HSOP Sends Five Into Alabama Pharmacy Hall of Fame

APA Hall of Fame

August 10, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Alabama – Harrison School of Pharmacy alums Billy Beasley, Lucinda Maine, Jerry Thomas and Wyatt Williams, along with former faculty member Kenneth Barker, were inducted into the Alabama Pharmacy Hall of Fame at the Alabama Pharmacy Association’s (APA) 136th Annual Convention, held at the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort in Destin, Florida.


Billy Beasley | Lucinda Maine | Jerry Thomas | Walt Williams | Kenneth Barker


Billy Beasley and John Beasley
John Beasley (right) welcomes Billy Beasley to the Hall of Fame.

William Martin “Billy” Beasley graduated from Auburn in 1962 and received his pharmacy license in Alabama in June 1963. After graduation, he worked in Mobile and interned with H&W Drug Store in Tuscaloosa. In January 1964, he joined the Army and served in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corp, stationed in San Antonio, Texas at Brooke General Hospital.

After his military service ended, he practiced pharmacy in Clanton. By 1971, he owned a pharmacy in Montgomery and in May 1972, he opened a second one in Greenville, eventually moving there in 1974. Beasley returned to Clayton a few years later to open a pharmacy in his hometown. He then worked with a drug store chain in Tuscaloosa until he purchased Louisville Drug Store in 1982. In 1993, he became the fifth owner of Toomer’s Drugs in Auburn. In 1996, he purchased Clayton Drug Store and the next year he reopened Clio Drug Store, all in Barbour County. He and his partner, Gerald Jowers, now own pharmacies in Clayton and Clio where Beasley still practices pharmacy, serving the needs of his patients daily.

While attending college, he served as president of the Auburn School of Pharmacy his senior year. His career has been filled with involvement in his professional organization, having served in numerous roles on committees and boards including APA President 1988-89. Awards include the APA 1988 Distinguished Service Award; the 2009 VOCAL Miriam Shehane Award; 1988-89 Merck Sharp and Dohme Award; the 1988 National Association of Retail Druggists Pharmacy Leadership Award; and the 2011 Good Government Award.

Beasley’s service to others earned him the Bowl of Hygeia Award in 2005, pharmacy’s most prestigious honor. He remains a member of the Alabama Pharmacy Association and the National Community Pharmacists Association. In 2013, he achieved the distinction of being a licensed pharmacist in Alabama for fifty years.

Beasley was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives, District 84, in 1998 where he served three terms. Since 2010, he has served as a member of the Alabama Senate representing the people of District 28 which is comprised of Barbour, Bullock, Henry, Lee, Macon, and Russell counties. In 2014, APA recognized his willingness to be a voice for pharmacy at the Statehouse with the Legislative Champion Award.

“Billy has always worked to ensure the interests of those he serves are protected. A true southern gentleman, Senator Beasley is one of the most respected members of the Alabama Legislature and is known for his dedication and honesty,” said Louise Jones, APA executive director. “The profession of pharmacy is lucky to have someone like Billy and APA is pleased to be able to recognize his work through his induction into the Hall of Fame.”


Lucinda Maine and Anthony Brooklere
Lucinda Maine (left) accepts her Alabama Pharmacy Hall of Fame Award from Anthony Brooklere.

Lucinda Maine graduated from Auburn with her pharmacy degree in 1980. She began work as a staff pharmacist at Mobile Infirmary, but further education was calling and she completed her doctorate at the University of Minnesota in 1985 while simultaneously working as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice. As a faculty member there, she practiced in the field of geriatrics.

A move back to Alabama was next and from 1986-1991 she served in the roles of Director of Professional Relations, Acting Dean, and Associate Dean for Student and Alumni for the Samford University School of Pharmacy.

A lifelong leader, Maine served as Auburn’s chapter president of the American Pharmacists Association. In 1992, she had the opportunity to move to the national office where she served as a Senior Director/Vice President for Policy, Planning and Communications for 10 years where she analyzed trends in healthcare, assessing the implications for pharmacy practice and advocated for appropriate recognition for all pharmacists. For the past 15 years, she has served as the Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

While it takes most people decades to achieve the Bowl of Hygeia Award, Maine’s passion for pharmacy and giving back earned her pharmacy’s most prestigious honor at the ripe old age of 34; making her the youngest recipient in Alabama to this day. Other honors include the 2004 Linwood F. Tice Award; the 1999 Auburn University Walker Scholar in Practice; the 1999 Kappa Psi Bliss Award; University of Minnesota Outstanding Alumnus Award; Albert B. Prescott/Glaxo Leadership Award; Kellogg Clinical Scientist Research Achievement Award; Kappa Epsilon Outstanding Woman in Pharmacy Award; Phi Lambda Sigma Graduate Award; Auburn University President’s Award; Phi Lambda Sigma National Leadership Award; Student’s Pharmaceutical Association Award; the 2010 Jacob Miller Award from the APhA Foundation; and the 1997 Kappa Epsilon/Merck Vanguard Leadership Award.

Maine has been active in leadership roles in and out of the profession. In 1988-90, she served as Speaker of the APhA House of Delegates and an APhA trustee. She served as co-lead for the Concept Pharmacy project from 1995-97 which led to the formation of the National Alliance for Pharmaceutical Care; and from 1992-2012 she was a member of the Stabler Leadbetter Apothecary Museum Board. Maine currently serves as Treasurer of the Board of Research America, and as a member of the American Pharmaceutical Association Board and Executive Committee.

“Lucinda’s pharmacy career started here and her vast contributions earned her recognition on the national level. We are proud to call her one of Alabama’s own and APA is pleased to be able to recognize her work through her induction into the Hall of Fame,” said Jones.


Jerry Thomas and Jim Harrison
Jerry Thomas (left) celebrates his induction into the Alabama Pharmacy Hall of Fame with longtime colleague and friend Jim Harrison, who was inducted in 2015.

Robert Gerald “Jerry” ThomasJerry Thomas graduated from Auburn with his pharmacy degree in 1966 and went to work for a man who had visited the school and had a job opening. Thomas had just bought a new car and had to make payments, so off he went to Tuscaloosa to work for fellow APA Hall of Fame member Jim Harrison. At the time, Harrison owned three pharmacies and one apothecary in the Tuscaloosa area and Thomas worked as a pharmacist for him there.

A few years later, Harrison opened his first out-of-town pharmacy in Auburn and Thomas managed it for him for the next six years. He had planned to take the job for just a few years and then move back to Georgia with his wife, but that isn’t what happened. The next move was back to Tuscaloosa instead, where Thomas began to help Harrison set up new pharmacies across the state. They managed to build Harco Drugs from a business of four pharmacies to one of 154 pharmacies. Thomas was promoted over the years to Director, Executive Vice-President and eventually President of Operations in 1993. When the company sold, Jerry Thomas was the only individual not named Harrison who had stock in the company.

Honors include being awarded the 1989 Bowl of Hygeia Award, the 1980 King Kourtesy Award by the Drug Travelers of Alabama; and the Lion’s Club Lion of the Year Award.

Thomas has been a member of numerous community and professional groups throughout his career. As a member of the Auburn Alumni Association, he served as President of the Tuscaloosa Chapter. He is a leader in the Lions Club of Tuscaloosa and served as president in 1986-87 as well as serving as a Trustee for Judson College. He has also held a seat on the Board of Directors for the Salvation Army’s Christmas Effort and the Auburn Dean’s Advisory Council. He gives of his time generously and has traveled to Montana, New Orleans, Honduras, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic to do mission work.

“I am reminded of a quote by Ghandi, ‘In a gentle way, you can shake the world.’ That pretty much sums up Jerry’s impact on this profession and those who have the pleasure of being around him,” said Jones. “APA is pleased to be able to recognize his accomplishments and contributions through his induction into the Hall of Fame.”


Kathy Williams and James Harrison
Kathy Williams (left) accepts the Alabama Pharmacy Hall of Fame award on behalf of her father, Wyatt, from James Harrison.

Wyatt WilliamsWyatt Williams graduated from Auburn with his pharmacy degree in 1953. Upon graduation, he worked at Barker Drug in Marion, Alabama.

Williams deferred service but was drafted and served in the U.S. Army from 1955-57 in a hospital clinic in Germany. After returning from serving his country, he began working at a pharmacy in Albany, Georgia. It was there that he connected with an old friend, a sales representative who knew James Harrison, and he mentioned that Harrison was looking for a pharmacist to work in one of his locations in Tuscaloosa.

In 1957, Williams took a job with Harco Drugs. He spent the next 17 years working at the Harco Drugs near the hospital and was appointed Harco’s director of pharmacy in 1977. Over the years, the company grew to 154 stores statewide and was recognized as one of the most successful drug chains in the history of the industry before being sold to Rite Aid in 1997.

Williams retired in 1995 but was always driven by the desire to help those less fortunate and decided his work wasn’t finished. He joined a team of clergy, doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and two or three pharmacists in 1998 who shared a dream to open a clinic for the underprivileged. With the support of these individuals, members of the community and local churches, the Good Samaritan Clinic opened its doors in Tuscaloosa. It was one of the first suppliers of free prescriptions registered with the Alabama Board of Pharmacy. The clinic now cares for more than 1,000 regular patients, and is a source of healthcare for those who would otherwise not be able to receive care.

In 1980, Governor Fob James appointed Williams to a five-year term on the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy, making him the first chain pharmacist to ever serve. He held the Academy Chair position on APA’s Board of Trustees. His honors include the 1985 Auburn University Distinguished Alumni Award; the 2000 Shining Star Award for Outstanding Dedication and Commitment of Service; and the 2009 Bowl of Hygeia.

 “Although extensive, Wyatt’s service to this profession pales in comparison to his service to his community,” said Jones. “Pharmacy is a better profession because of the service of people like Wyatt and APA is pleased to honor his contributions through his induction into the Hall of Fame.”


Doug Barker and Jim Walker
Jim Walker (left) presents Doug Barker with Kenneth Barker’s Hall of fame award. Doug is Kenneth’s son

Rounding out the group is former Harrison School of Pharmacy faculty member Kenneth Barker, Ph.D., R.Ph. Barker moved to Auburn in 1977 and stayed for the next 22 years as a Department Head in the Department of Pharmacy Care Systems (now Health Outcomes Research and Policy). Other service included working as a Civilian National Consultant for Pharmacy to the U.S. Air Force from 1990-93.

Barker’s career is distinguished with a series of accomplishments and innovations that have had a major impact on the practice of pharmacy and greatly improved the quality of the American healthcare system. In the late 1950s, he began his pioneering work with the introduction of the “unit dose” medication distribution system in hospitals. Developed at his alma mater, the University of Florida, and the University of Arkansas Medical Center from 1959-65, this method is now widely used in pharmacies and is instrumental in improving the safety and accuracy of drug dispensing and has revolutionized medication administration.

The prevention of medication errors is another hallmark of Barker’s contributions. He developed a direct observation method of detecting errors, which was adopted by the Health Care Financing Administration to enforce error rate limits in nursing homes as a condition for reimbursement under the Medicare/Medicaid program in all 50 states.

As Director of Administrative Research in Maryland, he led the National Coordinating Committee on Large Volume Parenterals for the U.S. Pharmacopeia from 1970 to 1972. Under his leadership, this 14-organization coalition developed national guidelines for IV therapy and greatly improved safety through the reduction of infection and other IV-related complications. His work on the development and clinical trial of electronic drug dispensing machines controlled by pharmacy contributed to the development of the Pyxix and ScriptPro Systems, and he is widely viewed as a pioneer in research of pharmacy facility design. In 1980, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) contracted with Barker to produce a textbook on hospital pharmacy facilities’ planning and design.

A noted author of three books, more than 100 articles in pharmacy journals, and presenter of more than 300 papers at scholarly meetings and symposiums, he has served as a consultant to more than 40 companies, universities, and medical and pharmacy organizations. Some other notable honors include the 1998 Remington Medal; Auburn University’s 1993 Outstanding Graduate Professor; the 1981 H.A.K. Whitney Lecture Award from ASHP; the Bausch and Lomb Award; the Merck Award; the 1973, 1985 and 1987 ASHP Research Awards; the 2002 ISMP Lifetime Achievement Award; Who’s Who in World Medicine; Who’s Who in America; and American Men of Science. He was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Pharmacists by Drug Topics Magazine in 1989 and was made an Honorary Member of the United States Pharmacopeial Convention in 2000.

“Ken’s lifelong commitment to the prevention of medication errors has changed the profession for the good,” said Jones. “Countless lives and careers have been saved because of his efforts. APA is pleased to be able to recognize his work through his induction into the Hall of Fame.”


The Alabama Pharmacy Hall of Fame was established in 2015 and acknowledges achievements by those engaged in the profession of pharmacy, whether alive or deceased, and recognizes their outstanding contributions or exemplary service to pharmacy and/or to healthcare. This can be demonstrated through exceptional achievement over the life of their career in pharmacy or an exceptional act during their career, or both.

HSOP had seven representatives in the inaugural 2015 Hall of Fame class. Alums John Beasley (Class of 1955), Anthony Brooklere (Class of 1958), James Kuykendall (Class of 1949), Charles Prickett (Class of 1961) and James Walker (Class of 1957) were inducted last year. Additionally, James Harrison, Jr., the namesake of the Harrison School of Pharmacy, and William Walker, Jr., the namesake of the Walker Building, were inducted in 2015.

Joining the Hall of Fame in 2016 were Jim Main (Class of 1968), Roland Nelson (Class of 1964), Charlie Thomas (Class of 1965), and Miles Thomas (Class of 1955).

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About the Harrison School of Pharmacy
Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 20 percent of all pharmacy schools in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the School offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master’s in pharmaceutical sciences. For more information about the School, please call 334.844.8348 or visit http://pharmacy.auburn.edu.

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Last Updated: August 10, 2017