Richard (Dick) P. Penna, former AACP executive vice president and chief executive officer, lost his battle with brain cancer on Aug. 16, 2011. He was 75 years old.
Penna received his B.S. and Pharm.D. degrees from the University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy. During his distinguished career he advanced the profession of pharmacy through his strong ideas, passionate speaking and diligent work in promoting the profession as a vital component of healthcare delivery.
In 1985, Penna joined AACP as associate executive director and was named executive vice president and CEO in 1995. For more than two decades, Penna’s vision has been evident in reshaping pharmacy education. He worked effectively with pharmacy educators to meet the changing needs of the profession. He transformed AACP into a dynamic organization that is well-positioned to meet the future educational needs of the profession.
“The AACP family was so blessed to have Dick's vision, energy, leadership and commitment to excellence for all the years of his service,” said Lucinda L. Maine, Ph.D., R.Ph., AACP executive vice president and CEO. “All of society have benefited from his work as he tirelessly strove to improve medication use and pharmacy practice.”
During his tenure at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), Penna advocated for pharmacy involvement in patient counseling and espoused many of the components of pharmaceutical care before the term was in vogue. His experience as a community practitioner prepared him to deal with the scarcity of information on OTC counseling. As co-developer of the Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs, he encouraged pharmacist involvement with patients in addition to providing the resources to improve the quality of that involvement.
In 2002, Penna received the prestigious APhA Remington Honor Medal recognizing his distinguished service to the profession of pharmacy.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Penna; brothers: Albert, Larry, and Peter Penna; daughters: Terri Kemmerer and Anna Penna, Son: Richard Penna; and 5 grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Aug. 27 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Catholic Church Road, Petersville, MD. In lieu of flowers, please send your financial donations to St. Francis-St. Mary Catholic Church, 113 First Avenue, Brunswick, MD 21716. For more information about memorial wishes and to express condolences, please visit the Stauffer Funeral Home Web site.