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WVU School of Pharmacy honors outstanding alumni and preceptors

This summer, the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy paid tribute to its outstanding alumni, preceptors and friends of the School during the annual alumni reunion dinner. The awards acknowledge outstanding professional achievements, as well as commitment and service to the School and the pharmacy profession.

Dean Bill Petros welcomed alumni and guests to the all-years reunion dinner, which was held at Milan Puskar Stadium’s Touchdown Terrace on Friday, June 7, 2019. The event was sponsored by the School of Pharmacy’s Alumni Association. Betsy Elswick (PharmD, 2001), Associate Professor and Alumni Association Coordinator presented the awards.

Stephen (Steve) Small, (BSPharmacy,’76; MS, ’98) received the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award.

Stephen Small
Stephen Small receives Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award.

Small retired as Director of the Rational Drug Therapy Program (RDTP) in April. He joined the SoP in 1995 to help develop and implement a clinical, evidence-based prior authorization program (RDTP) for the West Virginia Bureau of Medical Services (Medicaid). The program started with just one person (Small) anticipating about 50-60 telephone prior authorization requests per day. From that fledgling start, the program has grown to 12 pharmacists and five pharmacy technicians. Today’s team handles 1,200 to 1,400 calls per day from pharmacists and health care provider offices across West Virginia for the State Medicaid and PEIA programs as well as the DXC Corporation (formerly Unisys Corporation). RDTP has saved West Virginia millions of dollars in pharmaceutical costs each year and above all, has contributed to appropriate, safe, rational and cost-effective drug therapy for nearly half of the state’s population. The SoP is currently the only school in the country with a program of its kind, which includes partnerships with major state agencies. In addition to his work with RDTP, Small helped to develop the Safe and Effective Management of Pain (SEMP) program to combat opioid overuse and misuse.

Sonny Hoskinson, (BSPharmacy, ’86) received the Outstanding Alumnus-Community Service Award.

Sonny Hoskinson receives the Outstanding Alumnus - Community Service Award.
Sonny Hoskinson receives the Oustanding Alumnus - Community Service Award.

Hoskinson has worked in hospital pharmacy for more than 30 years — most recently as the assistant director of pharmacy at United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, WV. In addition to his full-time job, he has served as director of Camp Catch Your Breath (CCYB), a camp for children ages 8-13 with asthma, for 25 years. CCYB allows children with asthma to have a typical summer camp experience, without worrying about their medical condition. Hoskinson has been a preceptor with the SoP for over 30 years. He shares his passion for community service with student pharmacists by providing them with a unique rotation opportunity at CCYB. In 2017, Hoskinson received the School’s Preceptor of the Year award. The West Virginia Asthma Coalition has honored Hoskinson with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Garofoli, PharmD, MBA, is the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Service Award.

Mark Garofoli receives the Outstanding Service Award
Mark Garofoli receives the Outstanding Service Award.

Garofoli is the director of Experiential Learning and an assistant professor at the SoP. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy where he earned a PharmD and Strayer University where he earned an MBA with a concentration in management. Garofoli’s contributions to improve the lives of all West Virginians and provide service to his students are invaluable. He is recognized as an expert in the fields of pain management, substance use disorder and drug diversion. In addition, he is a certified pain educator (CPE). One of his most notable accomplishments is his development and coordination of a panel of pain management experts from throughout West Virginia which led to the development of the pain management guidelines for the State. The resulting West Virginia Safe & Effective Management of Pain (SEMP) Guidelines have been reviewed and utilized nationally and globally. Garofoli was a leading force of the development of the Opioid Medication Therapy Management Program. While transitioning to director of Experiential Education at the School, he created a clinical pharmacy practice site at the WVU Medicine Integrative Pain Center. As the first clinical pharmacist at the interprofessional pain center, he is paving the way for the creation of a fulltime pharmacist position within the pain center.

Mark and Gretchen Garofoli (PharmD, BCACP, CTTS) were inducted as Honorary Alumni

Mark and Gretchen Garofoli
Mark and Gretchen Garofoli's induction as honorary WVU School of Pharmacy Alumni.

This husband and wife team are both faculty in the SoP, however, their PharmD degrees were obtained at the University of Pittsburgh. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, the Garofolis now reside and contribute to the Mountain State with their meritorious service endeavors not only in their respective pharmacy professions but in the greater community of Morgantown. In addition to Mark’s tireless efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, he puts hundreds of miles on his car traveling the backroads of West Virginia to meet with his pharmacy preceptors and visit all his experiential sites.

Similarly, Gretchen began her work as a young faculty member with her roots in community practice. Having both of her parents as pharmacists, she jumped in with both feet to grow community-based pharmacy initiatives in Morgantown. Initially, she worked to develop and implement patient care initiatives at Rite Aid Pharmacy in both Grafton and Westover, WV. In 2013, she started her second new practice site at Waterfront Family Pharmacy that also serves as a site for the School’s PGY1 Community Based Residency Program. During her time at Waterfront, Garofoli has provided oversight and direction as the pharmacy received status as an AADE accredited program for diabetes-self management education. She also helped the pharmacy develop its successful medication synchronization program and has been an elected leader in both the American Pharmacists Association and West Virginia Pharmacists Association.

The School also recognized its 2019 Preceptors of the Year. These awards were announced by Mark Garofoli. The recipients were: 

Stephen Crowe, Preceptor of the Year
Stephen Crowe, Preceptor of the Year


Stephen Crowe (BSPharmacy, ’84) 

graduated cum laude from the School of Pharmacy. Currently, he is a pharmacist for The Kroger Co. in Princeton, WV. Crowe has been a preceptor for the SoP for more than 25 years. He says his favorite part of precepting is the interaction he has with each student.

Eric Likar (PharmD, ’15)

Eric Likar, Preceptor of the Year
Eric Likar, Preceptor of the Year

completed a PGY1 at WVU Medicine and has been working there ever since as a perioperative pharmacist. In his practice site, he covers multiple operating room pharmacy satellites and serves as a point of contact for all perioperative needs from multiple groups including surgical services and anesthesiology. On rotation, students work alongside him to function as a practicing pharmacist. Likar says he knows what WVU pharmacy students are capable of, and he looks at every opportunity to bring out the best in each of them to help them achieve their career goals.

Brianne Fairchild (PharmD, ’03)

Brianne Fairchild, Preceptor of the Year
Brianne Fairchild, Preceptor of the Year

is the associate chief of pharmacy at the Beckley Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center — a position she has held since 2011. As associate chief of pharmacy, she supervises the clinical pharmacy specialists who have a scope of practice to prescribe medications and order labs, adverse drug reaction monitoring and trending, oversight of the pharmacy contracts as the contracting officer representative, formulary management and participating in the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. Also, Fairchild wrote the proposal and helped secure funding to start a new PGY1 Pharmacy Residency at the Beckley VA where the first residency class completed the program in July 2019.

In addition to the awards presentation, the alumni association announced the newly installed officers for 2019-2020. They are Co-Presidents: Danny and Amanda True (’10), President-Elect Amber Chiplinski (’08), Treasurer Scot Anderson (’68), Secretary Susan Meredith (’67) and Alumni Representatives at Large Jeremy Prunty (’11) and Olivia Shoemaker (’18).  

Newly installed School of Pharmacy Alumni Officers for 2018-2020.

The Alumni Dinner and Awards Ceremony was part of a larger reunion weekend focused on health and wellness. Many attendees also took advantage of special tours of the WVU Health Sciences Center and David and Joann Shaw West Virginia Simulation Training and Education for Patient Safety (STEPS) center. On Saturday, June 8, alumni also had the opportunity to participate in Continuing Pharmacists’ education classes focused on both caring for themselves, as well as their patients. Session speakers included experts on mindfulness techniques for managing stress and anxiety, utilizing intuitive eating, and treating insomnia. Speakers from the WVU Wellness Center provided pharmacists with yoga, breathing, and meditation techniques that they can readily utilize in the workplace.

View a gallery of photos from the reunion on SmugMug.