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Full Circle Pharmacy Leadership

UHCOP Alumnus, Dean's Advisory Council Co-chair Alex Varkey Appointed to American Pharmacists Association Board of Directors

UHCOP alumnus and Dean's Advisory Council co-chair Alex C. Varkey, Pharm.D. ('05), M.S., director of pharmacy services at Houston Methodist Hospital, has been appointed to fill an unexpired term on the American Pharmacists Association Board of Trustees.

Varkey was sworn in Jan. 20 to fill the vacancy left by Dan Zlott, Pharm.D., BCOP, who stepped down from the board to accept an APhA staff position as vice president of Professional Education Resources. The term for the At-Large position being filled by Varkey will run until March 25, 2019, during the APhA2019 Meeting & Expo.

photo of Varkey and Alvarez
APhA President Nancy Alvarez administers the oath of office to UHCOP alumnus Alex C. Varkey at the APhA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Varkey took the oath of office just days after APhA announced that Varkey would be among the 2018 inductees as Fellows of the APhA at the organization's Annual Meeting & Expo March 16-19 in Nashville, Tenn.

"The appointment to the APhA Board came as a huge surprise," Varkey said. "I’m so thankful for APhA President Nancy Alvarez’s confidence in me in providing this opportunity. I’m honored to be the only current health-system pharmacy director on the APhA Board of Trustees. Serving as an advocate for health-system pharmacy practice on the APhA Board is a responsibility I take very seriously – I feel privileged to have that opportunity through the remainder of this appointment." 

Varkey previously served on the APhA Board as the President of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA–ASP). He has prioritized professional involvement throughout his career, having served in a number of elected and appointed roles in state and national associations, including all three APhA Academies. Varkey is an accomplished writer and public speaker, having authored and co-authored several articles in national publications and a book chapter, and has served as a keynote speaker at a number of local and national meetings. He is also a member of APhA’s Media Advisor Group.

Varkey also has demonstrated his commitment in educating student pharmacists and pharmacy residents, including the establishment of a two-year health-system pharmacy administration residency – now part of The Houston Program with UHCOP and six other fellow Texas Medical Center health systems – a longitudinal pharmacy internship program at his 900-bed nonprofit teaching hospital.

"We are honored that Alex Varkey accepted our appointment to rejoin us on the APhA Board," said APhA President Nancy Alvarez, Pharm.D., BCPS, FAPhA. "It was just 14 years ago when Alex was last on the Board. We look forward to him sharing his perspective as a hospital pharmacy department director, and active APhA member to the Board discussions."

The nonprofit American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, represents 64,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA is dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care and is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the U.S.