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Christina Barrille, 38

Executive Director, Virginia Pharmacists Association

As an eighth-grader on a trip to the Virginia General Assembly, Christina Barrille wasn’t intrigued so much by legislative action on the floor as the lobbyists along the fringes. Years later, equipped with a government degree from Sweet Briar College, she moved to the capital city. After serving as policy director for the Virginia Department of Military Affairs for several years she joined the Virginia Pharmacists Association.

“Pharmacists have played a huge role addressing the COVID pandemic,” she says, “They stepped into the role of helping with testing.” In anticipating the near future, she says: “With mass, two-step vaccinations, the challenge is how do we make sure everyone takes the first step? First, patients must be informed and second, they must have access. It’s a struggle to gain public confidence and to assure that minority groups will have access to the vaccine.”

Barrille advises: “Trust the science behind the vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration isn’t going to lower standards to rush the science.” 

Although she says her days are packed with calls coordinating responses to her association’s stakeholders, “it is a happy burden to convey.” While rearing their two young children, her husband Jonathan, a virtual health manager for a major hospital system, understands the time-sensitive challenges that his wife faces. 

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Correction: The print version incorrectly identified this winner's age. It has been updated online to 38. Style Weekly regrets the error.