONU associate professor of pharmacy practice, received the 2016 Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award. This award recognizes a pharmacist who has graduated in the last 10 years for contributions made to the profession of pharmacy. As a certified dementia practitioner and certified geriatric pharmacist, Reilly-Kroustos is an expert in hospice and palliative care. Additionally, she works as a clinical pharmacist at the Palliative Care Consulting Group in Dublin, Ohio.

Melody Hartzler, a 2009 ONU pharmacy graduate, was installed as OPA trustee representing District 5. Hartzler currently is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Cedarville University School of Pharmacy and practices at the Victor Cassano Health Center in Dayton, Ohio. She previously completed a pharmacy practice residency at the Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center in Columbus with a focus in primary care.

Tim Ulbrich, a 2008 ONU pharmacy graduate, was installed as OPA trustee representing District 11. Ulbrich is the associate dean of workforce development and practice advancement and an associate professor of pharmacy practice at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). He was co-manager of the medication therapy management services at Giant Eagle Pharmacy before joining NEOMED as an administrator and educator. Ulbrich directs practice advancement initiatives and leads workforce development, including pharmacy residency educational programs. He has served on numerous pharmacy committees, such as OPA New Practitioner Experience, which he helped found.

Jennifer Rodis, a 2002 ONU pharmacy graduate, was installed as executive committee member-at-large. Rodis is associate professor of clinical pharmacy, director of partner for promotion, and assistant dean for outreach and engagement at the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. She also is a past recipient of OPA’s Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award.

OPA, established in 1879, represents more than 4,000 pharmacists, pharmacy educators, and pharmacy students throughout the state. It is OPA’s mission to unite the profession of pharmacy and encourage interprofessional relations, while promoting public health through education, discussion, and legislation.

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