U of M alumni Judi Jacobi and Jim Mowry want to encourage innovation and enhance career development beyond traditional practice for pharmacy students and practicing pharmacists.
Prescription for the future
Two U of M graduates want to take the field of pharmacy beyond dispensing medications

The role of pharmacists has evolved considerably in recent decades, from filling prescriptions to providing direct patient care and contributing to public and population health in myriad ways. Just ask Judi Jacobi and her husband, Jim Mowry—both nationally recognized for their leadership and contributions to the field.

Jacobi grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, where her grandfather, a pharmacist, owned a corner drug store. His influence and that of others led her to earn a Pharm.D. in 1981 at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, and have a 37-year career as a critical care specialist.

Most recently, she was the clinical pharmacist at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital—initially the only clinical pharmacist for 80 ICU beds. “I also started a critical care pharmacy residency program and trained 29 pharmacists to become critical care specialists,” Jacobi says.

Mowry planned on a career in chemistry until taking a course in pharmaceuticals. “It was a lot more interesting than chemistry,” says the Illinois native. But he didn’t see himself in a retail or hospital setting.

After earning a Pharm.D. from the U of M in 1979 and completing a residency in toxicology, Mowry directed the Indiana Poison Center for 38 years. “We took toll-free calls from anyone in Indiana,” he says. “We also developed a medical toxicology service in an academic health care setting that trained pharmacy students and residents and emergency medicine physicians.”

The couple retired in 2019, but they remain involved in the profession. They recently established the Jacobi and Mowry Pharmacy Practice Transformation Fund at the U of M’s College of Pharmacy with a current gift that provides seed money for programs that foster innovation and enhance career development for students, alumni, and practicing pharmacists. They also have included a gift in their estate plan to permanently endow the fund.

“We’re among the early practitioners in clinical pharmacy,” Mowry says. “Many people do traditional pharmacy, but often, there’s no opportunity to spread your wings.”

That’s where the gift to the University comes in. “We spent our careers creating and transforming, and we see the incredible work that Dean Lynda Welage, Senior Associate Dean Todd Sorensen, and the pharmacy group are doing with student training,” Jacobi says. “Our gift is a way for us to give back and help the school continue to do great things.”