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MSI Franchisee 2016 Award winners. Photo by Alabastro Photography.
MSI Franchisee 2016 Award winners. Photo by Alabastro Photography.
MSI Franchisee 2016 Award winners. Photo by Alabastro Photography.
MSI Franchisee 2016 Award winners. Photo by Alabastro Photography.
MSI Franchisee 2016 Award winners. Photo by Alabastro Photography.
MSI Franchisee 2016 Award winners. Photo by Alabastro Photography.
MSI Franchisee 2016 Award winners. Pardi Family. Photo by Alabastro Photography.
MSI Franchisee Award Reception 2016. Photo by Alabastro Photography.
MSI Franchisee of the Year Award Winner 2016. Photo by Alabastro Photography.
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MSI franchisees recognized for excellence at Cardinal Health RBC 2016

BY David Salazar

Standing in the Chicago Cultural Center underneath the largest Tiffany glass dome in the world, Cardinal Health VP Medicine Shoppe International, Inc. John Fiacco presented seven Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy and Medicap Pharmacy franchisees with Operational Excellence, Clinical Innovation and Professional Achievement awards. He also named the MSI Franchisee of the Year.

Fiacco awarded the top accolade to Greg Johansen, who operates 16 Medicap locations in central Iowa under GRX Holdings. Johansen has been in the pharmacy industry for more than 40 years and serves on Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences National Advisory Board. He is previously an SVP for MSI.

“Greg truly embodies Medicap Pharmacy and Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy values,” Fiacco said at the ceremony, where GRX Holdings VP Operations Karen Merrill and VP Marketing Nicolle McClure accepted the award on Johansen’s behalf. “I thank him for all that he does for our system and for pharmacy. He truly is one of the leaders in pharmacy.”

Earlier in the night, Fiacco handed out Operational Excellence Awards, including one to Rhonda and Joe Yarzab, who operate two stores in western Pennsylvania and one in central New York. Their work providing immunizations, home delivery, compounding and a new drive-through at their Hermitage, Pennsylvania, location earned them a nod from MSI. Similarly, Los Angeles-area pharmacy owner Michael Tadros’ work offering diabetes clinic services, home infusion and AIDS services, and pharmacy delivery in a 50-mile radius awarded him the honor.

“The Operational Excellence Award recognizes stores for things they do that go above and beyond, and push their stores to greater heights,” Fiacco said, noting that because of their offerings, the Yarzabs have “seen double-digit increases in their sales over an extended period of time. They continue to embody community involvement and support, and they’re great examples of Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy ownership. “

A new feature of the awards ceremony was the Clinical Innovation Awards, which began this year out of an interest in recognizing the clinical services aspect of community pharmacy. Steve and Colleen Pardi, who own Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy 1579 in Ilion, N.Y., received the award. Their pharmacy completes 100% of its medication therapy management programs and has more than 200 patients enrolled in medication synchronization.

Also recognized for the Clinical Innovation Award were David and Sherril Wells of Medicap Pharmacy 8253 in Sylvania, Georgia. They also close nearly all their MTMs and offer free blood-pressure testing. Their clinical offerings also have raised nearly all of their EQuIPP ratings to the five-star level. Fiacco awarded a third Clinical Innovation Award to Jim Cherry of Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy 0534 in Somerset, Kentucky. His pharmacy has become a destination for immunizations and support with diabetes care and home health care. His pharmacy also offers a weight-loss solution.

“He offers long-term care, specialty drugs and has a weight-loss program,” Fiacco said. “He and his staff are constantly striving for perfection.”

Fiacco also singled out Beaux Cole as the winner of the Professional Achievement Award. A member of the Illinois Pharmacists Association and the operator of a compounding facility, Cole also mentors student pharmacists and was named pharmacist of the month by the Professional Compounding Centers of America in 2015.

“I’ve had the pleasure of being in Beaux’s pharmacies. These are state-of-the art compounding facilities,” Fiacco said. “When I have a question about compounding, I will call Beaux because he is an expert, and he’s focused his career in community pharmacy on working with patients and physicians to improve outcomes.”

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Women in Pharmacy events foster future owners

BY David Salazar

By 2025, it’s expected that 2-in-3 pharmacists will be women, but that ratio doesn’t carry into the realm of pharmacy ownership. That is why Cardinal Health Women in Pharmacy has taken up the task of turning more female pharmacists into pharmacy owners, and at Cardinal Health RBC 2016, there were various events and educational offerings for attendees to help women through the process of owning a pharmacy.

“Today nearly 60% of pharmacists are women; however, those numbers don't translate into female pharmacy ownership,” program director Eden Sulzer told attendees at the Women in Pharmacy Mix, Mingle and Mocha reception at Cardinal Health RBC 2016. “Cardinal Health is dedicated to inspiring, encouraging and providing resources to female entrepreneurs to turn those statistics around.”

In addition to the networking reception at Cardinal Health RBC 2016, Women in Pharmacy held two continuing education sessions:

  • The first CE was titled “Diverse Market Segments: Tailoring Your Marketing Strategies,” and
  • The second CE was on security and risks in day-to-day pharmacy operations, run by Cardinal Health Global Security Director Hollis Mignogno.

But the main educational event for Women in Pharmacy at Cardinal Health RBC 2016 was the fifth annual Pharmacy Ownership Boot Camp. Over the course of three hours, a group of pharmacy students, pharmacists and new pharmacy owners were given a start-to-finish overview about getting financially prepared to buy, approaching potential sellers, designing and operating a store and growing a store’s profitability through clinical services. Cardinal Health VP of Pharmacy Acquisition Services Dave Ellis told attendees that a big part of running an independent pharmacy is knowing how other owners run their stores.

“It's important to think about planning and understanding the business,” Ellis said. “If you haven't worked in an independent, work in one — maybe work in two or three to make it a journey to see the different styles of pharmacies. Learn from different owners and have mentors.”

The Boot Camp also featured a peer-group panel that included Live Oak Bank’s Mike Bollinger, the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy’s Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Executive Director Bryan Ziegler, pharmacy owners Jenna Gresens and Leslie Davis, and recent pharmacy school graduates Jennifer and Jessica Macklin. The Macklin sisters emphasized networking and focusing on professional development while in pharmacy school to create opportunities later that can pave the way to pharmacy ownership.

“Every time we'd go out of town, we made sure to go to an independent of some sort, whether it was calling someone ahead of time or just walking in. Visiting pharmacies across the country, we’ve seen so many different options and avenues for women in pharmacy,” Jennifer Macklin said. “My biggest advice to students is that while you're in school, it's a great opportunity to look at pharmacies in your area and introduce yourself. We were very shy in high school and undergrad, but one day we realized we can't live our dreams by keeping them to ourselves.”

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Ken Wurster award winner a ‘shining example’ of community pharmacy

BY David Salazar

Before the Blues Brothers took the stage Friday night, July 22 at Cardinal Health RBC 2016, attendees celebrated one of their peers — the winner of the 2016 Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award. Cardinal Health honored Ed Christofano, owner of Hayden’s Pharmacy in Youngwood, Pennsylvania with the award, which recognizes an independent pharmacist with an outstanding commitment to promoting the principles of community pharmacy.

Christofano was recognized for his community leadership, ability to inspire others and willingness to go beyond the day-to-day tasks of pharmacy to make his community better. Christofano and his pharmacy work to combat prescription drug abuse by offering education symposiums and community presentations, going as far as purchasing 800 pill lockboxes for community members to properly dispose of medications. Additionally, he has built a bocce court in his neighborhood and hosted holiday events to thank his community for their support.

“Whenever the town is in need of some cheer, our winner steps up to the plate, whether to build a bocce court for the enjoyment of the neighborhood or hosting a ‘Light up the Night’ Christmas event to thank the community for their support of local businesses,” Cardinal Health VP Sales for the Central Region Chris Lanctot said at the ceremony. Also on hand was Cardinal Health CEO Pharmaceutical segment Jon Giacomin, who called Christofano “an inspiration to us all.”

Christofano received an engraved crystal award for his pharmacy, and Cardinal Health donated $10,000 in his honor to the Ohio State University College of Pharamcy’s Generation Rx program.

Christofano was 1-of-5 finalists for the Ken Wurster award. Finalist Marcie Parker of HealthWise Pharmacy of Greenville and Therapeutic Solutions Vital Care in Wake Forest and Greensboro, North Carolina, was named a 40 under 40 this year by East Carolina University and began a charity called Bryson’s Birdies for Kids, which raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network. As the mother of a son with cancer, she brings the cancer crusade to her pharmacy, too.

Mark Zilner, of Diamond Pharmacy Services and Medical Supply in Indiana, Pennsylvania, sponsors free education conferences for nurses and nursing home administrators. His company has been named one of Inc. 500’s Top 500 and Top 5000 Fastest Growing Independently Owned Companies, and was named one of the Top 100 People in Business by Pennsylvania Business Central.

Finalist Bianca Delgado has a focus on outreach within and outside of her practice. In addition to her work at Farmacia Lechuga in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, she is part of Christian motorcyclist group “Road to Heaven” and volunteers for various activities in the northern region of the Puerto Rico College of Pharmacists. Delgado also plans and organizes for various pharmacy and charitable organizations in Puerto Rico.

The final nominee, John Hoeschen, owner of St. Paul Corner Drug in St. Paul, Minnesota, has plugged himself into the community by maintaining the local outdoor ice rink and acting as a member of Small Business Minnesota, school organizations, church groups and other community nonprofit organizations. Hoeschen also invites the community into his pharmacy by inviting local artists to sell their books there and hosting an annual Christmas party.

“Some people see an issue or a gap, and they take action. They utilize their passion to fuel positive change, giving back to their communities. They have grit,” Lanctot said. “They are brave. They lead the way. They are community pharmacists. And our 2016 Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award winner is a shining example.”

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