The Ohio Pharmacists Association Annual Conference and Awards

Marc Sweeney
3 min readJul 28, 2021

The Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA), established in 1879, unites pharmacists in the state to advance the profession. OPA promotes public health through advocacy, education, and discussion.

OPA holds an annual conference that offers continuing pharmacy education (CPE) programming. These programs allow pharmacy professionals to earn more than 40 hours of CPE for their license renewal and other certification demands. In addition, the annual conference allows OPA members to network with knowledgeable exhibitors and experts and learn about current pharmacy issues.

The virtual 2021 annual conference, the OPA Virtual Conference and Trade Show, tackled several clinical topics, including continuous glucose monitoring, migraine treatment, smoking cessation, trans health, new drugs, and non-opioid pain management. The conference featured COVID-19-related CPE focused on the impact of pediatric vaccinations, telepharmacy, pharmacy services in long-term care medication management, pharmacist testing, and vaccines. Other features included an annual legislative update forum, a research forum, an innovative practice forum, a poster session, and preceptor development sessions, where pharmacists learned about instructing patients, clinical staff, and other health care providers about medications and procedures.

Like past annual conferences, the 2021 conference featured an award ceremony that included an Under 40 Award to acknowledge the excellence, leadership, and vision of young pharmacists in their practice and communities. Moreover, the Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award was granted to pharmacists beginning their practice, to encourage them to participate in activities within the association and their community. Other awards given by OPA include the Upsher-Smith Excellence in Innovation Award, the Bowl of Hygeia Award, the Good Government Award, the Media Awards, and the Pharmacist Public Relations Award.

The Upsher-Smith Excellence in Innovation Award recognizes pharmaceutical professionals who have created innovative pharmacy practices that enhances patient care while advancing the pharmacy role of patient counseling.

OPA gives the Bowl of Hygeia Award to a pharmacist who provided outstanding service to the community. Nominees must be licensed in the state of Ohio and have a record of community service that reflects well on the pharmacist profession. Additionally, nominees must not have received a previous Bowl of Hygeia Award and must not have served in the preceding two years as an OPA officer. The award is sponsored by Students Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and the American Pharmacists Association Foundation.

OPA pharmacists who have contributed significantly to the public through legislative service, government service, or education are eligible for the Good Government Award. These contributions can be at a local, state, or national level and must have helped to effect favorable changes in legislation relating to pharmacy or raised pharmacist awareness of legislative pharmacy issues.

Meanwhile, persons in the general media who dedicate themselves to promoting pharmacy issues and medication safety to the public may receive an OPA Media Award.

Finally, the Pharmacist Public Relations Award recognizes an OPA member who has engaged in public relations for the pharmaceutical profession and provided significant contributions through television, newsprint, radio, or career-related community presentations. Members of the public can nominate individuals on the OPA website by completing the submission form with the nominee’s information and proposed award. Furthermore, any of the awards above can receive nominations through the website.

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Marc Sweeney

Marc Sweeney — Pharmacy Education, Management, and Consulting