News Release

July 30, 2015

APhA Foundation Announces 2015 Pinnacle Award Honorees

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation announces the honorees of the 2015 Pinnacle Awards. The Pinnacle Awards, established in 1998 by the APhA Foundation, celebrate significant contributions to the medication use process through increasing patient adherence, reducing drug misadventures, promoting the use of national treatment guidelines, improving patient outcomes or enhancing communication among the members of the healthcare team. The recipients will be honored on September 16, 2015, during a ceremony at APhA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The “Pinnacle Awards Innovations in Pharmacy Practice” lecture will be held for a second year at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore on September 15, 2015. Representatives of the award recipient group in Category II, The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and Division of General Internal Medicine, will share best practices in pharmacy practice innovation. This component of the Pinnacle Awards provides an outlet for increasing awareness among the pharmacy and healthcare community of ways to implement innovative clinical pharmacy services.

Premier support for the Pinnacle Awards is provided by an educational grant from Merck. This activity is additionally supported by an educational donation provided by Amgen.

The Awards are presented in three categories:

  • Individual Award for Career Achievement: Individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in enhancing healthcare quality and medication use.
  • Group Practices, Health Systems, and Healthcare Corporations: This category recognizes a significant scientific contribution and/or quality improvement project.
  • Voluntary Health Agencies, Nonprofit Organizations, Associations, Government Agencies and Public/Private Partnerships: Organizations that have demonstrated approaches to assist patients and their caregivers in achieving better outcomes from their medications.

2015 Individual Award for Career Achievement
Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, FAPhA

Dr. Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner is professor and executive director of the Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Her role as a community pharmacy faculty member has led to the development of many nationally-recognized innovative programs, including the Giant Diabetes Education Program and the Maryland P3 Program, a pharmacist-directed chronic disease program which was one of the sites for the Diabetes Ten City Challenge. The P3 Program is in partnership with the Maryland Pharmacists Association and government and business organizations. Dr. Rodriguez de Bittner previously served as director of the Community Pharmacy Residency Program at the University of Maryland (1996-2006) and is currently a preceptor. She regularly speaks at national and international forums on the development and implementation of pharmacist-directed services. Most recently she has worked with the Centers for Disease Control to advance the role of the pharmacist in chronic disease management, leading to her presentation in the CDC Director’s Grand Rounds. She is past president of the Maryland Pharmacists Association and served on the APhA Foundation Board of Directors from 2003-2009, including as president from 2006-2008, and is a member of many professional organization committees and taskforces. 

Dr. Rodriguez de Bittner has dedicated her career to the advancement of pharmacy practice and development of innovative and sustainable patient care programs. By her actions, she has demonstrated exceptional leadership in enhancing the quality of health care and generated innovations in services to promote safe and effective medication use. Her leadership has led to quantifiable improvements in chronic disease management through medication use by improving medication adherence and/or developing diabetes and cardiovascular programs based on national treatment guidelines and evidence-based medicine. Dr. Rodriguez de Bittner has received many awards and recognitions, including most recently the 2014 Maryland Daily Record Innovator of the Year, 2013 University of Maryland Entrepreneur of the Year, and 2013 American Pharmacists Association Daniel B. Smith Award. She was also recognized as part of the 2010 Pinnacle Awards Category II recipient group, the Maryland P3 Program.

2015 Group Practice–Health System–Corporation Award
The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and Division of General Internal Medicine

The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy (OSUCOP) and The Ohio State University Division of General Internal Medicine (OSUGIM) have had pharmacist involvement in team-based primary care since 2006. During this time, the pharmacy team has grown from one shared faculty member at one clinic to four shared faculty members, one full time pharmacist and three pharmacy residents practicing at five NCQA tier 3 patient-centered medical homes (PCMH). The pharmacists provide anticoagulation management, transitional care management, population management, and chronic care management for patients and serve as a drug information resource. The site has an established interdisciplinary diabetes clinic, a site selected to be part of the APhA Foundation Project IMPACT: Diabetes initiative, and polypharmacy clinics that allow pharmacists to optimize medication regimens for complex patients. The pharmacists provide population management services centered on safe and effective medication use. They also provide care to complex patients recently discharged from the hospital to prevent unnecessary hospital readmissions.

OSUCOP and OSUGIM have also been the primary site for 17 pharmacy practice residents and numerous student pharmacists. The pharmacists have concentrated on justification and sustainability of pharmacist services within a PCMH. The pharmacists have published results from studies and presented at numerous state and national professional meetings on the impact of pharmacists in the primary care setting.

2015 Government Agency–Nonprofit Organization–Association Award
Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy – Pharmacy Service Centers and Academic Partners Program

The mission of the Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy is to improve health outcomes by educating and mentoring students who advance the profession of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences research. Through its Pharmacy Service Centers and Academic Partners Program, the School accomplishes this mission by providing patient care services and educational outreach to members of the underserved community in the greater Pittsburgh area.

Established by the School in 2002, the Center for Pharmacy Care is a pharmacist-coordinated provider of disease prevention, health screenings, immunizations, and medication therapy management services for the University campus and adjacent communities. The Duquesne University Pharmacy, second of the Pharmacy Service Centers, opened in 2010 as the first university-operated, full-service community pharmacy in the nation located in the heart of an economically depressed neighborhood. The goal of the pharmacy is to improve access to medications and patient adherence while enhancing medication safety and reducing overall healthcare expenditures.

The Academic Partners Program, which was designed to establish formal relationships between the School and its community healthcare partners, is dedicated to the improvement of health outcomes through patient care services, student education, the advancement of health outcomes research, and a commitment to social responsibility. Since 2010, faculty and student engagement through the Pharmacy Service Centers and Academic Partners Program has resulted in over 19,000 patient encounters with documented improvements in health outcomes.  

About the American Pharmacists Association Foundation

The APhA Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., is a trusted source of research demonstrating how pharmacists can improve health care. The APhA Foundation’s mission is to improve people’s health through pharmacists’ patient care services. The APhA Foundation is affiliated with the American Pharmacists Association, the national professional society of pharmacists in the U.S. For more information, please visit the APhA Foundation website Follow the APhA Foundation on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.