Outstanding Pharmacy Buyer of the Year Award Program

2024 Nominations are now CLOSED

Awardees will be recognized at the August 2024 NPPA Conference

And listed here in late September, with photos from the event

Award Prizes provided by NPPA

Must be a current NPPA member to qualify
For criteria & additional eligibility, see below or form details

See below for list & photos of 2023 Awardees

NPPA’s Outstanding Pharmacy Buyer of the Year Award Program

The National Pharmacy Purchasing Association (NPPA) is proud to honor exemplary work in the field of pharmacy purchasing through the Outstanding Buyer of the Year Award! Each year the Top 3 Awardees are named at the Annual NPPA Conference and, in addition to the distinction, are given corresponding educational prize awards.

Qualifications & Eligibility

Current NPPA Membership: Nominees must have a current NPPA membership active in their name, valid through the month of August in the corresponding award year (when the recognition ceremony takes place at the Annual NPPA Conference). In addition, all nominees must be pharmacy purchasing professionals currently employed in a pharmacy facility.  

Nomination types allowed: Both self-nominations as well as those submitted for a nominee by a third party (their work supervisor, co-worker, or colleague related to pharmacy purchasing), will be considered. In these cases, we suggest that both the nominator as well as the nominee, submit all or part of the Nomination Form, so the responses are as complete as possible. This gives the nominee the opportunity to comment further than the nominator may have been able to do or allows them to add some additional remarks (and NPPA will give the nominee the chance to do so if they didn’t already or were unaware of their nomination by the third party). All eligible nominations for each nominee will be presented to the judging panel and published in a future edition of NPPA’s official member publication, Pharmacy Purchasing Outlook.

Max number of nominations: Three (3) submitted nominations per each nominee will be allowed through our official nomination form process (such as a self-nomination and up to two from supervisors or co-workers). If you have others that want to say a few words for your cause as well, they may do so by sending comments in their own words (along with the nominee’s name and facility name), to our Board@PharmacyPurchasing.com address, either in the email memo itself or in an attached Word doc, and limited to 2 pages in a normal Word doc.

Ineligible are as follows: Drug or supply vendor company representatives; Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) executives (such as HealthTrust, Intalere, Premier, Vizient, etc.); those working for pharmacy management companies (such as Comprehensive Pharmacy Services-CPS or HCA Healthcare); and 1st and 2nd place winners from the previous 4 years as an NPPA Outstanding Buyer.

Judging, Status Notifications & Awardee Prize Monies: The 3 Awardees will be determined by a neutral panel of judges, and notified via email as soon as the judging is finalized by mid-July or earlier (as well as the other Nominees being notified of their status at the same time). Prize monies will be provided by check from NPPA sent via U.S. mail shortly after the judging is completed. 

Award Ceremony & Acknowledgments: A short award ceremony will be held, with framed Awardee Certificates presented to the Awardees in attendance at that year’s NPPA Conference in August; as well as there being a full acknowledgment of all the worthy Nominees up for the award. Awardees will also be announced and published in a post-Conference edition of Pharmacy Purchasing Outlook, as well as on the NPPA website—with photos taken at the Conference of those in attendance.


The criteria used to evaluate the significance of the nominee’s accomplishments within the past year takes into account the level of positive impact the individual made within their pharmacy during the year such as-but not limited to, the following:

        • Providing a model for excellence
        • Helping others to do their jobs better
        • Improving the services provided by the department
        • Streamlining business process efficiency
        • Applying innovation or creativity to job duties
        • Developing new job skills
        • Keeping a consistently positive attitude despite workload demands
        • Accomplishing savings in cost and/or time

Award Distinctions

Qualified nominees have the chance to win one of the following 3 distinctions and educational prize awards, as directly sponsored by NPPA.

1st Place:  $1,000 awarded for education/travel

2nd Place:  $500 awarded for education/travel

3rd Place:  $250 awarded for education/travel

Results of 2023 Outstanding Buyer of the Year Awards

Cash Prizes provided by NPPA


1st Place:  

Elizavette Arellano, CPhT
Pharmacy Buyer
Marian Regional Medical Center
Santa Maria, California

Received $1,000 Award for Education/Travel

2nd Place:

Randi Vargas, CPhT, BS
Director of Enterprise Pharmacy Procurement

Centura Health System & Physician Group
Centennial, Colorado

Received $500 Award for Education/Travel

3rd Place:

Lucia Tafoya
Pharmacy Buyer
St. Mary Medical Center (part of the CommonSpirit/Dignity Health System)
Long Beach, California

Received $250 Award for Education/Travel

Nominees for 2023:

Garret Kern, CPhT, Pharmacy Buyer, Stormont Vail Hospital & Health System, Topeka, Kansas

Kelly Kline, CPhT-Adv., Pharmacy Buyer, Atlantic General Hospital, Berlin, Maryland

Angela Nerusciac, CPhT, R.PhT, BSArg., Pharmacy Purchasing Agent & Inventory Management Coordinator, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida

Tabitha Sowers Alvarado, Oncology Infusion Compliance Coordinator, University of Kentucky Healthcare Markey Cancer Center, Lexington, Kentucky

Megan D. Williams, CPhT, Pharmacy Buyer, Acute Care Pharmacy Department, Mercy Hospital South, Saint Louis, Missouri


To View Past Awardees, Click Here