Johnsrud Celebrated for Lifetime Achievement

TJ Johnsrud 1

In a symposium held on Thursday, October 9, the College of Pharmacy celebrated the recipient of the 2014 Osterhaus Medal for Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Thomas J. Johnsrud.

TJ Johnsrud is a 1966 graduate of the college and is the founder and president of NuCara Management Group, LLC, headquartered in Conrad, Iowa, which oversees pharmacy locations in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota and Texas. He has been honored for his commitment to excellence in pharmacy in Iowa with the 1991 Bowl of Hygiea, the 2001 Robert G. Gibbs Distinguished Pharmacist Award, and the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy.

“TJ exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurism. His business ventures and professional organizational endeavors serve as testament to his drive, determination, and commitment to advancing pharmacy practice,” said College of Pharmacy Dean Donald E. Letendre. “He has been a lifelong devoted college alumnus and friend to countless pharmacists nationwide.”

Mr. Johnsrud has served as past president and remains a current member of the Iowa Pharmacy Association, where he is chairman of the Task Force on the Iowa Pharmacists New Practice Model. TJ was the first chairman of the board of PACE Alliance multi-state pharmacy buying group. He is a member of the National Community Pharmacists Association, the American Pharmaceutical Association, the National Association of Chain Drugstores, and a lifetime member of the University of Iowa Alumni Association. TJ is currently serving on the Executive Leadership Board of the College of Pharmacy of the University of Iowa. He has served the University of Iowa on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Pharmacy, the College of Pharmacy Second Century Fundraising Campaign Committee, the University of Iowa College Curriculum Advisory Council, and by participating as a President’s Club member since 1983, Golden Hawk member since 1982, and the Kinnick Society since 2003.

The Osterhaus Medal for Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually to one or more individuals who have made extraordinary achievements in the pharmacy profession. This medal is the pinnacle award given by the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, for a recipient who has advanced the practice of pharmacy in profound ways, or made substantial strides in drug development or drug discoveries.


Current Issues in Health Care: Change to Benefit Patients and Pharmacists – A Four Part Series

US Constitution And Scales Of JusticeAs our healthcare system continues to evolve, pharmacy as it is practiced today is changing, and hopefully for the better. Here is the first of four topics (the first two being current legislation) that are in the “hot seat” as we round up the first half of 2014:

H.R. – 4190: The Push for Provider Status


This legislation would amend a portion of the Social Security Act to give pharmacists what is known as “Provider Status.” Specifically, this amends Medicare Part B to include pharmacists in the group of professionals that are reimbursed for professional services. The legislation focuses on Medicare beneficiaries in three separate regions as defined by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA): Medically Under-served Areas, Medically Under-served Populations, and Health Professional Shortage Areas 1.

Current Standing

Originally introduced in March of 2014 by a Republican congressman from Kentucky, this legislation now has 56 bipartisan co-sponsors 2. It is gaining support by the day as representatives of congress recognize the benefits this bill would provide. Along with having the most expensive health care system in the world, a recent study also finds that, compared to ten other industrialized and powerful countries, the United States has the worst health outcomes 3.

How are YOU, the patient, affected?

Pharmacists are often considered the most accessible healthcare providers. This legislation manages to further increase that patient access. Additionally, it will assist pharmacists in the provision of high quality and cost-effective services that are within the scope of their education. Both individual households and our government are looking for ways to decrease their healthcare expenditure; this amendment could be a starting point! Check and see at if your district’s congressman is a co-sponsor.

Young Receives Award at the Iowa Pharmacy Association’s Annual Meeting

IMG_4073The Iowa Pharmacy Association (IPA) is pleased to announce the 2014 award recipient of Pharmacy Technician of the Year Award goes to Alissa Young, CPhT, of Ames. The award was presented at the Association’s 2014 Annual Meeting Banquet on June 14 in Altoona.

Alissa Young was born and raised in Spencer, IA. Growing up on a farm, she developed a love of all animals at a young age. She moved to Ames in 2005 to attend Iowa State University and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Ecology. In October of 2012, Alissa was hired as a pharmacy technician at NuCara pharmacy in Nevada. She became PTCB-certified the following summer. In March of 2013, she made a career move to Zearing to work at the newly-opened NuCara telepharmacy. Alissa enjoys the rewards and challenges of working with innovative telepharmacy technology and helping the people of Zearing in the process. Alissa and her husband Greg, a Civil Engineer, live in Ames with their two Basset hounds, Brutus and Rocky.

The Pharmacy Technician of the Year Award is an award designed to recognize a pharmacy technician in Iowa who has demonstrated outstanding involvement in the Iowa Pharmacy Association and enthusiasm for the profession of pharmacy in Iowa.

Alissa’s nominator said, “Alissa has a great work ethic and exemplifies the potential brilliant career that one can have as a pharmacy technician and we are grateful to have her on our team.”


Brett Barker, Pharm.D. Receives GenerationRx Award


The Iowa Pharmacy Association (IPA) is pleased to announce the 2014 recipient of the GenerationRx Award is Brett Barker, PharmD, of Nevada. The award was presented at the Association’s 2014 Annual Meeting on June 14 in Altoona.

The GenerationRx Award is a national awards program sponsored by Cardinal Health. This award is designed to recognize a pharmacist who has demonstrated excellence in community-based prescription drug abuse prevention. The award is intended to recognize outstanding efforts within the pharmacy community to raise awareness of this serious public health problem. It is also intended to encourage educational prevention efforts aimed at patients, youth, and other members of the community. This award includes a $500 donation to the charity of the recipient’s choice.

Dr. Brett Barker is the Vice President of Operations for NuCara Management Group. Brett received his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2008 from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. Prior to this current role, Brett managed the NuCara Pharmacy in Nevada, IA and also served as NuCara’s Director of Clinical Services. Throughout his career, Brett has been passionate about increasing pharmacist-provided clinical services, community involvement, mentoring students, and new models of care delivery such as telepharmacy and new practice model pilot programs. He currently serves on the IPA Legislative Advisory Committee, Telepharmacy Joint Task Force, and is Vice Chair of the Iowa Pharmacy Political Action Committee (IPPAC) Advisory Committee. He has coordinated numerous community medication take-back events and brought together all interested stakeholders.

“ Dr. Barker truly sets a new standard in innovative, progressive, and visible pharmacist-led initiatives for proper medication disposal in his community,” said Kate Gainer, Executive Vice President of the Iowa Pharmacy Association.