Alumnus of the Year – Profiles


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2013: Terry Audley


2012: Randy Miller

Sue Kleppin (left) and Dean Jeanette Roberts (right) stand with 2012 Alumnus of the Year Randy Miller (center).

Susan Kleppin (left) and Dean Jeanette Roberts (right) stand with 2012 Alumnus of the Year Randy Miller (center).

2011: James Reinhart

UW SOP Alumni Citation Awards 2011.

2011 Alumnus of the Year winner James Rinehart (center) stands with Brian McIlhone (left) and Dean Jeanette Roberts (right).

2010: Cindy Steffen

Dean Jeanette Roberts stands with 2010 Alumna of the Year Cindy Steffen.

Dean Jeanette Roberts stands with 2010 Alumna of the Year Cindy Steffen.

Cindy Steffen was named the 2010 Alumna of the Year. Steffen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy with a BS in pharmacy in 1984 and subsequently completed an internship at Appleton Pharmacy, Appleton, Wis. Steffen’s career has spanned from work in hospital and infusion pharmacies, and long term care, to recently earning an MS in management from Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wis.

In January 1989, Steffen joined the faculty of the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), helping to manage the pharmacy clinical experiences for the pharmacy technician curriculum. Since 1998, she has served as the program coordinator for the pharmacy technician program, with responsibilities including representation on multiple committees, budget, scheduling, and developing, revising and implementing the curriculum. In addition, she advises more than 100 students. Many UW-Madison pharmacy alumni interact with Steffen on a regular basis as she makes site visits to pharmacies where MATC pharmacy technician students are doing their clinical rotations.

Steffen’s work with the Milwaukee Area Technical College pharmacy technician training program is instrumental to the profession—ensuring that pharmacy technicians are well-trained and ready to assist in the care of patients.

Steffen is member of the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Phi Delta Chi and the UW-Madison Pharmacy Alumni Association.

2008: Kathy Skibinski

Kathleen Skibinksi, 2008 Alumna of the Year, is congratulated by Phil Berce, PAA immediate past president.

(left) Kathleen Skibinksi, 2008 Alumna of the Year, is congratulated by Phil Berce (right), PAA immediate past president.

The UW Pharmacy Alumni Association Executive Committee selected Kathy Skibinski (BS ’86, MS ’88) as the Alumna of the Year for 2008. This distinction was presented November 14, 2008 at the Friday evening reception of Reunion Weekend.

Skibinski graduated in 1986 from the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy with a BS and subsequently completed the Administrative Hospital Pharmacy Residency Program at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (UWHC), earning her MS degree in Hospital Pharmacy in 1988. Currently, she is the clinical pharmacy supervisor and serves as the pharmacy residency program director at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, where she is responsible for personnel management and professional development of staff and residents.

Many alumni and students have met Skibinski and had contact with her during her tenure at the UW School of Pharmacy as the associate dean for student affairs from 2004-2007 or in her role as clinical assistant professor, UW Extension Services in Pharmacy. She developed many great relationships with alumni and students in these roles and earned the respect of health care professionals across the state of Wisconsin.

Skibinski also served as facilitator and consultant for Visante, Inc., and the Enright Group, sharing her expertise in preparation for Joint Commission surveys, medication use safety, automation and pharmacy operations. This expertise was gained in part during her role as assistant director, Acute Care Pharmacy Services at UWHC, and as coordinator, Ambulatory Pharmacy Services at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

Skibinski has served as faculty for numerous presentations at national and local pharmacy and healthcare meetings and is well published in the pharmacy literature. She is a member of the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin and the American Society of Health-System.

2007: Cindy Benning

The UW Pharmacy Alumni Association (PAA) Executive Committee named Cynthia Benning, RPh, the 2007 Alumna of the Year. Since graduating from the UW School of Pharmacy in 1977, Cindy has served her patients and the profession tirelessly. Currently she is operations manager of the pharmacy departments at Columbia-St. Mary’s and St. Mary’s Ozaukee campuses in Milwaukee.

Benning has been responsible for design and implementation of several innovative programs during her career including Pyxis® technology and training and quality assurance programs. She has been a member of the Pharmacy Technician Program Advisory Committee at the Milwaukee Area Technical College. A polished speaker and talented educator, Bening has given frequent lectures for a variety of groups including the Wisconsin Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the Columbia Hospital College of Nursing, Planned Parenthood, the Wisconsin Pharmacists Association, the National Associations of Boards of Pharmacy, UW-Milwaukee, the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, and the UWSoP.

Bening has served as a delegate in the Wisconsin Pharmacists Association House of Delegates, as secretary and president of the Wisconsin Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and as a member, secretary and chair of the Wisconsin Pharmacy Internship Board. She was an influential member of the Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board from 1994 – 2006, serving as vice-chair and chair during her tenure. Concurrently, she served on the Wisconsin Controlled Substances Board and the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse. She also served as a member of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) for over a decade, as a member of the Multistate Jurisprudence Examination Review Committee, and as an annual question reviewer and writer for the NABP jurisprudence exam.

During her career, Benning has served the UWSoP as a preceptor and member of the Board of Visitors. She served as a member of the UW School of Pharmacy Quality Review Council from 2001 – 2005. She also served the UW Pharmacy Alumni Association as president from 1992 – 1993 adn was a member of the PAA Board of Directors from 1993 – 1998.

Outside of the pharmacy profession, Benning is also actively involved in several community endeavors, including participation in Habitat for Humanity projects.

Among her many career accomplishments, Benning received the 1992 Hospital Pharmacist of the Year award, the PSW Government Affairs Award in 2003, and a 2001 Citation of Merit from the UW School of Pharmacy.

2006: Pamela Ploetz

With the same passion and energy that pervades her personal life, Pamela A. Ploetz has contributed to the Wisconsin pharmacy community for more than 35 years. A 1968 graduate of the UW School of Pharmacy, she spent the greater part of her career at the UW Hospital and Clinics, from 1970 to 2000, retiring as associate director of pharmacy, practice, education and research.

During her career, Ploetz served the profession as preceptor, clinical instructor, and finally, clinical associate professor. During the 1990s, she directed the ASHjP accredited Pharmacy Practice Residency Program at UWHC. It was largely through her influence that the professional program at the School of Pharmacy came to emphasize the clinical aspects of the practice of pharmacy so evident today.

Ploetz continues to influence future pharmacy practitioners through the Pamela Ploetz Scholarship Fund, created by friends, colleagues and past pharmacy students and residents. The scholarship is awarded each fall to a PharmD student who meets the scholarship criteria, reflecting the values treasured by Ploetz: intellectual curiosity for higher education. To date, seven students have received the Pam Ploetz Scholarship.

Ploetz has worked on influential committees, task forces and councils with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. She also served Wisconsin Health-System Pharmacists in the House of Delegates of ASHP for many years. She similarly served on the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy from 1982 to 1988.

Among her passions are issues and policies created to focus on the patient. These include high quality patient care, medication use safety, and research and education to develop, promote and foster best pharmacy practices.

Closer to home, Ploetz is heralded as one of the champioins in the creation of the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, joining members of the Wisconsin Pharmacist’s Association and the Wisconsin Society of Health-System Pharmacists into a unified voice for pharmacy in the state of Wisconsin. Ploetz served as president of PSW in 2001 – 2002, after serving leadership roles in the Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board and the Wisconsin Pharmacy Internship Board.

Among her many career honors, Ploetz received the 1999 PSW Distinguished Services Award, the Wisconsin Hospital Pharmacist of the Year in 1981 and the UW School of Pharmacy citation in 2003.

Ploetz served on three School of Pharmacy Dean Search Committees, including one for Dean Roberts, and on the School’s Board of Visitors in the late 1980s, as well as the Current Board of Visitors. She has given frequent invited lectures and has co-authored numerous publications and research poster presentations.

She also served the Pharmacy Alumni Association as president from 1998 – 1999 and was a member of the PAA Board of Directors from 1998 – 2004.

As reflected in the criteria for the scholarship that bears her name, Pam is actively involved in numerous community endeavors, ouside the practice of pharmacy including her current participation in the UW Women’s Philanthropy Council.

2005: John & Mary Pat Bohlman

John and Mary Pat Bohlman, both 1974 UW SOP graduates, own and operate Bohlman Drug Store in Boscobel, WI, a business established by John’s father, Vilas, in 1937.

Today, the pharmacy provides community, long-term care, hospice and home infusion therapy via Bohlman Drug Store, Inc. and Infusion Pharmacy Services.

They have been exemplary members of their profession and have created a model practice environment in Boscobel. Responsible for delivering clinical and administrative pharmacy services, the Bohlmans go beyond the traditional pharmacy practice to offer consulting services in high-tech infusion pharmacy and nursing home pharmaceuticals. They also coordinate and administer vaccinations as a preventive health program.

John and Mary Pat serve as adjunct faculty for several pharmacy schools, coordinating experiential practical clerkships for doctor and pharmacy candidates .

They are members–together and individually–of many pharmacy-related organizations including the Long Term Care Section of the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, American Pharmacists Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, National Community Pharmacy Association, American Herb Research Foundation, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, and the Wisconsin Cancer Pain Initiative. Many of you recognize John from his many years of service to the Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board as member and Chair and his leadership in the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin.

John was the first recipient of WphA’s Innovative Pharmacy Practice Award. He has also received the PSW Bowl of Hygeia Award, and a UW School of Pharmacy Citation of Merit in 2002. Bohlman Drug Store was also recognized by Drug Topics Magazine in 2003 as a national Blue Chip Independent Pharmacy Practice.

The Bohlmans are well-respected civic leaders, working tirelessly in their contributions to the Boscobel Area Health Care Board of Directors, Chamber of Commerce, Community Master Plan, Southwest Wisconsin Community Action Plan, Unified Counseling Service of Grant and Iowa Counties, and the Grant County Health Committee.

2004: David Hamacher

David Hamacher graduated with a BS degree in Pharmacy in 1966 from the UW School of Pharmacy. He was a partner and executive vice president of Stein Drug of Menomonee Falls until 1979 when the 19-store chain was sold to the Walgreens Company. In 1980, Hamacher became founder and president of D.P. Hamacher and Associates in Milwaukee. His management expertise was instrumental in developing front end tool sets for retailers to allow them to categorize inventory, manage workload and develop competitive pricing strategies. Renamed the Hamacher Resource Group in 2002, the company provides marketing services, data analysis and business consultation for the retail health care market in the United States and in the United Kingdom where it has a subsidiary location.

The Hamacher Resource Group is an active partner wtih several health care management organizations. One such organization, the Healthcare Distribution Management Association, recognizes the Hamacher Group as the company that maintains the standards for the Fine Line product classification system, assuring reliable and consistent categorization of health care products inventory.

Hamacher has contributed to the annual National Community Pharmacists Association/Pfizer Digest and has authored white papers on the topics of electronic product code and radio frequency identification device trends.

He is active in his church and in the community, serving on the board of directors of the YMCA and as Chairman of the Campanile Society which provides resources to benefit the critical service needs of Milwaukee’s Catholic parishes. He is also a member of the President’s Council of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and the Resource Development Council for the Archidiocese of Milwaukee.

His steadfast commitment and service to the UW School of Pharmacy is exemplary. He was a member of the Board of Visitors from 1988 to 1996, serving as its chair from 1994 to 1996. As a member of the very successful Rennebohm Hall fundraising campaign, he contributed to the establishment of the Marjorie and Dave Hamacher Student, Faculty and Staff Resource Center in the F.B. Power Pharmacy Commons. Most recently he co-founded the Dean’s Club to help support research and other activities of the UW School of Pharmacy.

Hamacher and his wife Marge live in Elm Grove and spend their winters in Bonita Springs, Florida. They have four children and six grandchildren.

2003: David Sanders

David Sanders received his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy in 1952 and a Masters in Business Administration degree in 1956 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dave has been involved in the pharmaceutical/medical device industry for over 40 years and has been an entrepreneur/business owner for over 30 years.

He began his career with Pfizer International where he was responsible for all marketing research activities related to the pharmaceutical and international divisions. He then was employed by Sandoz, Inc. and was responsible for marketing, sales, advertising, acquisitions and general management.

These experiences led him to become involved in the purchase of Medical Engineering Corporation in 1973, at that time, MEC was in acute financial difficulty and Mr. Sanders become its CEO. From 1973 to 1984, MEC which became Surgitek and was sold to Bristol Myers Squibb in 1982 and grew from 45 employees to over 200 and exploded its sales from $750,000 to $20 million.

In 1982 the company was awarded the Department of Commerce E Award for excellence in export. In 1984, the holding company that Mr. Sanders and his partner owned, DS Medical, purchased controlling interest in Biochem International and increased the company’s sales, over a short period of 8 years from $2.5 million to $10 million annually. In 2000, Mr. Sanders purchased Medikmark Incorporated, a manufacturer of sterile, disposable surgical kits for numerous types of clinical and hospital surgical procedures. Medikmark was a company in trouble and today is a profitable and successful company in its industry. As recent as 2003, Dave acquired a company from an Australian pharmaceutical firm and introduced it’s product line into the US market in February 2003, the company is Intravascular, and the flagship product is FlowStar: a needleless IV connector.

During his tenure in general management, Mr. Sanders spent considerable time in the research and development activities of the various companies with which he has been associated. These high-tech medical businesses have literally introduced and marketed hundreds of new products, generally directed to the plastic surgery, urology, anesthesia and respiratory care fields of medicine.

As you have heard, Dave Sanders has been extremely successful in his business ventures but his service and commitment to the health care industry extends beyond his office. Past affiliations have included being a board member of a prominent WI hospital and Chairman of the Board of several companies, including HMO organizations in the greater Chicago area. Past and current affiliations include: Former Chairperson and member of the Board of Visitors for the School of Pharmacy; Director of the Biomedical Research Institute at UW-Parkside; a member of the Health Industry Manufacturer’s Association, Board of Advisors of the Medical College of Wisconsin and Executive Board member to the Advisory Board for the Biology Department of Marquette University.

Mr. Sanders is a man of significant stature, vision, keen business sense and generosity. When the SOP was in need of people to lead the fund raising campaign, Dave was eager to volunteer as our National Vice Chair of the Pharmacy Building Campaign; he is the largest individual donor and served the campaign and the future pharmacy graduates with exemplary dedication.

He is an approachable, unassuming, hard working and kind man.

When Dave was informed of this award he was humbled and stated “Oh my, there are so many others who deserve this award as well…”

2002: Charlotte Smith

Charlotte Smith received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy in 1968 and her Master of Science in Continuing and Vocational Education in 1980.

For several years beyond graduation, Charlotte worked in a variety of traditional pharmacy positions in Wisconsin, Texas, North Dakota and Colorado. Since holding these positions, Charlotte has created many new pharmacy career paths.

In the late 70’s she became Assistant to the Dean of the School of Pharmacy and was responsible for program planning, curriculum development, teaching and technical editing.

In the 80’s, Charlotte became the vice president of sales and marketing for Wheatstone Programs and Products where she was involved in product development, marketing and sales of natural food products to wholesalers and retailers. Her sales career continued for the next few years when she was employed by Concept Marketing Associates and was responsible for durable and disposable medical equipment sales. She continued her work with wholesalers and retailers as she became the Director of Training for D.P. Hamacher and Associates.

Over the last decade, Charlotte co-founded Capital Returns, Inc., a nationally known pharmaceutical reverse distributor and served as President and their Chief Regulatory Advisor for 10 years. Charlotte is currently President of PharmEcology Associate, LLC which she founded in 2000 to assist healthcare facilities in reducing and managing pharmaceutical waste. In these positions, Ms Smith pioneered the application of the EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act regulations to pharmaceutical waste streams within the reverse distribution industry and developed management systems to assist healthcare facilities in reducing pharmaceutical waste.

She has published extensively on hazardous materials and reverse distribution and has been an invited lecturer for local, state and national pharmaceutical audiences as well as healthcare environmental services professionals.

Ms Smith has been a member and currently is the chair person of the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy Board of Visitors, member of state and national pharmacy, and national healthcare engineers and environmental services associations.

In 1978 she was listed as one of the Outstanding Young Women of America.

Charlotte is passionate about her business ventures, career and life. She is energetic, inspirational, pleasant, approachable and a great role model for women in pharmacy.

2001: Marty Stein

Marty Stein graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy in 1959 and founded Stein Drugs in 1961. In 1979, the drug chain was sold to the Walgreen Company. Stein Optical was founded in 1979 and on March 31, 1998 merged with Vision Twenty-One (a Florida based company). Ultimately, on August 31, 1999, all of the optical stores were sold to a Texas firm, Eye Care Centers of America. Marty’s civic and philanthropic activities encompass a wide spectrum, which include work with local, national and international organizations.

Locally, Marty served as a member of the Executive Council of the Hunger Task Force and is currently Campaign Chairman of the Fondy Market project. He chaired the United Way Campaign in 1991 and was President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee from 1993 to 1995. He is past Chairman of the Executives Council and a past Board Member for the Task Force on Family Violence. Marty is a past President of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin and currently is a Board Member of Junior Achievement, Inc. and serves as Secretary/Treasurer of J. A. International. In addition, Marty chaired the campaign to build the new Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and serves as Chairman of the Board of the Jewish Home and Care Center Foundation. Because of Marty’s strong belief to develop greater understanding and appreciation for all of our ethnicities, he chaired the America’s Black Holocaust Museum’s capital campaign.

Marty agreed to co-chair a two-year project, the Wisconsin’s Promise, with First Lady Sue Ann Thompson in October 1997. The mission of the Summit was to implement the five national goals of America’s Promise. Marty served as President of the National Community Service Board of Wisconsin and chaired the fund-raising campaign for the New Hope Project (welfare reform). He chaired the $15 million fund-raising campaign to build a new Pharmacy School in Madison and is a founder of the Citizens Democracy Corps Business Entrepreneur Program based in Washington, D.C. which provides business mentoring in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Also on the national level, Marty is past Campaign Chairman and Chairman of the Board of the United Jewish Appeal and currently serves on its Board of Trustees. In 1984, he chaired the Operation Moses campaign, which rescued Ethiopian Jews and brought them to Israel.

Marty sits on the Board of Directors of Koss Corporation and is a director on the Northwestern Mutual Life’s Series Fund and Mason Street Funds Board.

In 1991, Marty was named Man of the Year by the Harvard Business School Alumni Club and received the Junior Achievement National Gold Leadership Award. In 1992, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from Cardinal Stritch College and in 1993 was awarded the Mentor Award by TEMPO. In 1995, Marty received the Silver Medallion Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and the Bowl of Hygeia Award from the Wisconsin Pharmaceutical Association. On August 8, 1999, Governor Thompson presented the “Distinguished Service to States” Award to Marty at the National Governors Association Annual Meeting. This award honors the incredible commitment made by ordinary citizens to public service and community activism. On April 4, 2001, Marty was inducted into the Junior Achievement Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame as one of its laureates.

Marty is the proud father of two grown sons and the grandfather of three beautiful granddaughters.

In a recent interview, when Marty was asked to comment on the importance of community involvement, he responded: “The world will never change unless we each take a piece of it, determine what is wrong and make it right.”