Members of the UHSP Community Receive 2020 Missouri Pharmacy Awards

Published on 31 December 2020

Five members of the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis community recently received 2020 Missouri Pharmacy Association (MPA) awards, which celebrate the outstanding efforts of individuals in the pharmacy profession in Missouri.

Laura Challen – Excellence in Innovation Award

MPA awarded Laura Challen, Pharm.D., MBA, BCPS, BCACP, associate professor of pharmacy practice, with the 2020 Excellence in Innovation Award, which recognizes a pharmacist who has demonstrated a rare, unique or innovative style of pharmacy practice that results in improved patient care. Upon graduation from the University of Texas College of Pharmacy, Challen completed an American Society of Health-System Pharmacists accredited Pharmacy Practice Residency with an emphasis in Managed Care at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

In her current role, Challen co-coordinates the University’s Endocrinology and Pulmonary Integrated Pharmacotherapy courses and provides various lectures throughout the year. She is also an ambulatory care clinical pharmacist at Mercy Hospital's JFK clinic, assisting with chronic disease state management, drug information, precepting students and residents, and completing research.

Challen became a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist (BCPS) in 2007, a board-certified ambulatory care pharmacist in 2014 and completed her Master of Business Administration at the University of Houston in 2010.

Jason Wang, Pharm.D. ’11 – Young Pharmacist Award

Jason Wang, Pharm.D.’11, co-owner of The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in St. Louis and Pevely, Missouri, received the Young Pharmacist Award, which recognizes an outstanding young pharmacist who is a member of MPA and licensed in Missouri; received their pharmacy entry degree no more than nine years ago; is actively practicing in community, hospital or consulting pharmacy; and participates in pharmacy associations, professional programs or community service.

In 2012, Wang partnered with multi-store owner and pharmacist, Jerry Callahan, B.S. ’75, and former CEO of Clarkson Eyecare, Bill Jehling, to open the Medicine Shoppe in Pevely, Missouri. In 2020, he became co-owner of the Medicine Shoppe in St. Louis with Callahan and Merry Lynn Schmittgens, B.S. ’87.

Throughout the year, Wang hosts community outreach events to promote the pharmacist's role in health care and build ties between his pharmacy and the surrounding community, with an emphasis on breaking barriers to provide care for underserved patient populations.

Faculty of the Year

MPA presents this award annually to one faculty member at St. Louis College of Pharmacy at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis and one faculty member at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) School of Pharmacy for their contributions to the practice of pharmacy.

Scott Griggs – UHSP Faculty of the Year

With more than 20 years of experience in community pharmacy, Scott Griggs, Pharm.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacy administration and assistant director for the University’s Center for Health Outcomes Research and Education, shares his passion and knowledge with students inside and outside the classroom.

Griggs is passionate about developing courses that explore opportunities and innovation to improve the value of health care and pharmacy for insurers, employers, patients and providers. He currently coordinates and teaches the University’s Health Systems Management-Economic Aspects course, as well as two elective courses: Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research and Introduction to Pharmacy Entrepreneurship – all focused on the business side of pharmacy and health care. As part of these courses, Griggs works to provide students with the context to make connections and apply what they learn in the classroom to the ever-changing health care landscape.

Griggs also serves as Assistant Director of the UHSP Center for Health Outcomes Research and Education, established in 2017. His current research interests with the center include health insurance, managed health care, pharmacy benefit managers, health economics, pharmacoeconomics, specialty medications, value-based care, transitions of care, telemedicine and medication errors.

Kylie Barnes, Pharm.D. ’10 – UMKC Faculty of the Year

MPA awarded Kylie Barnes, Pharm.D. ’10, BCPS, clinical associate professor for the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Pharmacy, the UMKC Faculty of the Year Award. Barnes joined the UMKC faculty in 2013 and serves as an ambulatory care pharmacist in the maternal fetal medicine clinic at Truman Medical Center Hospital Hill in Kansas City, where she helps to manage chronic diseases and pregnancy induced conditions in high-risk pregnant patients.

In her role at UMKC, Barnes is the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) program lead, where she facilitates the development and implementation of teaching OSCEs throughout the curriculum. Barnes is passionate about providing a positive learning environment for her students and helping them feel supported throughout their career. As the OSCE program lead, she has expanded the clinical simulations offered throughout the curriculum and developed OSCE teaching experiences prior to each OSCE. She provides various didactic lectures related to women's health and professional development and serves as a lab facilitator for the Pharmacotherapy I Self-Care course. She is published in the areas of teaching, pregnancy and lactation, and menstruation-related disorders.

Beibei Ding, P4 Student – UHSP Student of the Year

P4 student Beibei Ding received the UHSP Student of the year award, which recognizes a student’s commitment to pharmacy and community, as evidenced by membership and participation in pharmacy organizations and community involvement.

Ding has always had a strong interest in pharmacy from a young age and believes that genuinely loving what you do can be infectious and motivating to others. During her time at the University, she has held a number of leadership positions with student organizations, including the Student Pharmacists Association, where she first became involved in MPA. Ding has served patients both in the community setting at Schnucks Pharmacy and at the Innovation Lab at Express Scripts-Cigna, and she hopes to pursue an industry fellowship after graduation.

“We are fortunate to have outstanding faculty, alumni and students in our community who enhance and advance the profession of pharmacy,” stated John A. Pieper, Pharm.D., FCCP, FAPhA, FFIP, president of the University. “Each of these individuals is deserving of recognition. I want to say congratulations to this year’s MPA award winners and thank them for their continued service to the University and the profession.”

To view the full 2020 MPA Awards presentation and learn more about this year’s recipients, visit

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