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ONU Alumni Receives Top Awards at Ohio Pharmacists Conference

Apr 28, 2010

Ohio Northern University alumni received six of the seven awards presented at the 132nd Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA) annual meeting and conference in Columbus, Ohio from April 9-11. ONU students also competed in both the OTC Challenge and the Student Olympics at the OPA conference.

Dr. Jeffery C. Allison, BSPh ’71, PharmD ’95, of Ada, Ohio, is the 2010 recipient of the Pfizer Bowl of Hygeia Award presented annually to honor a pharmacist who has contributed to the progress of his community within the state of Ohio.

Allison earned his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree in 1971 and his Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 1995, both from Ohio Northern University, where he is a professor of pharmacy practice for the Raabe College of Pharmacy. Through his involvement as a teacher and ambassador for pharmacy students, and as a volunteer in a vast number of charitable organizations, Allison’s philanthropic service stretches beyond the state of Ohio and into multiple countries, including El Salvador, Kenya and Honduras. Some of the notable charities and organizations to which Allison volunteers his time include his local church and Habitat for Humanity on a local, national and international basis. He has taken several students from his high school Sunday school classes on Appalachian Service Project trips and has donated time with the local food pantry.

“It is not out of the ordinary for pharmacists to be active in their communities, but Jeff Allison is a true role model in every sense of the term. It’s pharmacists like him who take health care to the next level that go beyond what goes on behind the counter. His philanthropic endeavors speak volumes about just what kind of person he really is, and the world could use more people like him,” said Ernest Boyd, OPA executive director.

Gary R. Rutherford, BSPh ’78, of Columbus, Ohio, is the 2010 recipient of the Beal Award for outstanding contributions to the pharmacy profession. Rutherford graduated from ONU and became a licensed pharmacist in 1978. He has worked in a hospital pharmacy and as a successful manager at several community pharmacies in central Ohio. Rutherford became the first president of the Pharmacists Rehabilitation Program – a position he would hold for nine years. Since that time, hundreds of pharmacists have been helped by the organization. He has spoken at various local, state and national meetings to offer his help to those with chemical dependencies.

Other ONU alumni who received were Marc Sweeney, BSPh ’93, of Xenia, Ohio, recipient of the Keys Award; Stacy Walker, PharmD ’03, of Westerville, Ohio, recipient of the Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award; Allen Nichol, BSPh ’74, Hon.D. ’93, of Columbus, Ohio, recipient of the Innovative Pharmacy Practice Award, and Dan Karant, BSPh ’77, of Norton, Ohio, recipient of the Pharmacist Public Relations award.

During the student competitions, five out of the seven colleges of pharmacy in Ohio competed in the Student Olympics. ONU’s team consisted of fifth-year pharmacy majors Patrick Schmees of Fairfield, Ohio, Robin Craig of Butler, Pa., Rachel Behning of Ossian, Ind., and Doug Raiff of Westlake, Ohio. The format of the competition was a question-and-answer section based on NAPLEX review questions.

Six colleges of pharmacy competed in the OTC Challenge, a Jeopardy-style competition focusing on topics relating to over-the-counter medications. Teams consisted of four current pharmacy students and one alumnus. Competing for ONU were fifth-year pharmacy majors Rich Boyd of London, Ohio; Kelsey Kern of Bowling Green, Ohio; Anna Persichetti of Pickerington, Ohio; Michael Flynn of Rochester, N.Y., and alumnus Randy Myers, BSPh ’82, of Carey, Ohio.

Ohio Northern University’s quality, student-centered education distinctively combines nationally ranked sciences, arts and professional programs for more than 3,600 students in its five colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Pharmacy and Law.