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Roger Woolf receives Distinguished Alumni Award for Pharmacy Practice

Scott Herzog and Gary Harris of PAA present the Distinguished Alumni Award to Roger Woolf
Scott Herzog and Gary Harris of PAA present the Distinguished Alumni Award to Roger Woolf

Roger Woolf, ’85, is passionate about the leadership role pharmacists can have in the U.S. health care system.

Growing up, many of his family members were in healthcare professions, including pharmacy. “My uncle was a pharmacist in Yakima,” he reflected. “Talking with him about his work helped me to see the potential impact pharmacists could have when they can be patient-focused.”

“I am very appreciative of the training I received at the UW and am a strong advocate for the quality of education for which the School of Pharmacy is well known. To be personally recognized in this way is a real honor.”
–Roger Woolf, UWSOP alumnus

In his position at Virginia Mason Medical Center, Roger provides leadership for a broad scope of pharmaceutical services within the Center’s integrated health care system. But he doesn’t stop there.

He works diligently to teach and mentor student pharmacists to become leaders in health care and has been very committed to training UWSOP APPE/IPPE students and interns. “I always encourage students to get involved in leadership opportunities while in school. If we are to continue to advance the practice, we need people who can lead with passion, and not be afraid to try new and innovative ways for pharmacists to impact patient care.”

He has maintained his connection with the UWSOP since completing his PharmD degree in 1985. “From the moment I was accepted to the UWSOP, I knew I was part of something special,” he said. “The faculty challenged us to be innovative and push a progressive practice. It was at UW that I really started my passion for advancing the practice.”

He has collaborated with UW faculty and WSPA leadership for years to educate Washington state legislators on the benefits of having pharmacists as paid providers. “There were so many barriers to getting pharmacists credentialed. Working with Don Downing, Jeff Rochon, and many others, we were able to show the benefits to patients that come from having pharmacists as providers.”

Now the team travels the U.S. sharing with providers and legislators how Washington led the way in advancing patient care by establishing pharmacists as full members of the health care team.