Two Hilliard residents were honored by the Ohio Pharmacists Association at its 135th Annual Conference held April 12-14 in Columbus.
Ralph Foster is the 2013 recipient of the Keys Award for his long-standing commitment to the association.
Foster has been a member of the Ohio Pharmacists Association since his graduation from Ohio State University in 1956. He has served several terms on the board of trustees as a district trustee representing the central Ohio area and held the position of executive committee member-at-large.
In 1999, he was awarded OPA's Beal Award for outstanding contributions to the advancement of the profession of pharmacy in the state of Ohio, and was award life membership status in 2001.
Foster has served as a chairman and member of multiple OPA committees and task forces through the years. He assisted with the Ohio Pharmacists Foundation Building Ohio Pharmacy's Future capital campaign to fund a new facility and provide expanded services for members. In addition, he continually supports the research and educational endeavors of the Ohio Pharmacists Foundation, and OPA's Political Action Committee.
Foster, an alumnus of the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, served as a sales representative for Eli Lilly & Co. for more than 29 years. A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Foster retired from Ohio State University where he served as director of alumni and professional affairs for the College of Pharmacy.
Joseph Dula, the second honoree, is the 2013 recipient of the Upsher-Smith Excellence in Innovation Award, which is given to pharmacists who have demonstrated innovative pharmacy practice resulting in improved patient care by providing effective patient counseling.
Dula spearheaded the establishment of a program at Berger Hospital in Circleville to improve the care of hospitalized patients with conditions such as congestive heart failure or pneumonia after they leave the hospital. The program increased the involvement of the hospital pharmacists with patient education, and continues with the follow up of these patients by pharmacists in community practice. The program showed a decrease in 30-day hospital re-admissions to better than national averages, and has gained state and national visibility.
Dula is also a regional director of clinical services for Pharmacy Systems Inc., in Dublin.