2023 Awardees 

Pharmacist of the Year (Sponsored by: Hawaii Pharmacists Association)
The Pharmacist of the Year Award recognizes and honor a qualified pharmacist who has demonstrated significant service and contribution to pharmacy programs, teamwork within the healthcare systems, and service to the community of Hawaii.

Corrie Sanders, PharmD, BCACP, CPGx
The recipient of this award has worked during this last year to move legislation for reimbursement of pharmacy services in the state of Hawaii.  She has advocated for our profession on both a state and national level and was recognized as the 2023 APhA Good Government Pharmacist of the Year award in April. With her leadership, passion and commitment to our profession, the HPhA was able to push legislation for pharmacist provider status in our state further than ever before.


Excellence in Innovation Award (Sponsored by: Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC)
The Excellence in Innovation Award is a national award coordinated by the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, and generously sponsored by Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC to recognize and honor a qualified pharmacist who has demonstrated significant innovation in their respective practice, method or service directly or indirectly resulting in improved patient care and/or advancement of the profession of pharmacy. The tradition of designing innovative pharmaceuticals has been the commitment of Upsher-Smith Laboratories and is driven by the ever-changing needs of patients, physicians, pharmacists, and healthcare organizations. Their perspective is not “more products,” but the right products that make people’s lives better. At every level of their business, they are driven to be the best.

Crystal TK Tsuda, PharmD, BCACP, CPHQ
The recipient of this year's Excellence in Innovation award has led her pharmacy team in accomplishing many initiatives and strategies to improve the quality and safety of care at Kaiser Permanente. She has developed the medication safety minded culture across Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, focused on process improvement and working with a multi-disciplinary team to implement high leverage strategies in systems to prevent medication errors. This past year, she led her team to an innovative approach to utilize order panels in the electronic medical record in the ambulatory/outpatient setting to support safer medication prescribing.  The order panels focused on specific medications that require renal adjustment serving as a one stop shop for prescription ordering; displaying the patient’s most recent renal function and drug dose selections based on renal dosing guidelines. Thus, it served to provide information and guidance at the earliest point of clinical decision making for ordering providers. Prior to the order panel implementation, the electronic medical record had best practice alerts (BPAs) in place that would pop up after the medication and dose was selected and prior to signing. A retrospective analysis showed that order panels were significantly more effective than BPAs in ensuring that these medications were properly prescribed with the correct dosing recommendations. The clinical significance of utilizing order panels versus BPAs is immense for promoting safer prescribing of medications requiring renal dose adjustment in the ambulatory setting. The KP team is exploring expansion of this strategy to more medications and sharing this best practice with other Kaiser Permanente markets across the U.S. This work was recently recognized as a 2024 Lawrence Patient Safety Award finalist across the Kaiser Permanente enterprise with the winner to be announced in early 2024.



Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award (Sponsored by: Pharmacist Mutual Companies)
The Distinguished Young Pharmacist award was created in 1987 to encourage newer pharmacists to become involved in association activities and community service.  This award recognizes one pharmacist in each state for individual excellence and outstanding contributions. The prestigious award is presented by Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company, nationally recognized as a leader in providing insurance products and risk management solutions to Pharmacy professionals. 

Kelli Aoki, PharmD, BCPS
The 2023 Hawaii Pharmacists Association recipient was selected by a committee of his/her peers as this pharmacist exemplifies and exceeds the criteria required. The recipient of this year’s award joined the KP Hawaii Formulary Management and Drug Initiative Team as a pharmacist specialist in 2020. Since joining Kaiser, she has made notable contributions during her short time in this role. Highlights include transforming the Formulary Management process in KP Hawaii to align with KP Southern California; developing & implementing drug initiatives in the inpatient pharmacy setting resulting in over $100,000 in savings in 2022; developing & implementing a medication safety initiative to minimize abuse/diversion of promethazine with codeine; and further developing the Formulary Management Learning Experience for the KP Hawaii PGY-1 program. Outside of her work at Kaiser, this recipient mentors student pharmacists and contributes to the Hawaii Pharmacists Association as former Board Secretary and as a member of the Membership Committee and Programs Committee. Her performance, contribution, and virtues are an inspiration to everyone she encounters. In conclusion, the Hawaii Pharmacists Association recipient embodies all the qualities one looks for when evaluating individuals for this award.  I am very pleased to make this presentation.  Please share my pleasure in presenting Pharmacists Mutual’s Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award to Kelli Aoki.




Past Awardees

2022 Awardees

2021 Awardees (no nominations received)

2020 Awardees