TSHP Honors UHCOP Faculty Member Varkey, Alumni Gessner-Wharton and Munch for Service
The Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists recently praised three UH College of Pharmacy-linked pharmacy leaders for their Professional, Organizational and Educational Service.
UHCOP's Divya A. Varkey, Pharm.D., M.S., clinical associate professor, received the TSHP Special Recognition Award for Educational Service. In addition to her faculty appointment, Varkey serves as director of the Pharmacy Leadership & Administration (PLA) master's degree program offered by the UHCOP in affiliation with seven fellow Texas Medical Center institutions, each of which offer PGY1-PGY2 health-system pharmacy administration residency programs (collectively referred to as 'The Houston Program').
Varkey also serves as the academic director of the PGY1 Community Pharmacy Residency in collaboration with Walgreens and as a co-coordinator for the college's new Academic Fellowship program launching this summer.
In nominating Varkey for the award, fellow UHCOP faculty member Matthew A. Wanat, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCCCP, said, "Divya provides a management/leadership perspective that students are not accustomed to having on faculty with faculty. She has already optimized the (PLA) curriculum, using key stakeholders and alumni, to best fit the needs of these residents when they graduate."
Two-time UHCOP alumna Mallory Gessner-Wharton, Pharm.D. ('11), M.S. ('13), BCPS, pharmacy director at Kingwood Medical Center and 2017-18 president of the Gulf Coast Society of Health-System Pharmacists, was honored with the TSHP Special Recogition Award for Professional Service.
A current member of the UHCOP Dean's Advisory Council, Gessner-Wharton completed her PGY1-PGY2 health-system pharmacy administration residents at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center. In 2013, Gessner-Wharton was recognized with the UHCOP Hospital Pharmacy Preceptor of the Year Award.
Fellow PLA program alumnus Kyle Munch, Pharm.D., M.S. ('14), pharmacy operations manager at Conroe Regional Medical Center, was singled out for the TSHP Special Recognition Award for Organizational Service.
Munch was nominated by colleague, classmate and friend Phuoc "Anne" Nguyen, Pharm.D., M.S. ('14), BCPS, Transitions of Care/Internal Medicine clinical pharmacy specialist at The University of Texas-MD Anderson Cancer Center, said Munch has been invaluable asset to the TSHP New Practitioners (NP) Executive Section in preparation for the organization's Annual Seminar in April.
"Despite a hectic schedule of practicing pharmacy, participating in scholarship, and teaching future pharmacists, Kyle still strives to advance the profession of pharmacy through involvement in organizations," Nguyen said. "He works closely with the group to generate ideas and facilitate team members to find speakers for the sessions."
She noted that Munch was instrumental in planning six new NP programs at the event and volunteered to write a summary of the event from the NP perspective for a follow-up issue of the TSHP newsletter.
"I would not be where I am today without the wisdom, guidance and assistance of many wonderful colleagues, mentors and friends," Munch said. "This undoubtedly translates well into my daily work as a pharmacy operations manager. I understand firsthand the benefit to members of my team when they are recognized for contributions to the department, facility or patients. I will work hard to continue acknowledging their service, no matter how great or small."