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School of Pharmacy Student, Faculty Member Receive UW Volunteer Awards

Each January, the UW Medical Center (UWMC) holds a celebration event in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. At this year’s event, fourth-year pharmacy student Paul Algeo and Adjunct Professor of Pharmacy Andy Stergachis received Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Volunteer Recognition Awards. These awards go to individuals who exemplify a commitment to community service that reflects Dr. King’s extraordinary life of service. Algeo and Stergachis received their awards at the UWMC Martin Luther King tribute event in January. Read more about the winners:

Paul Algeo

Algeo, who is pursuing a dual Pharm.D/Physician Assistant degree, has long been interested in serving medically underserved populations. Soon after entering the UW School of Pharmacy, he joined Students in the Community (SITC), an interprofessional student group whose activities include providing care coordination and health promotion services at the Aloha Inn, a transitional housing program in Seattle. He served on the SITC board of directors and as a clinic manager at the Aloha Health Outreach Center. Further, Algeo helped plan a course at the UW entitled “Healthcare in the Underserved Community.”

He has also been on the leadership team of the School of Pharmacy’s Bridges to Health Patient Advocacy Center. This center seeks to increase access to health services, reduce health disparities, promote disease prevention and health promotion activities, and collaborate with community-based organizations to offer educational programs and health fairs.

Throughout his time at the UW, Algeo has remained actively involved in many School of Pharmacy community outreach activities, where he’s provided immunizations, health screenings and information on health-related topics. He has also served as the president of the Unified Professional Pharmacy Organizations of Washington, a UW pharmacy student umbrella organization that includes memberships in several organizations, including the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists and the Washington State Pharmacy Association.

In 2008, he was one of a group of students who received the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Student Community Engaged Service Award.

Andy Stergachis


Stergachis is an adjunct faculty member with the School of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program (PORPP) as well as a professor of epidemiology and global health in the School of Public Health.

He served as the volunteer pharmacy adviser/liaison for Public Health-Seattle and King County during the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak. He facilitated communications and the distribution of stockpiled antiviral medicines and vaccines — building upon mechanisms he helped establish and continues to develop through his participation in local and regional training and drills.

A recognized leader in the area of emergency preparedness and response, he received an Innovative Practice Award from the Washington State Pharmacy Association for this work in 2010. Stergachis is also known for his ability to integrate community service into advancing the evidence base for the field of public health preparedness and response and for developing training opportunities.

He is a leader in medication safety. He serves on a number of federal committees that promote safe and effective use of medicines globally. Last year, he and PORPP faculty member Lou Garrison created the Global Medicines Program through the Department of Global Health.

Further, Stergachis is a principal investigator with the UW’s Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) project. SPS is part of Management Sciences for Health — an international nonprofit organization that helps developing nations strengthen their health systems. To that end, he is collaborating with pharmacy faculty members Peggy Odegard and Don Downing on a project helping to improve the pharmacy care system in Ethiopia.

~February 7, 2011


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