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Phi Lambda Sigma McCarty Lecture

2022 McCarty Leadership Lecture - Virtual 
12:15-1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21
"Carpe Opportunitas – Seize the Opportunity"
Speaker: Alex C. Varkey, Pharm.D. ('05), M.S., FAPhA
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About the Speaker

Alex C. Varkey has dedicated his career to advancing the pharmacist’s role in patient care. His passion for professional service began as a student pharmacist, when he served as national president of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). As APhA-ASP President, Varkey initiated several new national patient care programs as part of his campaign to promote professional and public service for pharmacy. Varkey’s service and dedication to APhA has persisted for almost two decades, including his current service as Trustee on the APhA Board of Trustees.

Varkey is passionate about promoting practitioner well-being as an essential component to a well-functioning health care system. As Chair of APhA’s Well-Being Steering Committee, Varkey is developing awareness of well-being concerns in pharmacy and resources to help individuals and organizations address these concerns. Recognized as a pharmacy thought-leader on practitioner well-being, Varkey has been invited to speak at numerous conferences and has authored several publications in this area.

Varkey is Director of Pharmacy Services at Houston Methodist Hospital, where he has implemented innovative technologies to enhance efficiency and safety in medication-use processes, and developed thriving learner programs including an award-winning 2-year Health-System Pharmacy Administration and Leadership residency. Most recently, he has coordinated efforts to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to over 150,000 Houstonians.

Varkey received his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Houston and Master of Science in Health-System Pharmacy Administration from The Ohio State University. He completed a 2-year Administration Residency at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

About the Lecture Series

The shouts of "Carpe Diem" emanating from James T. McCarty encouraged his students to strive to live for the day – to persevere through their time spent at the college for benefit of the patients they will serve. In fact, many students may remember how he emphasized the importance of treating all patients as equals.

Throughout the curriculum, faculty and students used McCarty as a model of leadership within the profession by emulating his ideals and teachings. For this reason, the students of Phi Lambda Sigma, the national pharmacy leadership honor society, are proud to have named the Leadership Lecture Series after such an influential individual. The annual lecture is co-sponsored by UH College of Pharmacy.

About James T. McCarty

James T. McCarty (1928-2020) was a retired professor and alumnus of UH College of Pharmacy.  Having spent a lifetime with the university, from graduation to retirement, McCarty built a legacy of professionalism in the classroom, in pharmacy practice, and behind the podium.

McCarty had many years of varied pharmacy experience, including hospital, manufacturing and community. His professional affiliations included Rho Chi National Honor Society, American Mensa and Phi Lambda Sigma, the national pharmacy leadership society where he served as president in 1992 (one of five UHCOP alumni to hold the highest office in the organization). McCarty received many honors during his career, including the 1997 Harris County Pharmacist of the Year, the 1991 UH College of Pharmacy Distinguished Alumni Award, the 1992 Texas Pharmacist Association Pharmacist of the Year Award and the 1992 Albert Rosica, Jr. Memorial Award by the American College of Apothecaries “for recognition of outstanding contribution to pharmacy education.”

The shouts of “Carpe Diem” emanating from this distinguished gentleman encouraged his students to strive to live for the day – to persevere through their time spent at the college for benefit of the patients they will serve. In fact, many students may remember how he emphasized the importance of treating all patients as equals. 

Throughout the curriculum, faculty and students used McCarty as a model of leadership within the profession by emulating his ideals and teachings. For this reason, the students of Phi Lambda Sigma, the national pharmacy leadership honor society, are proud to have named the Leadership Lecture Series after such an influential individual.

About Phi Lambda Sigma

Phi Lambda Sigma honors leadership. Members are selected by peer recognition. No greater honor can be bestowed upon an individual than to be recognized as a leader by one’s peers. Such recognition instills and enhances self-confidence, encourages the less active student to a more active role and promotes greater effort toward the advancement of pharmacy.

The purpose of Phi Lambda Sigma, also known as the national Pharmacy Leadership Society, is to promote the development of leadership qualities, especially among pharmacy students. By peer recognition, the Society encourages participation in all pharmacy activities. Since membership crosses fraternal and organizational lines, the Society does not compete with other pharmacy organizations.

Founded in 1965, Phi Lambda Sigma has expanded to more than 90 schools and colleges of pharmacy in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The UH Upsilon Chapter was established in 1988.

Recent Lecturers

Janis Parsley ('82), Carolyn Hilscher ('85), Julie Spier ('86), Debbie Veselka ('94) and Lynn Simpson ('97), 2021
No lecture in 2020
Thani M. Gossai ('08), 2019
Michael Moné, 2018
George Okpamen, 2017
Joyce A. Tipton ('79), 2016
David A. Zilz and Roger W. Anderson, 2015
The Honorable Charles L. "Chuck" Hopson ('65), 2014
No lecture in 2013
Todd W. Canada, 2012
Lisa Scholz ('99), 2011
Dennis B. Worthen, 2010
Joesph T. DiPiro, 2009
Lloyd Y. Young, 2008
Rhea Blanken, 2007