UHCOP Alumni and Dean's Advisory Council Members Woo, Varkey Named 2018 Fellows of American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association will induct UHCOP alumni and Dean's Advisory Council (DAC) members May J. Woo, B.S. ('91), R.Ph., and Alex C. Varkey, Pharm.D. ('05), M.S., as APhA Fellows at the organization's Annual Meeting & Exposition March 16-19 in Nashville, Tenn.
Woo is currently in the process of establishing a "micro" pharmacy focused on podiatry-related pharmaceutical care and services. Her career has included work in academic pharmacy, community pharmacy, consulting pharmacy, and emergency/micro-hospital pharmacy as well as an inspector for the state board of pharmacy.
At the national level, Woo has served as a Texas Delegate to the APhA for 12 consecutive years and on numerous committees within APhA and the APhA Foundation. She also served as national president/president-elect of the Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS) Pharmacy Leadership Society.
Woo also has been active at the state level since she was a student, including serving on the Texas Pharmacy Association (TPA) Board of Directors and as the TPA Speaker of the House of Delegates, the Texas Pharmacy Foundation Board of Trustees and on numerous committees, councils and task forces. In 2014, Woo earned the Bowl of Hygeia awarded by TPA, the National Alliance State Pharmacy Associations and Boehringer Ingelheim. She also was named among TPA’s "40 under Forty Pharmacists" in 2005.
At the local level, Woo is a past president-elect/president and director of the Houston Area Pharmacy Association, which recognized her as its "Distinguished Young Pharmacist of the Year" in 1996. A member of the UHCOP Mading Society in addition to her DAC service, Woo was named among the college’s "50 Outstanding Alumni" in 1997 and recipient of the UHCOP Dean’s Special Recognition Award in 1994. Woo frequently serves as volunteer preceptor for UHCOP student organizations as well as in various capacities for a range of nonprofit health, religious/missionary and academic organizations outside of UH.
"It’s a blessing, honor and privilege to be inducted," Woo said. "APhA has been instrumental in my professional life, from the time I was a student. I have learned so much as a result of my involvement, and has provided me with amazing, invaluable opportunities to connect with the leaders from across our profession and build a network of lifelong colleagues, friends and mentors.
"I hope all student pharmacists recognize the need for an umbrella organization, such as APhA, that represents all pharmacists and not dilute the power of our collective strength."
Varkey's membership and service in APhA also started during his time at UHCOP, most notably as president-elect/president of the APhA-Academy of Student Pharmacists and member of the APhA Board of Trustees in 2004-2005. He also served as a national postgraduate officer in the APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Research & Science (APhA-APRS) and new practitioner officer of the Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management (APhA-APPM).
Varkey's service to APhA also includes chairing its Policy Committee and the House of Delegates Nomination and Canvassers committees as well as member of the Preceptor Advisory Board, Government Affairs Committee and Task Force for Review of Policy Development Process.
In addition to earning his Pharm.D. from UHCOP, Varkey earned a master's degree and completed PGY1/PGY2 health-systems pharmacy administration residencies from Ohio State University. After returning to Houston, Varkey was instrumental in establishing The Houston Program — a concurrent M.S. in Pharmacy Leadership & Administration and PGY1-PGY2 health-system pharmacy administration residencies program at Houston Methodist Hospital, six other other Texas Medical Center health systems and UHCOP.
"I’m sincerely honored to be recognized as a Fellow of APhA," Varkey said. "Since my involvement as a student, I’ve seen numerous mentors and colleagues I hold in high regard receive the APhA Fellow designation, so to now be part of that esteemed group is almost surreal. I’m especially privileged to have the opportunity to share the stage this year with a former teacher and now dear colleague, friend, and fellow UHCOP alum in May Woo."