Lupin 2023

Upsher-Smith and NASPA honor pharmacists

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MAPLE GROVE, Minn. Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC (Upsher-Smith) and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA) are pleased to recognize 47 pharmacists from across the country with the 2022 NASPA Excellence in Innovation Award. This annual award, overseen by NASPA and sponsored by Upsher-Smith, honors innovators in the pharmacy field.

The Excellence in Innovation Award recognizes qualified pharmacists who have demonstrated significant innovation in their practice, method, or service directly or indirectly resulting in improved patient care and/or advancement of the profession of pharmacy. The award is presented by participating state pharmacy associations throughout the year.

“Each year, Upsher-Smith looks forward to partnering with NASPA in their efforts to recognize the men and women who do so much to enhance and improve the practice of pharmacy in their communities,” said Rich Fisher, President and COO of Upsher-Smith. “We are proud to highlight their exceptional work and innovation, and especially their efforts to drive improved patient outcomes.”

Rebecca Snead, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of NASPA added, “It is an honor to acknowledge these exemplary pharmacists, who have been selected for their commitment to patients and their dedication to advancing the pharmacy profession. We also deeply appreciate Upsher-Smith and participating state pharmacy associations for their continued support of NASPA’s Excellence in Innovation Award.”

The 2022 Excellence in Innovation Award recipients include:  

  • Alabama:
    – Jared Johnson, PharmD
    – Jacob Johnson, PharmD
  • Alaska: Justin Ruffridge, PharmD
  • Arizona: Christopher Edwards
  • Arkansas: Chester Barber, PD
  • California: Crystal Zhou, PharmD
  • Colorado: Melissa Rodgers, PharmD, BCACP
  • Connecticut: Richard Kiley, PharmD
  • Delaware: Dr. TaQuina M. Warren
  • Florida: Lorraine M. Mobley, RPh
  • Georgia: Ben Ross
  • Illinois: Eric S. Bandy, RPh
  • Iowa: Deanna L. McDanel, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP
  • Kansas: Mary Beth Dameron, PharmD
  • Kentucky:
    – MeLeigha Milby, PharmD
    – Nelda Eads, PharmD
  • Louisiana: Robert “Butch” Ray, RPh
  • Maine: Sara Couture, PharmD
  • Maryland: Emily Heil, PharmD, MS, BCIDP, BCPS, AAHIVP
  • Massachusetts: David DeiCicchi, PharmD, CACP
  • Michigan: Maria Young, BSPharm
  • Minnesota: Paria Sanaty Zadeh, PharmD
  • Mississippi: Carly Brown, PharmD
  • Missouri: Dr. Bianca Daisy-Bell
  • Montana: Keaten LaBrel, PharmD
  • Nebraska: Dr. Nathan L. Suck, PharmD
  • Nevada: KayLynn Bowman, PharmD, MS, MEd
  • New Hampshire: Matthew J. Maughan, PharmD
  • New Jersey: Antonia Carbone, PharmD, BCACP
  • New Mexico: Uri Bassan, RPh
  • New York: Steven Pardi, RPh
  • North Carolina: Tracey Simmons-Kornegay, PharmD
  • North Dakota: Kevin Martian, PharmD
  • Ohio: Dustin Carneal, PharmD
  • Oklahoma: Brant Alexander, PharmD
  • Oregon: Gregg Wendland, RPh
  • Pennsylvania: Shawn Nairn, RPh
  • Puerto Rico: Carlos A. Torrado Delgado, PharmD, JD
  • Rhode Island: Kenny Correia, PharmD, BCACP
  • South Carolina: Jarrod B. Tippins, PharmD
  • TennesseeKatie Vandenberg, PharmD
  • Texas: Saba Syed, PharmD, MS, BCACP, BCGP
  • Virginia: Alexis Page, PharmD, BCACP
  • Washington: Kathleen Pierce, PharmD
  • West Virginia: Amber Conrad, PharmD
  • Wisconsin: Thad Schumacher, PharmD
  • Wyoming: Eric Saul, PharmD

To learn more about the exceptional work of NASPA Excellence in Innovation Award winners, visit  

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