Mary Ann Wagner receives NACDS’ ‘Great Communicator’ honor

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores honored one of its own Wednesday night, naming NACDS veteran Mary Ann Wagner as a “Community Pharmacy Great Communicator” in recognition of her many contributions as a spokeswoman for chain pharmacy.

Wagner was honored at a reception in Arlington, Va., for “an entire career of communicating pharmacy’s role in word and action,” NACDS noted today. The “Great Communicator” award was established early last year by Steve Anderson, shortly after his election as president and chief executive officer of the chain pharmacy organization.

The program was created to honor those who publicly highlight the value of community pharmacy. “The NACDS honorary ‘Great Communicator’ designation complements the association’s Rapid Response Program, through which it addresses inappropriate or inaccurate characterizations of community pharmacy,” stated Anderson.

Wagner, a 13-year NACDS veteran, retired in December as senior vice president of policy and pharmacy and regulatory affairs. In that role, she took point on a wide range of policy and public health issues on behalf of retail pharmacy, serving as a high-profile advocate for the industry and providing expertise both inside and outside the pharmacy arena. NACDS bestowed the award for an entire career of communicating pharmacy’s role in word and action, rather than for a specific statement, as in the case of the previous two honorees, reporter Sabine Vollmer and the American Association of Retired Persons, which published in November a study on the role of community pharmacists.

A veteran of Hook-SupeRx and the Indiana Board of Pharmacy, Wagner was the 2003 recipient of the Harold W. Pratt Award, chain pharmacy’s highest honor.

With her background as a pharmacist and expertise in pharmacy-related policy, Wagner has been the perennial “go-to” voice of chain pharmacy, NACDS stated. “In addition to Mary Ann’s duties as a department head, over the years she conducted many media interviews with newspapers, radio, local television and national news outlets. As a result, Mary Ann was often the de facto face of our industry,” said Anderson. “Mary Ann handled this role gracefully and has been an outstanding communicator on behalf of chain pharmacy.”

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