One of the duties and privileges of a professional association is to recognize excellence within the profession. The Montana Pharmacy Association does this each year at the winter convention by presenting professional awards of excellence.

The Board of Directors invites you to make nominations for the 2020 awards. Nominations must be received in the MPA office by Monday, October 14, 2019.  Award recipients will be honored at the MPA Awards Dinner on Friday evening, January 10, during the 2020 MPA Winter CE and Ski at Big Sky Resort. Click here to make your 2020 awards nomination

 We Honor Our 2019 MPA Award Recipients

View a full listing of all past award recipients.

Bowl of Hygeia
Todd Koepp, Pharm.D. St. Vincent Healthcare Missoula, MT

From the award nomination:  "Two words immediately come to mind when I think of Todd Koepp. That is “Loyalty” and “Integrity”.  Todd has worked at St. Vincent Healthcare for over 40 hours.  His dedication and loyalty to St. Vincent Healthcare and its mission sets him apart from others.  Todd has served as a Staff Pharmacist, Team Leader, Supervisor, and now Operations Manager in the pharmacy at St. Vincent.  He puts in well OVER 40 hours a week at work (usually well over 50 hours) and comes to work most weekends on his “days off” to see the staff and get caught up.  He is one of the most dedicated and committed individuals you could ever work with.  He takes care of daily issues that arise, has led numerous construction projects, reviews every safety event, develops the orientation and training of every pharmacy technician and intern, is often the face of the pharmacy to other departments, and willingly takes on any assignment asked of him (or that he knows needs to get done).  He cares deeply for the people he serves and will go out of his way to help make their lives better.  He is also a continual learner taking part in leadership development courses striving to always grow as a leader…all the way up to retirement.  Thank you for your decades of service and loyalty Todd"!

Distinguished Young Pharmacist of the Year
Levi Shypkowski, PharmD - Florence Pharmacy/Florence, MT

From the award nomination: After graduation, this gentleman began working with us at our independent pharmacy in Florence, MT. He works closely with medical staff and prescribes in the attached clinic. He has quickly gained their professional respect and they rely more and more on his clinical expertise. Levi became a Certified Asthma Educator (AE-C) and has enhanced our existing Asthma Program. His expertise has improved the lives of countless patients. He also has helped to improve our Travel Immunization Clinic as well as our Ambulatory Anticoagulation Clinic. I cannot imagine a more deserving pharmacist for the Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award".

Excellence in Innovation
Andrea Lannon, BS Pharm Bozeman Health, Bozeman 

From the award nomination: "For several years now, I've been interested in centralizing all of our ambulatory clinic prescription refill workload and having Pharmacy Services manage this process under approved protocols and collaborative practice agreements. I'd read about large systems doing this successfully, i.e., increasing turnaround time, allowing providers to spend more time with patients, allowing nurses to work on other important work such as follow up appointments, all of which fits within a major strategic initiative of our organization to increase access for the patients we serve. In February of this year we finally launched our Pharmacist led Centralized refill pilot. How? This recipient took the lead on this project: She met with our primary care providers, developed protocols based on identified drug classes, e.g., antihypertensive agents, antidepressants, thyroid, etc. She worked with the providers involved with the pilot to identify criteria to base clinical decisions on authorizing refills, such as lab values, compliance, etc. The result? Our turnaround time for processing refill requests has decreased from 3-4 days to ONE DAY for majority of refills. Provider satisfaction, nurse satisfaction and most importantly PATIENT satisfaction with our service has and is "off the charts." Besides this valuable service we provide, feedback from providers and nurses is the benefit of having a pharmacist within the clinic is an invaluable resource for consultation and patient education. Additionally, this recipient as well as the other pharmacists that work in this service routinely identify drug interactions, compliance and poly pharmacy issues that benefit overall patient care. She continues to add more drug classes to the protocols we manager as well as adding additional providers as staffing allows. The feedback from the clinics and staff has been overwhelmingly positive and I am pleased to report we will be hiring additional pharmacists and technicians to help us in this new service line. Ambulatory care is a burgeoning and exciting area of pharmacy practice; admittedly Montana is behind other areas of the country that have long utilized pharmacists within their ambulatory practices but with great clinicians and leaders like her we will catch up and make huge impact on patient care!!!The recipient is a busy wife and mother, additionally works with our Community Care team to provide mobile care services outreach to communities surrounding the Bozeman area".

Fitzgerald Pharmacist of the Year
Lyndee Fogel, Pharm D -- Barrett Hospital and Healthcare- Dillion MT

From the award nomination: "Lyndee has deserved this award for nearly a decade. When she served on the Board of Directors of the MPA, she excelled in all aspects, especially as her tenure as chair of the programs/awards committee. Many of the changes/initiatives that have been put in place are due to her excellent leadership. The quality programming that is currently used is mostly due to her dedication to building our winter CE. We have come a long way form our CE events in Fairmont/Bozeman. She is also very active as a preceptor and many quality pharmacists have honed their skills during their rotations while under her tutelage. She has also served as our state delegate at APHA for many years. Lyndee was first elected to the MPA board in 2009 and service as the MPA Chair in 2015. Lyndee is a 2006 graduate of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy at the University of Montana. Prior to attending pharmacy school, she was a pharmacy technician for 12 years. She has also been very active in developing ambulatory care clinical programs at Barrett Hospital in Dillon. Lyndee and her husband (Kal) have been in the Dillion area for over 20 years. They are active in local community with the Ramblin Rose Drill Team (equestrian) and they enjoy riding horses, four wheeling, and playing golf".

Pharmacy Technician of the Year
Psyche Behan, CPhT - Community Medical Center/Missoula

From the award nomination: "GEM (def) – a person or thing considered to be outstandingly good or special in some respect This is the word that accurately describes Psyche Behan, an outstanding individual in multiple respects. From the moment Psyche walked in to our pharmacy, I knew we hired the right person with her never ending smile, soft spoken voice and warm personality. Though she was a pharmacist in the Philippines, she had just moved to the US and had many obstacles to overcome (improving her proficiency with the English language and adapting to American customs, becoming a US citizen, taking the national pharmacy tech certification exam, and leaning to drive to name a few). She successfully completed these challenges while working full time, raising a teenage stepson, and providing financial support to her family in the Philippines. Due to her incredible work ethic, perseverance, and determination to succeed, she accomplished these challenging tasks and more. Having recently retired as a hospital pharmacist for many years, I always knew I’d have a great day if Psyche was working with me. The nurses felt the same way. I could always depend on her to be prompt, motivate the students or technicians she was working with or training, and willingly adapt to any unexpected situation no matter how stressful it might be. She always completes all the required tasks of her shift and then offers to do even more to help the next shift. Her considerate and caring attitude for her peers and coworkers makes her the tech with whom everyone wants to work. When we had to remodel our IV room to comply with 797 standards several years ago, Psyche was the tech who volunteered to "move" the IV room to another building on campus and set up everything so that we could function temporarily (which turned out to be for an entire year). She did a phenomenal job so things continued to run smoothly (not an easy task when the hospital pharmacy's IV room was in a different building and we had no pneumatic tube system to help with delivery of drugs). A very stressful time for the pharmacy staff, but with Psyche's continual positive attitude, impeccable work ethic and fast feet running all over the CMC campus, she made what we thought would be close to impossible totally sustainable. Upon completion of the new IV room, she organized everything again to make it the most workflow efficient operation in the pharmacy. In order to increase communication amongst the techs, she implemented a daily task list for each tech to complete at the end of their shift . This has been invaluable in the IV room so tasks can't fall through the cracks. Psyche is always the tech the staff elects to train new interns and new techs as well as pharmacy tech students doing a rotation in our pharmacy . Her leadership skills as well as attention to detail which encompass her position makes her our "go to" employee for training as well as problem solver, valuable skills for a complex department such as a hospital pharmacy. She has been easily adaptable to cross train in every aspect of the pharmacy tech role. She can efficiently function as our pharmacy buyer (keenly aware of cost savings and working endlessly to acquire drugs in our never ending shortage crisis), in-patient tech, IV tech, retail tech, or oncology tech. And all with a smile no matter what we throw her way! Her ultimate goal has been to return to school to become a licensed US pharmacist. Even when she was told that very little of the coursework she took in her native country would not be accredited in the US, she is persevering to excel academically here in the pre-pharmacy courses. Psyche is truly a shining gem to the pharmacy profession".