Stephens honored with alumni award

Roby Hill
January 30, 2024

It’s the college’s version of the Hall of Fame, a pantheon of the profession at its best. Each year, another name gets added to the historic list of Distinguished Alumni Award winners.

Ralph Wilkie, ’53. Vincent Peng, ’66. Bobby Bradham, ’77. Charles Cooper, ’65. Ed Childress, ’68. Weart ’71, Heath ’74, Edwards, ’68, Brunson, ’76, Hubbard, ’69. These alumni names appear everywhere at the MUSC College of Pharmacy, from histories to rooms to scholarships to plaques.

As of Jan. 25, 2024, add Jennifer Means Stephens, ’94, to pharmacy’s Cooperstown.

On that night, during the 2023 Alumni Awards Banquet at the Francis Marion Hotel, the MUSC Alumni Association presented Stephens with this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Her sparkling career is somewhat non-traditional for a pharmacist. As vice president at OPEN Health in the US Evidence & Access Practice, she leverages 25 years of clinical expertise and international health economics and outcomes research (HEOR). She joined OPEN Health in 2019 when Pharmerit, the consultancy she co-founded and ran as managing partner, merged with the company.

Her success has made her a model for many students pursuing non-traditional careers; in fact, she has established two funds at the college to support students interested in non-traditional roles. She also serves as a mentor to students, providing guidance and advice, regular visits, and job opportunities.

“Dr. Stephens is one of our most successful, philanthropic, and engaged alumni,” said Philip Hall, dean of MUSC College of Pharmacy.

The Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award is given to one or more College of Pharmacy graduates in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the profession of pharmacy and service to the college, profession and community at large. The recipients must be graduates who have demonstrated pride and loyalty toward the College of Pharmacy and who, by their integrity and stature, have brought honor to the college and university and will continue to be role models for all pharmacy practitioners. 

“Her passion, mentorship, and entrepreneurial spirit has inspired students and colleagues, advanced the profession, and broken new ground for pharmacists in health economics and outcomes research,” Hall said. “I’m delighted the Alumni Association is recognizing her remarkable achievements with our highest alumni honor.”