Idaho State University recently bestowed its highest alumni honor to UW Professor of Pharmacy Joy Plein. She has received the 2010 ISU Distinguished Alumnus Award. The award recognizes exemplary professional and personal contributions resulting in national or international recognition.
Plein, known as Joy Bickmore at the time, earned her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from ISU in 1947, the year that University of Idaho – Southern Branch became Idaho State College. She earned a master’s degree in pharmacy at the UW School of Pharmacy in 1951 and a doctoral degree from the school in 1956. In 1952, she married Dr. Elmer Plein, a professor in the School of Pharmacy.
She started her teaching career at the UW in 1954, and became a full professor in 1974. Plein has dedicated her career to geriatric pharmacy. In 1973, Joy and Elmer Plein, with the help of a graduate student, developed a nursing home pharmacy course, which led to more courses in geriatric pharmacy and the establishment of the Certificate in Geriatric Pharmacy Practice. In 1989, she and Elmer established a pharmacy teaching program at The Hearthstone, a Seattle continuing care retirement community.
Plein has served on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Over-the-Counter Review Panel and the National Advisory Council on Health Professions Education.
She has earned recognition in several venues, especially for her work with the elderly. In 2001, she received the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists’ George F. Archambault award, the society’s highest honor, given in recognition of outstanding contributions to consultant and senior care pharmacy. In 2002, she received the Janssen ElderCare Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the health-care of older Americans.
In 2004, she was honored with the ISU President’s Medallion. In 2005, she was named the Distinguished Alumna of the UW School of Pharmacy. Plein continues to conduct research and teaches in a number of courses on campus.
Plein has established three scholarship endowments at Idaho State in memory of three dear friends and classmates from the Class of 1947. She is also a UW laureate level donor. She and her late husband, Elmer, have established several School of Pharmacy endowed funds that benefit students, faculty and research.
Plein and other distinguished alumni, faculty and staff of ISU were honored during its Homecoming weekend in late September. She received her award at the Idaho State University President’s Alumni Recognition Dinner in Pocatello, Idaho, Sept. 24.