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Louis Rumsey Receives Alumnus of Year Award, Sparks Earns Meritorious Service Award

At the Mading Society induction reception Oct. 11, UH College of Pharmacy honored R. Louis Rumsey, R.Ph. ('79), with the 2013 Alumnus Pharmacist of the Year Award and L. David Sparks, R.Ph., FACA, FIACP, with the 2013 Meritorious Service Award.

Rumsey is owner and pharmacist-in-charge of the independent Elam Road Pharmacy in Dallas, and a member of the Dean's Advisory Council for the college. He was recognized for his long-time advocacy for the profession and pharmacy education in Texas. 

Above, Dean Lamar Pritchard presents the UHCOP 2013 Alumnus Pharmacist of the Year Award to R. Louis Rumsey, joined by his wife Anne. Below, Pritchard presents the 2013 Meritorious Service Award to L. David Sparks, who was introduced by PCCA President Jim Smith, far left, and joined by son Bryan Sparks and wife Bonnie.

"Louis is a shining example of the importance of alumni engagement to help ensure a bright future for the College of Pharmacy," said UHCOP Dean
F. Lamar Pritchard, Ph.D. "His work as Chair of the DAC Advocacy Committee will pay dividends for the college for many years. Louis has worked collaboratively with DAC co-chairs Bruce Biundo and Carole Hardin-Oliver to establish a new standard in the area of quality leadership of the DAC."

Newly inducted member of the college's Mading Society, Rumsey was previously honored by the Texas Pharmacy Association as the 2009 TPA Pharmacist of the Year and by the TPA PharmPAC as the 2010 PharmPAC Person of the Year (the latter award now bears his name).

"I was very surprised and very honored to be named Alumnus of the Year by the college," Rumsey said. "I have always appreciated the great education that I received at UH College of Pharmacy, which has allowed me to have a very fulfilling and honorable career. When someone asks me, 'What college did you go to?', I am
always very proud to say, 'The University of Houston College of Pharmacy.' When someone ask me, 'What do you do?', I am always very proud to say, 'I am a pharmacist.' I am very blessed to be in a profession that helps people."

The college also recently recognized the PCCA CEO L. David Sparks, an adjunct faculty member of the college, a member of its Mading Society and a past member of the UHCOP DAC. Sparks is a Fellow of the American College of Apothecaries and the founding director of the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists. He was named as one of the "50 Most Influential People in Pharmacy" by American Druggist in 1999; the Outstanding Alumnus by the Southwestern Pharmacy Alumni Foundation of Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 2000; and the John W. Dargavel Medal recipient by the National Community Pharmacists Association Foundation in 2006.

"This well-deserved recognition for one of pharmacy's true pioneers whose lifelong efforts ahve enhanced the quality of healthcare delivery worldwide," Pritchard said. "We're very proud of Chairman Sparks and feel very fortunate that he has been a long-standing supporter of the college and pharmacy education."

PCCA and UHCOP have been partners in pharmacy education for over a decade, with UHCOP Pharm.D. students undergoing their required basic training in compounding as well as having the opportunity to take advanced compounding courses at PCCA's state-of-the-art facility in Sugar Land. Many UHCOP graduates also have gone on to work at PCCA after graduation. Sparks also has been praised for his efforts at the state and national level to protect the practice of compounding pharmacy.

"I was very humbled by the honor, and I'm proud of having the opportunity to contribute in some small way to the education of the next generation of professional pharmacists," Sparks said. "It's been a great experience working with these bright young minds and share in their enthusiasm, energy and interest in pharmacy. The great affiliation between PCCA and the college would not have been possible without the contributions of the entire team at PCCA and the administration and faculty at the college over the years."

Sparks, PCCA President Jim Smith and Pritchard also acknowledged the major role of Sparks' late wife, Kay Sparks, R.Ph., FACA, FIACP, who passed in January 2012, in the success of PCCA and the education of UHCOP students since the couple joined the company in 1989.