URI’s College of Pharmacy honors outstanding alumni

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Preceptors, company president receive kudos for contributions

KINGSTON, R.I. — May 31, 2006 — The University of Rhode Island�s College of Pharmacy has honored two alumni who mentor students during their clinical rotations and another alumnus for his national leadership in the profession.

The College presented the Dr. Norman A. Campbell Award for Ethics and Excellence in Healthcare to Ronald P. Jordan, chief operating officer of BidRX� LLC, a new company offering a Competitive Electronic Marketplace� for prescriptions on the web, which is designed to help consumers and physicians obtain the best products and services at the best prices.

The College awarded its two Preceptor of the Year Awards to Pawtucket native Capt. Adolph Vezza of the U.S. Public Health Service and Saunderstown resident Amy Gannon, a pharmacist with Walgreens.

Jordan, a 1976 graduate of the College of Pharmacy, joined BidRx� eight weeks prior to its product launch in order to develop and implement the company�s internal operations, finance and customer support capabilities based in Oshkosh, Wis.

With more than 25 years of health information processing and pharmacy experience, Jordan, a resident of East Greenwich, is a registered pharmacist whose career includes retail pharmacy management, long-term care consulting, executive health insurance administration, hospice pharmaceutical care delivery, and pharmacy and drug informatics consulting.

Jordan was formerly founder and president of Healthation LLC, a developer of web-based software systems for administering all lines of health benefits. Previously, he was founder, senior vice president and chief information officer of excelleRx, a hospice pharmaceutical care provider, which was acquired by Omnicare Inc. in 2005.

He also served as president and chief executive officer of HCaliber Consulting Corp.; senior vice president of PharmasMarket.com; vice president of BCS Ventures; and assistant vice president of operations at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island. He is former president of the American Pharmacists Association, the national professional society of pharmacists. He is a past president of the Rhode Island Pharmacists Association.

Capt. Adolph Vezza, of the U.S. Public Health Service, was named the Preceptor of the Year for advanced practice pharmacy students. Vezza, a 1980 graduate of the URI College of Pharmacy, has worked since 1993 in the Food and Drug Administration�s Office of Generic Drugs as a labeling reviewer. Each year, he mentors and supervises a URI pharmacy student for his or her advanced pharmacy experiential rotation.

A graduate of St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, who also holds a bachelor�s degree from Brown University and a master of health sciences from Western Carolina University, Vezza is based in Rockville, Md.

�The students really enjoy working with him,� said Kathleen Fisher, director of experiential learning at URI�s College of Pharmacy. �He not only helps them professionally, but he makes sure they have an enjoyable time while in the Washington area. He organizes groups of students for Baltimore Orioles games. The FDA hosts students from all over the country, so our students get a great experience.�

From 1980 until 1993, Vezza was a pharmacist in the Indian Health Service, with the first five years in New Mexico and the next eight in Cherokee, N.C.

Amy Gannon was named Preceptor of the Year for the introductory clinical experience rotations.

Gannon has been a pharmacist with Walgreens for 11 years, most of them at the East Greenwich store. There she has mentored and supervised students during their community pharmacy rotations.

A 1995 graduate of the College of Pharmacy, she says she has worked with many gifted students from URI.

One URI pharmacy student, Nadia Archambault, said Gannon is the epitome of excellence in pharmaceutical care, knowledge and service. �Amy exhibits compassion and enthusiasm on a personal and professional level,� Archambault said.

As a preceptor, Gannon �provides the resources that help pharmacy intern students become proficient in computer-based skills, technician-based work, such as filling prescriptions, familiarity with generic and brand name drugs, patient consult, drug inquiries, clinical pharmacology and ethical behavior,� Archambault said.

PRECEPTOR OF THE YEAR: Saunderstown resident Amy Gannon, a pharmacist with Walgreens, left, is awarded a plaque after being named Preceptor of the Year for the introductory clinical experience rotations for URI pharmacy students. Joining her during the ceremonies are June Spink, center, coordinator of pharmacy experiential programs at URI and Pharmacy Dean Donald E. Letendre. URI News Bureau photo by Michael Salerno Photography.