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The Missouri Pharmacy Association (MPA) celebrated the outstanding efforts of individuals in the pharmacy profession during its Annual Conference and Trade Show at the Marriott St. Louis Grand in St. Louis in September.

A total of nine individuals were presented with the 2017 Excellence Awards. 

The 2017 Technician of the Year Award was presented to Ross Crocker, CPhT. To be eligible to be nominated for the award, a pharmacy technician must demonstrate outstanding skills that help the pharmacist and pharmacy provide better pharmacy care and more efficient service to the patient/customer. In addition, the technician must show an interest in and concern for the community by participating in some activities outside of work.

Crocker, a Health Information Technology and Inventory specialist at Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy in Desloge, is a driving force in an organization committed to improving the health of their patients and the communities they serve. He is a 2007 graduate of North County High School and received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Central Methodist University in 2016. Crocker has been a licensed pharmacy technician for more than 10 years. He started at a small independent pharmacy as a delivery driver working his way up first as a dispenser, then processor, before joining the Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy team. 

The Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award was presented to Ashley Merritt, Pharm.D., AE-C.

To be eligible to be nominated for the award, an outstanding young pharmacist must be: a member of the Missouri Pharmacy Association, licensed in Missouri, received his/her entry degree in pharmacy no more than nine years ago, actively practicing in retail, hospital or consulting pharmacy, and participate in pharmacy associations, professional programs and/or community service.

Dr. Merritt currently serve as the clinical services coordinator and pharmacy manager for Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy at the Ironton location. Parkland Health Mart is a small independent chain consisting of three pharmacies located in rural southeast Missouri. Her practice is quite diverse as she primarily serves retail, long-term care, and hospice patients. Her goal as a pharmacist is to optimize patient health outcomes in the community by utilizing a patient-centered approach to medication management and disease state education.

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