CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Upsher-Smith Laboratories announced that Ira Katz, owner of Little Five Points Pharmacy in Atlanta, is the winner of the National Community Pharmacists Association 2021 Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year Award. Katz received the award on Monday, Oct. 11 at NCPA’s 123rd Annual Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
The annual award is given to a pharmacist who exhibits exemplary professional leadership, service to community and commitment to independent pharmacy. This year marks Upsher-Smith’s 13th year of sponsoring the prestigious award in conjunction with NCPA. The award is named in honor of Willard B. Simmons, a former executive secretary of NCPA (then known as the National Association of Retail Druggists) and a longtime trustee of the NCPA Foundation.
Katz opened the Little Five Points Pharmacy 40 years ago and has been recognized over the years for the contributions he’s made to his profession and community. As a pharmacist committed to reducing the number of lives lost due to opioid overdoses, Katz understands the importance of community education when it comes to opioid safety. Through his pharmacy, he provides naloxone (Narcan) administration education and has made the product available, free of charge, to those in the community, including local businesses and restaurants. Katz is a proud independent pharmacist and is frequently interviewed by local media outlets, sharing his knowledge and expertise with the community.
In addition to his service to the patient community, Katz is active within the professional community. He has been an NCPA member for more than 20 years. He is Chairman of the Board of the Georgia Academy of Independent Pharmacy where he has been a board member for more than 25 years, and he also serves on the AIP Alternative Income Committee. He is also a member of the Georgia Pharmacy Association, serving on its Governmental Affairs team.
“Ira Katz has played an invaluable role as a community pharmacist, and we couldn’t be more pleased to help NCPA recognize his achievements,” said Rusty Field, President and CEO, Upsher-Smith. “Ira is a proven leader who has demonstrated that a pharmacist’s role goes far beyond dispensing medications. His efforts to educate and marshal resources to help those in need have single handedly made a difference in people’s lives.”
“Ira’s leadership, dedication and commitment to community make him a deserving recipient of this year’s Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year Award,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA. “Ira’s service to his community has saved lives and is unwavering. He is a prime example of the importance of community pharmacies to people in cities and towns across America. We are grateful to Upsher-Smith for its support in recognizing exemplary pharmacists like Ira Katz.”