Define “American heartland” and the town of Topeka, Ind., could easily fit the bill. And independently owned Topeka Pharmacy, honored as Good Neighbor Pharmacy of the Year at AmerisourceBergen’s ThoughtSpot 2015, could just as easily define the concept of drug store as an indispensible fixture of small-town life.
While pharmacists across the country have forged close relationships with their patients, providing them with top-notch care and a wide array of services, few have gone to such lengths as a pair of pharmacists working for the H-E-B grocery chain in Texas have.
Sam’s Club pharmacy manager Sarah Caven loves people, and it shows in how she treats the patients at the company’s warehouse club in Mankato, Minn. “I know it’s a cliché, but I’m a people person,” she said recently. “I love the opportunity to talk to the patient. I see them a lot more than they see their physician, and I know that their contact with me is important for them.”
Five pharmacists at the company’s Randalls supermarkets in Austin, Texas have dedicated themselves to diabetes management. Since February 2013, the pharmacists — Clarissa Wallace, Kristy Solominsky, Deborah DeYoung, Sonia Borja and Sal Solis — have been working closely with the city of Austin, insurer United Healthcare and Austin-based Seton Hospital to help municipal employees learn how to manage their diabetes.
For Rite Aid’s pharmacist Femi Afilaka, pharmacy is about “going above and beyond.” Afilaka is a pharmacist in a Newark, Del.-based Rite Aid store and has been with the company since March 2003. In that time he has developed a reputation for his devotion to patient care, for delivering that extra touch of customer service and for truly embracing the “fast and friendly” company initiative.
Because of their efforts, Josephine Hau, a CVS pharmacist in Baldwin Park, Calif., and Ali Hamed, a pharmacist in the CVS store in Springhill, Fla., are national recipients of the company’s Paragon Award, an annual recognition of what CVS calls its “best of the best.”
When she left her native Jamaica and entered St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., two decades ago, 16-year-old Shauna Markes-Wilson aspired to be a pediatrician. However, it wasn’t long before a chance meeting altered those plans and sent her career in a slightly different direction.