Two HSOP Alumni Join APA Hall of Fame
July 26, 2019
AUBURN, Alabama – Harrison School of Pharmacy alums Mahlon Turner and Oscar Chunn were inducted into the Alabama Pharmacy Hall of Fame at the Alabama Pharmacy Association’s (APA) 138th Annual Convention, held at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Florida.
Charles Sands (left) welcomes Oscar Chunn to the Hall of Fame
Oscar Chunn, a native of Flint, Alabama, received his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Auburn University in 1953 and joined the United States Navy upon graduation. After being honorably discharged, he worked as a pharmacist at Birmingham Apothecary for about a year before accepting the position of Territory Manager for Wyeth Laboratories in June 1958.
Chunn spent most of his career at Wyeth Laboratories, working there until 1997. While there, he held the title of number one salesman in the United States from 1972-97. He was recognized in 2008 by the Alabama Board of Pharmacy for being a 50-year license holder and for his service to the citizens of Alabama.
But, the work that has earned him Hall of Fame recognition took place decades ago. By the early 1950s, 25- to 50-thousand people were becoming infected with polio each year, and three thousand died in 1952 alone. As a pharmacist, Chunn volunteered to work with immunization programs in Louisiana and Tennessee to learn how they were done. This experience made it possible for him to head up the initiative to bring those clinics to north Alabama. Through his work, more than 80 percent of the population was reached.
“Oscar’s vision of implementing this program in his home state was realized and in doing so, his work was crucial in the eradication of polio in Alabama,” said APA Chief Executive Officer Louise Jones. “His efforts saved many lives.”
“Helping eradicate polio is one of the things in my life I am proud to have been a part of,” said Chunn. “I believe it is important that pharmacists understand that they should be proud to proclaim their great profession; our work is important to the world.”
Oscar and his wife Peggy have two grown children, David (and his wife, Lori) and Karen (and her husband, Miller) and are grandparents to six.
Mahlon Turner, a native of Limestone County, Alabama, received his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Auburn University in 1956.
Turner purchased Governors Drive Apothecary 1960 and it became Turner’s Pharmacy in 1966. From 1960 until 1969, he served in the Madison County Pharmacists Association, and as a District Trustee for the Alabama Pharmacy Association. He served as President of APA from 1969 to 1970, leading the profession through the implementation of the Medicaid Program. He was appointed by Governor Albert Brewer to the Alabama Board of Pharmacy and served until 1976, holding offices of Treasurer, Vice-President and President during that time.
He was recognized as an outstanding preceptor for his numerous practice innovations. Turner was the first pharmacist in the area to computerize his practice, the first to have a cell phone, and was the first to provide consultation services to area long-term care facilities. He was one of the first in the Huntsville area to provide sterile compounding services and was also instrumental in the founding of the pharmacy co-op.
Medical Arts Pharmacy was established in 1997 when Turner’s Pharmacy merged with Huntsville Pharmacy and subsequently purchased Medical Arts Apothecary. This pharmacy was co-owned by Turner and Wayne Cofield until Turner’s sudden death on March 19, 1999.
Mahlon and his wife Janice had three sons. As a tribute to Mahlon, the family established the Mahlon G. Turner Pharmacy Fellowship in Outreach at the Harrison School of Pharmacy.
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.
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. The School’s commitment to world-class scholarship and interdisciplinary research speaks to Auburn’s overarching Carnegie R1 designation that places Auburn among the top 100 doctoral research universities in the nation. For more information about the School, please call 334.844.8348 or visit http://pharmacy.auburn.edu.
Last Updated: July 26, 2019