Professor named ‘Distinguished Young Pharmacist’


Wilkes Marketing

Dr. Thomas Franko

On Sept. 23, a Wilkes University professor was named “Distinguished Young Pharmacist” by the Pennsylvania Pharmacist Association.

Thomas Franko, Pharm. D., who is an assistant professor in the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy, was given the award at the 2017 Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association Conference held at Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center in Pocono Manor.

The award was given for his participation in the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association (PPA), as well as his dedication to the practice of pharmacy and community activities.

Franko was shocked to find out he received the award, as it was kept a secret until it was announced.

“Getting an award like this shows that efforts do not go unrecognized,” Franko said. “What is even better is that the award is given by a committee of peers, so their recognition is fantastic.”

Franko currently serves as a PPA membership committee chair, a member of the naloxone sub-committee, and has helped developed statewide dispensing guidelines and has participated in the “Know Pain, No Gain” student contest committee.

He is also the northeast director of the board of directors for the organization.

“My work with the pharmacy community is really focused on pain and substance abuse.  I work with our students to do community outreach programs as well as research into pharmacists attitudes towards opioid misuse.”

The organization, which was founded in 1878, has more than 2,3000 members throughout Pennsylvania. According to the official website, the PPA promotes the profession through advocacy, education and communication.

A fellow colleague, Dr. Adam VanWert, spoke praise of Franko and his achievements.

“Dr. Thomas Franko is an undoubtedly deserving recipient of his award from the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association.  He is a leader in Pennsylvania in the fight against opioid addiction and abuse, and has been formally recognized by students and peers as an excellent educator.”