Pharmacy Podcast Interview

Parata and Pharmacy Times Interviewed about Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards

In a recent episode of Pharmacy Podcast, Pharmacy Times‘ Bea Riemschneider and Parata CEO Tom Rhoads discuss the Next-Generation Pharmacist awards program.

Listen or read below to learn why pharmacy’s leading awards program was created, what it means to be recognized, and how to nominate an outstanding pharmacy professional for the 2014 awards.

What is the Next-Generation Pharmacist Program?

Next-Generation Pharmacist is an independent, national awards program founded in 2010 to showcase innovation and leadership in the pharmacy community. The program is now in its fifth year, and more than 100 pharmacy leaders have been named finalists or winners. With 10 different awards categories, this national program spans all segments of pharmacy and levels of experience, recognizing pharmacists, technicians and pharmacy students. Overall, the Next-Generation Pharmacist awards are meant to show what pharmacists can do and how they contribute to the healthcare landscape.

Why did Parata and Pharmacy Times partner to create this awards program?

We looked at the different pharmacy award programs out there and felt like there was a gap. We saw an opportunity to provide a way for any leader in pharmacy to be recognized, rather than just those known to large industry groups. The Next-Generation Pharmacist program encourages both peer nominations and self-nominations, allowing anyone in the pharmacy landscape to be recognized. Because of that, we’ve found an unbelievable diversity of thought, approaches to patient care, efficiencies and strategy in pharmacy.

What differentiates the Next-Generation Pharmacist program from other pharmacy awards?

Because anyone in the industry can be nominated, the Next-Generation Pharmacist awards are very inclusive. Each year we see representation from almost every state and across all industry segments.

The 10 awards categories cover a wide range and allow nominees’ strengths to really shine. This year’s categories are: Civic Leader, Entrepreneur, Future Pharmacist (awarded to a pharmacy student), Lifetime Leadership, Military Pharmacist, Patient Care Provider, Rising Star (awarded to a pharmacist who has been practicing for fewer than 5 years), Specialty Pharmacist, Technician (awarded to a certified pharmacy tech), and Technology Innovator.

The program also has a very public face in the industry. All finalists are featured in an issue of Pharmacy Times, and the Next-Generation Pharmacist winner is featured on the cover of Pharmacy Times, which is revealed during the annual Next-Generation Pharmacist awards gala.

What does being recognized mean to the finalists and winners?

This is a big, lifetime honor for our finalists and winners — whether they’re recognized with a Rising Star or Lifetime Leadership award. It means they are among the top 1 percent of leaders in the pharmacy industry. This kind of recognition provides an opportunity to drive new ideas and inspire change on a broad scale. We’ve seen past winners and finalists become even more influential leaders in their communities, called upon to lead discussions and to lead change within their own organizations and across the industry.

Each year, the winners are announced at an awards gala. The evening is full of energy, excitement and emotion. Our first year, we actually had tears on stage. It was heartwarming to see how touched the finalists and winners were to receive this honor.

What makes a strong candidate?

This varies a bit by category, but ultimately, it’s about leadership and innovation. Show us that you have a vision for the future of pharmacy and are committed to making it a reality. There are so many worthy pharmacists out there, and we have heard some phenomenal, inspiring stories. We look forward to receiving yours.

What is the judging process like?

The judging process is led by Fred Eckel, Editor in Chief of Pharmacy Times. We have a large panel of independent judges that consists of Pharmacy Times’ editorial board members, leaders in the industry and some of our past Next-Generation Pharmacist winners. Each judge reviews and scores a subset of the nominations through a third party system, independent of any insight or influence from other judges. Within each category, judges are looking for professional standards that fit the category description, the candidate’s experience and a commitment to advancing the profession of pharmacy.

Three finalists are recognized in each category, and the category winner is selected from those. The overall Next-Generation Pharmacist award goes to the top pharmacist from among the pharmacist-specific category winners.

How do you nominate someone?

Nominations are free, fast and easy to submit online. To submit a nomination, you will be asked to select a category, provide your contact information and your nominee’s contact information (if not a self-nomination, which are more than welcome), and answer two questions:

  • How do the candidate’s experience and accomplishments fit the nomination category?
  • How have the candidate’s vision, career and accomplishments advanced the practice of pharmacy?

People have found that it only takes a few minutes. Visit to get started today.

If someone wants to sponsor the event, what steps should they take?

We’ve added a number of sponsorship opportunities this year so that anyone, from individuals to large businesses or organizations, can support the Next-Generation Pharmacist program. If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor, visit to learn more.

In addition to prominent placement on the Next-Generation Pharmacist website and during the awards gala in August, sponsors get tremendous coverage through advertisements in Pharmacy Times magazine. This is a great way to bring visibility and recognition to your brand and position yourself with pharmacy’s leaders.

Thank you to the Pharmacy Podcast team for helping spread the word about this program, and good luck to all our 2014 candidates!

Nominations are open through Monday, April 14. Start your nomination now!