2011 UW Honorary Citation Recipients

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Gene Fiese

Citation recipient Dr. Eugene Fiese (center) with Dean Jeanette Roberts and Brian Mc Ilhone

Citation recipient Dr. Eugene Fiese (center) with Dean Jeanette Roberts (right)
and Brian Mc Ilhone (left)

Dr. E. F. “Gene” Fiese is currently a pharmaceutics consultant and a very busy sailor and racing enthusiast. He served as President of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists in 2007, continuing a long tradition of Wisconsin leadership of that organization. Gene has also served as an advisor to the Board of the Lenor Zeeh Pharmaceutical Experiment Station at the School of Pharmacy and a short-course instructor for numerous Extension Services in Pharmacy programs.

Gene retired in 2004 as an Associate Research Fellow in the General Pharmaceutics Group, Pharmaceutical Research and Development at Pfizer in Groton, CT. His main responsibility was managing a group that assessed the physical chemical properties of potential drug candidates and lead optimization for development of solid, parenteral and aerosol dosage forms. His technical expertise runs from analytical chemistry to solid-state chemistry to drug absorption and formulation development. Gene spent 30 amazing years either in Pfizer labs or on the ocean.

Prior to joining Pfizer, Gene obtained his BS degree in Pharmacy and an MS degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin. He worked at Parke Davis for two years before joining Dr. Bill Higuchi for his PhD studies in pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Michigan.

Earlene Lipowski

Citation recipient Dr. Earlene Lipowski with Dean Jeanette Roberts and Brian Mc Ilhone

Citation recipient Dr. Earlene Lipowski (center) with Dean Jeanette Roberts (right)
and Brian Mc Ilhone (left)

Dr. Earlene Lipowski earned her first pharmacy degree in 1972. Among the highlights of her time at the UW School of Pharmacy was meeting Gary Lipowski, her classmate and future husband. Earlene worked as a pharmacist at Beaver Dam Community Hospital and as consultant pharmacist at the Lakeview Nursing Home for a number of years while Gary realized his ambition of owning and operating a successful community pharmacy in DeForest.

Earlene received her MS in pharmacy in 1983 and continued on to earn her PhD in 1990 at Gary’s urging and with the endorsement of their children Cathy and Steve. She accepted a faculty position at the University of Florida in 1990 and currently is Professor of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy at that institution.

Earlene became an American Foundation for Pharmacy Education Fellow as a student at UW-Madison. She nurtured an interest in public policy that was seeded at the UW Madison Center for Health System Research and Analysis and spent one year as a Congressional Fellow, working as a staff member for the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. In 2006, she was named the Donald C. Brodie Academic Scholar-in-Residence by the American Pharmacists Association, including a term as President of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science and member of the APhA Board of Trustees. She is an APhA Fellow and perennial member of the APhA House of Delegates.

The UW-Madison connection has served her well, creating an instant network at the University of Florida where the first three deans were all Badger alumni. Badger pharmacy alumni have welcomed her on several teaching trips to Thailand and all points in between. Children Cathy and Steve have carried on the family tradition with degrees from UW-Madison; both met and married UW graduates, and together with other Badger alum among aunts, uncles, and cousins – are busy raising a new generation of Badger grandchildren: Luke, Anne, Andrew and Jane.

James Muren

Citation recipient Dr. Jim Muren and Dean Jeanette Roberts

Citation recipient Dr. Jim Muren (left) and Dean Jeanette Roberts (right)

Dr. James “Jim” Muren earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois School of Pharmacy and his PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin. Jim retired as Vice President of Manufacturing from Pfizer after 34 years as a research chemist, new product development manager and manufacturing executive.

Early research projects resulted in the discovery of two novel psychotherapeutic drugs: thiothixene (Navane) and doxepin (Sinequan). After a mid-career change from research to manufacturing, he directed the startup and operation of the Pfizer pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Puerto Rico.

Along the way, Jim founded the Puerto Rico Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association, and served on numerous community boards and commissions including the Kansas City Economic Development Commission, East Lyme (CT) board of education and the Lee’s Summit (MO) Community Hospital. He currently serves on the board of directors of Mitchell College in New London CT and Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara CA.

Jim also served on the School of Pharmacy Board of Visitors during the period when Rennebohm Hall was conceived and was instrumental in visioning and fund raising for this effort. Jim and his wife Terri divide their time between Stonington CT and New York City.

Jacqueline Nowicki Pyter

Citation recipient Jackie Nowicki Pyter (center) with Dean Jeanette Roberts and Brian Mc Ilhone

Citation recipient Jackie Nowicki Pyter (center) with Dean Jeanette Roberts (right)
and Brian Mc Ilhone (left)

The formal part of Jacqueline “Jackie” Nowicki Pyter’s professional journey started at the School of Pharmacy at Charter and University where she received the foundation and tools to navigate her diverse future experiences in retail, hospital, chain, and mail-order pharmacy settings. Her formal education was enhanced by mentorship from Dennis Dziczkowski at Meinzer Pharmacy in Hales Corners, WI, as a high school student and later as her pharmacy preceptor.

The knowledge and experiences gained at the School of Pharmacy and the lessons learned at her assorted pharmacy practice venues, came into alignment and culminated in an incredibly rewarding experience working as a volunteer for the Open Door and HealthReach Clinics in Mundelein and Waukegan, Illinois. Open Door provided health care services to the medically uninsured and underserved population in Lake County, IL by using a dedicated volunteer medical staff and Board of Directors. Jackie’s responsibilities on its Board of Directors evolved into an ambitious attempt to offer drug therapy at no cost to the patrons of the Open Door clinic. She initiated pharmacy services at Open Door by erecting a 6×8 foot “dispensary”. A generous volunteer in the building trade put up some 2x4s and shelves. Medications, including physician samples brought in by the volunteer doctors and a limited supply of purchased generic drug products, were inventoried, organized, and dispensed. A paper-based administrative system was created, and the original “pharmacy” at Open Door came into being. The formulary expanded as patients were enrolled in patient assistance programs sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.

In a strategic move that was highly beneficial for the patients, Jackie and her Board of Directors evaluated a mutually beneficial merger with HealthReach Inc. in Waukegan, Illinois. This clinic, with a similar mission and staffed by a larger cohort of volunteer medical personnel, was a nearly perfect fit and a joint venture was finalized in 2006. A similar, but larger scale, replica of the Open Door dispensary operation was established at the Waukegan site. Soon after, Abbott Laboratories sent an army of volunteer engineers and donated $500,000 dollars to gut and renovate the Mundelein site, adding modern exam rooms, a state-of-the-art phlebotomy lab, and two dental operatories. Abbott also contributed an additional $250,000 in the form of a matching grant to support operational expenses, and $250,000 worth of bulk medications.

As patient needs and Board of Directors support grew, in 2008 Jackie led the realization of the dream to serve HealthReach’s many patients with a Division I licensed pharmacy. This off-site central-fill pharmacy was located in a refurbished former factory building with the help of a generous landlord who waived the pharmacy’s rent for the first year. The challenges associated with licensing the facility, hiring a full-time pharmacist and technicians, seeking the help of volunteer pharmacists, and creation of necessary procedures were daunting, but were achieved with Jackie’s leadership.

Procurement of additional patient assistance program medications, adding drug products from the institutional bulk replacement programs offered by pharmaceutical companies, and installing software that networked the clinics and pharmacy together followed shortly. Today, more than 28,000 prescriptions per year are dispensed at a minimum cost to the growing number of patients in need. Outcomes data measuring the success rates associated with treatment of chronic disease states such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease compare favorably with national benchmarks.

Funding the clinics and pharmacy continues to be an ongoing struggle in the face of the ever expanding number of underserved people in Lake County and the effect of the economy on the enterprise’s most generous donors and volunteers. Nonetheless, Jackie and the Board are looking creatively at partnerships to establish a clinical pharmacist position to work with the medical teams at both clinics and eventually supervise pharmacy students as part of their experiential education.

Jackie’s sincere hope is that other young women and men will seek volunteer opportunities that use the skills and knowledge that the faculty here at the School of Pharmacy provide as part of achieving their own professional dreams. In doing so, and in their own special way, they will continue the work of providing modern-day pharmaceutical expertise to the neediest of patients. It is her belief that, with the love and support of their families, the input and inspiration of their mentors, and based on the quality of the education provided by this faculty, anything is possible.