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University of Iowa News Release


May 15, 2007

Carlson, Helling Receive UI College Of Pharmacy Alumni Awards

The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy honored two individuals with alumni awards at the college's annual Senior and Alumni Dinner and Awards Banquet May 9 in Iowa City.

James Carlson received the college's Distinguished Alumni Award, and Dennis Helling was presented with the Honorary Alumnus Award.

Carlson earned a bachelor of science degree from the UI College of Pharmacy in 1971. He received a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan, and he completed a pharmacy residency at Buffalo General Hospital in New York in 1976.

In 1977 he joined the Veterans Affairs hospital in Fargo, N.D., as a clinical pharmacy coordinator and later became a full-time faculty member at North Dakota State University (NDSU) College of Pharmacy from 1981-1983. While at NDSU, he and a physician colleague started a small generic-drug evaluation unit that became a commercial operation. This company, PRACS Institute, Ltd., today is one of the major Phase I clinical trials organizations in the country with 900 beds, 12,000 annual study participants, and a recurring client base that includes most major pharmaceutical and generic drug manufacturing companies.

Today, Carlson remains active in the business, as well as professional pharmacy organizations. He has received numerous awards for his achievements and leadership in pharmacy and business.

Helling began his faculty career at the UI College of Pharmacy in 1973 and was instrumental in initiating a primary-care model that led to pharmacy faculty serving full time at family medicine residency sites across Iowa. He remained at the UI until 1988, serving as a division head for many years.

Following four years at the University of Houston, Helling joined the Kaiser Permanente Organization in Denver, Colo., where he has served as executive director of pharmacy operations and therapeutics ever since. He oversees a staff of 700 and has played a major part in expanding roles for pharmacists in a variety of ambulatory and clinical services. His work has been recognized nationally and stands as a practice model that many pharmacy professionals look to in changing the way pharmacy services are delivered and reimbursed.

Helling continues to serve in professional pharmacy organizations, and he has been a visiting lecturer and scholar and numerous academic institutions in the United States and abroad.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032,