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CU Pharmacy Announces 2023 Alumni Awardees

The Alumni Association proudly acknowledges this year's winners

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Written by Jaron Bryant on July 30, 2023

The Alumni Association for the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is proud to unveil the recipients for the fourth annual alumni awards. This year's honorees are Susan Finstrom, RPh '86, Kristin Holmes, PharmD '13, and Paul Limberis, RPh '79. The awardees will be honored Friday, Nov. 3, 2023 during the 4th Annual CU Pharmacy Alumni Awards as part of Homecoming weekend. 
Susan will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, recognizing her exceptional contributions to the field of pharmacy. Kristin is this year's recipient for the Horizon Alumni Award, given to CU Pharmacy alumni who have graduated in the past 10 years and exemplify the highest potential for significant contributions to the profession of pharmacy. Paul will be honored with the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award.

Susan Finstrom 86

Susan Finstrom, RPh '86 

Susan Finstrom is a compounding instructor in the Pharmaceutical Sciences department of University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.  She graduated from University of Colorado – Boulder with a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy and was selected as the Outstanding Student for the pharmacy class of 1986.  The majority of Sue’s professional career has been in community pharmacy and particularly in independent pharmacies.  As an alumnus with broad career experiences and a passion for teaching, Sue instructs and mentors the next generation of pharmacists at CU Pharmacy.

In 1997 she was introduced to compounding pharmacy practice and discovered her passion for this pharmacy specialty.  Since then, she has served as an employee pharmacist, pharmacy manager, and consultant pharmacist for compounding practices.  For over 25 years Sue has attended numerous seminars and training events focused on compounding that have included topics such as women’s health, pain and wound management, sterile product preparation, and veterinary medicine.  

In 2010 she was asked to help two CU faculty members start a compounding elective which continues to be offered at CU.  Her role has evolved from serving as a volunteer instructor to becoming a CU faculty member. Currently she teaches pharmaceutics, pharmacy law, and two different compounding electives.  

In conjunction with the CU Office of Student Services, Sue shares her passion for compounding pharmacy by working with various organizations including Medical Career Collaborative (MC²) program, a joint venture of Children’s Hospital and Denver Health, Colorado HOSA-Future Health Professionals, Colorado Area Health Education Center (COAHEC) Hope Institute, and other organizations that expose high school and undergraduate students to pharmacy practice.  

In 2016 Susan was asked to help with the design and development of the CU Research Pharmacy that opened in 2022.  The CU Research Pharmacy assists in clinical and administrative functions of drug research while assuring compliance with all federal, state, and COMIRB regulations.  The pharmacy operates an investigational drug service that supports clinical research involving study-related medications for clinical investigators practicing in outpatient settings throughout the CUAnschutz campus.  When not involved in teaching activities, Sue serves in a research pharmacist role.

Kristin Holmes 13

Kristin Holmes, PharmD '13

Kristin Holmes bought Capital Heights Pharmacy prior to graduating from CU Pharmacy with the vision of using her innovation to grow the independent pharmacy while driving the profession forward. She has been successful by increasing the number of patients served, as well as implementing a vaccination program for patients over the age of 6 months of age. More recently, Kristin began the credentialing process to allow her to bill medical benefits as a provider for a variety of services and train students so they can learn how to develop various innovative pharmacy services. She expects to be able to bill for various services including Point-of-Care testing (strep, flu, A1c, cholesterol, BP), UTI treatment, birth control, smoking cessation, naloxone, all vaccines, Prep/Pep, administration of long acting injectable antipsychotics, herpes treatment in the fall of 2023. She is also working with pediatricians to allow her to treat ear infections since her pharmacy has an audiology program. 

Kristin has also taken a leadership role with Colorado Pharmacists Society as a board member and continues to be highly involved in the organization. 



Paul Limberis 79

Paul Limberis, RPh '79

Paul Limberis, RPh graduated from the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy in 1979. Since that time, he held positions as a staff Pharmacist, and Pharmacy Manager/Director in Hospitals, Home Infusion, Long Term Care, and Specialty Pharmacy settings.  Paul retired as the Pharmacy Manager at The University of Colorado Hemophilia Center in 2022. Paul’s primary interests in pharmacy were in management, staff development and growth, and in promoting safe pharmaceutical practices that meet regulatory requirements.  Paul has served in leadership and appointed positions with the Colorado Pharmacist’s Society, Colorado Chapter of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, and the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.  Paul was appointed to serve on the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy for two terms from 2005 to 2013.  During that time, he served as the Board President twice.  He also served on the USP <797> Expert Panel 2013-2015.  Paul now serves as a part-time Surveyor/Consultant/Inspector for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

Paul received the Pharmacist of the Year Award from CPS in 1984 and 2005.  In 1995, Paul was awarded the Outstanding Preceptor Award from the School of Pharmacy and was also the recipient of the Distinguished Coloradan Award in 2009.  Paul received the Bowl of Hygeia award in 2012.

The awardees will be honored Friday, Nov. 3, 2023 during the 4th Annual CU Pharmacy Alumni Awards as part of the Homecoming weekend activities. 

If you have a CU Pharmacy alumnus in mind for recognition, you're encouraged to provide a nomination for consideration next year.

Nominate Alumni for 2024 Awards