Marialice Schmitt Bennett was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. Her mother, raised in an orphanage, gave her the gifts of perseverance and the love of music; her dad, raised with a strong German heritage, gave her the priceless gift of unconditional love. As she grew up, she adored her two older brothers, Howard and Ed, who were frequently annoyed by her Shirley Temple curls and fancy homemade dresses. Marialice is a 1964 graduate of West High School where she was active in many organizations, sang in several music groups, and was a varsity cheerleader. She treasures the memories of the halls of West High School, music concerts, football and basketball games, school dances, senior prom, and just hanging out with close friends.
After graduating from high school in 1964, she was able to live at home and attend The Ohio State University where she graduated from the OSU College of Pharmacy in 1969. She is proud to say that she and her brother are first generation college graduates.
She was mentored and exposed to cutting edge pharmacy practice while a student at The OSU College of Pharmacy and as an intern at OSU Hospitals. After graduation, she had the incredible opportunity to become one of the first pharmacists in the country to create and implement inpatient clinical pharmacy services at OSU Hospitals, which ultimately contributed to the transformation of hospital pharmacy practice across the country.
As she grew to understand the impact pharmacists have on the health and wellbeing of our communities, she became passionate about developing and implementing pharmacist-provided patient care services outside of the hospital setting. She joined the newly formed division of Pharmacy Practice as a clinical instructor at The OSU College of Pharmacy in 1972 where her team went on to implement multiple new delivery models of care including the Clinical Partners Program (a pharmacist-run disease state management clinic) and University Health Connection (a cutting edge, interprofessional healthcare clinic that offered a blend of pharmacy, urgent care, and primary care services for employees of the university). In conjunction with these innovative practices, she created and grew the Ambulatory and Community Care Pharmacy Residency Program at The OSU College of Pharmacy to train future leaders and change agents for the profession of pharmacy. Mentoring and influencing countless students, residents, and practitioners has been one of her greatest honors as a faculty member, preceptor, and educator. She is in awe and inspired by what many have gone on to accomplish – things, she herself, never would have dreamt of, let alone been able to do.
She became a respected local and national leader and agent of change known for her pioneering vision for advancing patient care in community-based practice, her contribution towards evolving pharmacy education, and her work in cultivating community-based residency training. She has served in numerous leadership roles in pharmacy including the 2010 – 2011 president of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the home of American Pharmacy in Washington DC. She has been recognized by The Ohio State University, the Ohio Pharmacists Association, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, and the American Association of Health Systems Pharmacy for her various contributions to the profession including the 2021 Remington Honor Medal, the highest national recognition in the profession of pharmacy. In October of 2022, her name will be among ten added to the Women in Pharmacy Exhibit at the American Pharmacists Association Headquarters on the tenth anniversary of the display honoring women trailblazers in pharmacy. She retired from The OSU College of Pharmacy in 2015 and was appointed as an emerita professor.
Her path has been championed by her husband, Jon, and inspired by their three sons and their families: Jay and spouse, Cayenne; Vincent and spouse, Stephanie, and their children Jaxon, Tyson, and Lulu Rose; and Bryan and spouse, Jessica, and their children Josie and Hudson. Being a mom has always been her favorite job and being a grandma, a close second. Her family has widened her lens to the diversity of the world, and she feels they have made her a better teacher, a more compassionate practitioner, a braver leader, and a stronger person.
She is grateful to her community of extended family, church family, colleagues, and former trainees who keep her grounded and keep her honest. She chose a road-less-traveled, which felt, in many ways, more like a ministry to her. She hopes, in some way, she made a difference.
Rachel Nachman Graham, Class of 1964, nominated Marialice.