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Evening Banquet Celebrates Class of 2015 and Honored and Honorary Alumni

Graduation Banquet recognizes the achievements of the Class of 2015 and bestows honored and honorary alumnus awards on two exemplary members of the pharmacy “family.”

Members of the Class of 2015 in the banquet's photo booth.

By Becky Ceraul
June 1, 2015

On May 13, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s Alumni Association hosted its annual Graduation Banquet to celebrate the Class of 2015. Held at Martin’s West in Baltimore, the event was attended by approximately 200 faculty, students, sponsors, guests, and Alumni Association members.

“The Graduation Banquet is a time of celebration for students from our Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and graduate programs,” Natalie D. Eddington, PhD ’89, FAAPS, FCP, dean and professor of the School of Pharmacy told the graduates at the banquet. “With rotations and exams over, it is a chance for you to breathe a sigh of relief as the faculty, staff, preceptors, and alumni with whom you have worked so closely in previous years welcome you to the next phase of your professional career. Your hard work has paid off and you are ready to participate in a dynamic health care and research climate at a remarkable time in our nation’s history.”

Presented during the banquet were the Evander Frank Kelly Honored Alumnus and the B. Olive Cole Honorary Alumnus Awards.
The Evander Frank Kelly Honored Alumnus Award is presented each year to a School of Pharmacy alumnus who has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in the profession of pharmacy through service in local, state, and national pharmacy, government, or civic organizations and is active in the promotion of pharmacy at the University of Maryland. This year’s recipient was Steve Bouyoukas, PharmD ’00, area healthcare supervisor for Walgreens Boots Alliance.

“At Walgreens, Dr. Bouyoukas oversaw a pilot program at a Walgreens store in Washington, DC dedicated to a new format called the ‘Well Experience,’ that allows the pharmacist to be out from behind the counter so he or she can counsel patients, offer clinical services, and answer drug information questions,” said Julian Chun, PharmD ’02, president of the Alumni Association in presenting the award. “Dr. Bouyoukas and Walgreens are building an evidence-based case study in real-time to advocate for pharmacists to be able to truly practice at the top of their license and to receive reimbursement for the patient care services they provide. He was also instrumental in shepherding contributions to the School of Pharmacy from Walgreens for several named spaces in Pharmacy Hall, specifically the Walgreens Breakout Area during the School’s Building Campaign in 2010 and the Walgreens Objective Structured Clinical Examination Suite (OSCE) in 2014. This 10 room suite helps student pharmacists practice their clinical and communication skills with standardized patients in simulated real world situations.”

Bouyoukas was recently promoted at Walgreens to area healthcare supervisor, where he oversees 73 retail and hospital sites for Walgreens. He has served on the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s Capital Campaign Committee; conducted student interviews for Walgreens at the School’s Annual Career Fair; and is a member of the Maryland Pharmacists Association.

Bouyoukas credits his time at the School with giving him a fundamental understanding of the practice issues facing pharmacy. “I was fortunate to have great professors and mentors, but the best advice I received was ‘Surround yourself with smart people’ from retired professor Fred Abramson,” said Bouyoukas.

“He taught me about the retail side of the profession, and the impact that I could make in patients’ lives. I have also been fortunate to work very closely with such a wonderful dean, Dr. Eddington, who with an invite to the School and an informal meeting, collaborated with Walgreens to have the opportunity to name the OSCE Suite. Through this collaboration, we will train pharmacists to enhance their clinical and communication skills to better serve patients in our community settings. I’m fortunate to be working for a company that utilizes my talents and allows me to engage in these types of programs to further the profession of pharmacy.”

The B. Olive Cole Honorary Alumnus Award was presented to a non-alumnus who has demonstrated continued interest and exceptional loyalty and service to the profession of pharmacy in Maryland and whose professional, personal, civic, and philanthropic pursuits reflect the high standards and values associated with the School of Pharmacy and its Alumni Association. This year’s recipient was Joshua Sharfstein, MD, associate dean for public health practice and training at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“Dr. Sharfstein, a physician by training, has long demonstrated exceptional loyalty and service to public health and specifically to the profession of pharmacy,” said Chun in presenting the award. “In his many different roles, he has always taken a holistic and inclusive approach to healthcare.”

Sharfstein’s tenure as secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene coincided with the Maryland General Assembly’s Sunset Review of the Maryland Board of Pharmacy, which highlighted a number of recommendations for pharmacy practice.

According to Chun, his expertise in public health helped pharmacy forge a path to implement pharmacists’ administration of vaccinations; helped create prescription drug programs that balance patients’ access to pain medications with criminal justice issues relating to drug diversion; helped improve efforts regarding prescription drug coverage for seniors that fall into the Medicare Part D donut hole, and helped achieve incremental improvements in the state’s collaborative practice drug therapy management program.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, an institution that is deeply engaged in efforts to improve the health of Baltimore, Maryland, and the nation,” said Sharfstein.

Following the awards presentation, Chun recognized the service of the Alumni Association’s 2014-2015 Executive Committee and introduced the new members of the 2015-2016 Executive Committee. Sharon Park, PharmD ’04, incoming president of the Alumni Association, also recognized Chun for his service to the Alumni Association. Attendees spent the rest of the evening celebrating on the dance floor.

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