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Posts Tagged ‘The Ohio State University’

Happy First Day of Classes for All Our Ohio State Students!

We want to wish our Ohio State College of Pharmacy students, Matthew, Colin, and Tayler a great first day of classes on August 27.

Sadly, with the start of the semester, you probably won’t be seeing our loyal and devoted students in the drugstore except on Saturdays. Matthew is starting his third year of pharmacy school. Colin is entering his second year. And Tayler, who we are very proud of, is beginning his very first day of pharmacy school at Ohio State on Wednesday!

Our fourth year student, Andy, is off doing his rotations with other pharmacies until his graduation next spring.

You might also see a new face in the pharmacy on Saturdays, as well. Jessica Palmer spent several days this past year and over the summer in the lab with Bob. Jessica is a senior at The University of Dayton. She also plans to apply to pharmacy school, so she wants to get a bit more experience in an independent drugstore. Say hello to Jessica when you see her at the cash register or behind the counter on Saturdays.

We hope all of our students will have a wonderful autumn semester and a super school year in 2014-2015. We are very proud of all of you!

For the complete list of important dates for the autumn semester at OSU, go HERE.

Give Kids A Smile. By Our January Student Pharmacist, Ken Hecht.

I was talking with my wife, a future dentist, about some of the community activities she has been able to participate in throughout her dental career. One activity that stood out in her mind was “Give Kids a Smile.”

With a “Give Kids a Smile” event scheduled in early February at The Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry, I thought it would be fun to share some information about this program and the benefits for kids able to attend.

February is national “Give Kids a Smile Month,” and on Saturday, February 8, 2014, The Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry will be hosting “Give Kids a Smile” Day.

“Give Kids a Smile” is a program that is sponsored by the American Dental Association. The event is open to underserved children without dental insurance or who are part of a government program such as Medicaid. By participating in this program, kids receive free dental care, including oral exams, x-rays, fillings, extractions, stainless steel crowns, and cleanings. After the child receives their oral exam, he or she will either receive a cleaning or any restorative work that needs completed.

Date: February 8, 2014

Time: 8:00AM-4:00PM

Location: The Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry, Postle Hall, 1st floor clinics, 305 W. 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210.

Who: Children under 18 years of age who are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will remain with the child throughout the event).

How: Appointments will be scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Cost: FREE!

Phone number: 614-688-1470 (call to schedule)

Parking: Free with provided vouchers in the 12th Avenue garage on the OSU campus.

Questions: 614-688-1470

Websites for more information:

http://dentistry.osu.edu/gkas/patients.php (Site about the local event at OSU)

http://www.ada.org/givekidsasmile.aspx (National American Dental Association site)

It is very important to help your child maintain good oral health. According to US Public Health, dental and oral disease affects over half of the children in our nation and is very preventable. If a child has a tooth infection or decay, this may affect your child in numerous ways, including not being able to sleep, eat, or learn at school due to constant pain. Problems with a tooth affect a child’s overall health, as well. Fever may be a result of a tooth infection that has spread throughout the body. If preventative measures are taken, however, dental decay and infection are easily preventable.

Please take the time to allow your children the opportunity to establish good oral health.

Fourth Year Pharmacy Students Gifty Kusi And Ayman Saleh Are Working on a Partner for Promotion Project in the Drugstore.

Last month, in July, you met fourth year pharmacy student, Gifty Kusi, who was doing a month long rotation in the drugstore. Gifty, who is originally from Ghana, will be graduating from The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy next June. Gifty told us that her unusual, but very charming name means, “Gift from God.” What a lovely name and how nice to know that her parents felt she was a wonderful gift to them.

This month, we have Ayman Saleh, another fourth year pharmacy student, working with us. Ayman came to the United States from Lebanon when he was 18 and has lived in California until moving to Ohio for pharmacy school.

Ayman is a compounding guru and has been giving me a much welcomed break in the lab the past few weeks. Ayman also clearly has the personality to be a pharmacy owner (something he hopes to become someday), as he has taken part in our craziness in the store, even wearing John Allen’s Hee Haw hat. Beyond that, though, Ayman loves to help our customers and devotes a great amount of time and attention to patient interactions.

Both Gifty and Ayman will be with us for several other weeks in the coming year as they are working together on a Partner for Promotion project in the pharmacy that focuses on compounding.

Plain City Druggist has been involved in the Partner for Promotion program over the past few years. Joe acts as a preceptor (a pharmacy mentor) for the students who work on advanced patient care service projects during their final year of pharmacy school. The students, like Gifty and Ayman, who choose to participate in this program are real go-getters, as they don’t receive any extra credit for doing this.  They do, however, learn a lot for their futures as pharmacists.  They also have to be able to manage their time well. The projects usually establish programs in pharmacies that can continue to work after the students are no longer there. These programs include diabetes clinics, OTC counseling programs, cholesterol monitoring, and other important health services that patients need. 

Our former pharmacy student, Kelly Hawk, who is now practicing in St. Louis, Missouri, did a Partner for Promotion project on smoking cessation at Schieber Family Pharmacy in Circleville. 

As I mentioned, the students who participate in the Partner for Promotion program are really motivated to be the best pharmacists they can be. Both Gifty and Ayman hope to have their own independent drugstores some day. 

For this reason, Gifty, Ayman, and third year pharmacy student, Jon McClymont, decided to attend the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Pharmacy Ownership Workshop offered from August 19-21 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jon also hopes to return to his home in Nebraska after graduation and open his own pharmacy. 

Joe and I attended the Pharmacy Ownership Workshop way back in 1997 when it was held in Memphis. Joe was still working at Wal-mart at that time and I was in pharmacy school. Joe was trying to make up his mind about opening a pharmacy and this workshop gave him the confidence to start Plain City Druggist just two years later in 1999. 

We hope the NCPA workshop teaches our students many, many things as they journey to becoming pharmacists. We also hope that their time here with us at Plain City Druggist will also make them ready to be independent pharmacy owners.

Congratulations to Kelly Hawk Who is Graduating from Pharmacy School on June 11!

Our pharmacy student, Kelly Hawk, will be graduating from The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy this Saturday, June 11, in a special hooding ceremony. While Joe and I both received a five year, Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy, Kelly’s program involved getting an undergraduate Bachelor degree and then going on to get another four year pharmacy professional degree. Kelly will graduate with a PharmD, which is the equivalent of a PhD. After Saturday, you can call her Dr. Kelly Hawk.

We are so proud of Kelly.

Kelly came to work for us in May 2005. She had graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and couldn’t find a job. So she decided to find out more about pharmacy, take pre-requisite classes for pharmacy school, and then go on to become a pharmacist.

When Kelly first started at the drugstore, she was our clerk and delivery driver. She rang the register, got lost trying to deliver medications, and did just about anything she had to do to learn what pharmacy was all about. From clerk and delivery driver, she progressed to pharmacy technician and took the exam to be a licensed tech. Licensing for technicians wasn’t required at that time (it now is), but Kelly went above and beyond to show she was dedicated to the profession. All the time she was working, Kelly was also taking chemistry courses and other classes she needed before applying to pharmacy school.

In 2007, Kelly’s hard work paid off and she was admitted to The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy. For the past four years, Kelly has been going to school full time and working for us on Saturdays and during her breaks. All that “blood, sweat, and tears” is finally coming to an end and she will be a graduate this weekend and will take her pharmacy licensing exam in the coming weeks to make her a registered pharmacist (RPh).

Please stop in the pharmacy this week (Kelly will be here Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) and tell Kelly congratulations.

Besides Kelly, three of our other pharmacy students will also be graduating on Saturday: Matt Byrdy, Anna Gehres, and Jimmy Byun. You have met all of them during their rotations through the drugstore. We wish them all much luck as they go forward as pharmacists.

Matt and Kelly are also honoring Joe by having him place their hoods on them in the hooding ceremony on Saturday. This is a very distinguished honor to ask Joe to lead them forward into the profession of pharmacy. Joe has been a mentor to Kelly and Matt (as well as our other students) and he is so excited to be doing this for them (although he may need a step stool to place Matt’s hood on him, since he towers over Joe). Don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of photos from this celebration on Saturday!

We also want to congratulate all of the area graduates, including our own Michaela Henderson, who is leaving St. John’s Lutheran School behind as she graduates from the eighth grade. Since St. John’s only has a program for students from kindergarten to eighth grade, Michaela will be attending Fairbanks next year as she begins high school. Michaela was selected as the salutatorian of her class and made a speech this past week. We know that this is only the beginning of lots of great things academically and on the basketball court for this beautiful, young lady. Perhaps, there is another pharmacy student tagging along on Kelly’s heels?

Answering Questions for the Student Chapter of NCPA at OSU.

On Monday, October 18, Joe and I attended The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy’s Student Chapter of NCPA (National Community Pharmacists Association) lunchtime meeting. Joe spoke to the group of attending pharmacy students about the importance of independent pharmacies and the role NCPA plays in helping students and independents. I was just mainly there for moral support for Joe. Our fourth year pharmacy student, Matt Byrdy, who is doing his rotation with us this month, also kindly attended.

Our other pharmacy student, Evelyne Ntam, is the president of the student chapter of NCPA and had invited Joe to speak to her fellow students. Evelyne gave Joe a list of questions that she wanted him to answer during his talk, but he ran out of time and instead informed them that he would answer them via the blog (which means that I am now taking his answers and making them sound very, very intelligent!).

Please remember that as you are reading the answers to these questions that this is Joe replying.

Why did I choose pharmacy? When I was in high school, I worked for Wal-Mart in Urbana, Ohio as a stockman. I was in charge of signage for the entire store, plus I was always building items or retrieving things from top shelves for people. Because of these job requirements, I quite often toted around a 16 foot ladder. This ladder really required two people to carry it, but usually I was the one weaving it through the aisles by myself. Because of my constant handling of the ladder, I developed a lot of blisters on my hands that eventually turned into calluses. I had rough, working hands.

When I was maneuvering the ladder around the store, I often passed by the pharmacy. The pharmacist, Bob, was always sitting on a little stool smoking a cigarette (completely unacceptable today, but okay in the late 80’s) and listening to the stock report on his AM radio. One day, as I passed by, Bob stopped me to have me carry something for him. I was a Junior in high school at that time and trying to decide what I wanted to do when I got to college. I began asking Bob if he thought I could be a pharmacist. He told me that I just had to be good at math and science and if I worked hard enough I could make enough money to buy a Maserati.

I didn’t know what a Maserati was until later when I looked it up in a book in our school library (this was before the days of the internet–hard to imagine there was ever a time, but it did exist) and discovered that, yes, I would like an expensive Italian sports car like Joe Walsh sang about. What I noticed at the time, however, when I was talking to Bob, were his baby soft, pink hands–completely un-callused and velvety smooth. I decided that I wanted a job where I could have hands like Bob’s.

Why did I choose OSU? While many of the students who come to OSU come from many, many miles away, I did not have that option. I had to choose the school closest to me, because I was going to commute from home, and I had to choose the one that was the most cost effective, because I was going to pay for it myself. I checked into Cincinnati and Ohio Northern, but they were too expensive and too far away. I could not afford to live on campus. Plus, once I found out that OSU’s College of Pharmacy was ranked fifth in the nation, I was very happy OSU had been closest and cheapest.

When and why did I choose to become an independent pharmacy owner? As I was approaching graduation from pharmacy school, I was called for jury duty. Jury duty for Madison County, where I lived, was held in the county seat of London, Ohio. While I was on my lunch from jury duty, I happened to walk by The Medicine Shoppe and stopped in. That was when I met pharmacist Ernie Sparks and fell in love with independent pharmacy. Ernie’s store was so busy and the customers all seemed to love and respect Ernie. That was a new aspect that I had never seen. In many of the chains I had worked for, the customers took out all their anger on the pharmacists and didn’t seem to like or respect them. I heard people calling Ernie “Doc” and asking him for advise on everything from medical problems to car problems. This felt like a huge family and I liked it.

While I was in the store, I asked Ernie if I could do a rotation with him. He told me that if I filled out all the paperwork and got things set up for him to be a preceptor, he’d love to have me. And that began my love of independents. It was such an exciting environment and Ernie controlled every aspect of that environment.

Is it recommended to work for someone before buying a store? I would definitely recommend either working for an independent pharmacy or doing several rotations at independent pharmacies before making the decision to be a pharmacy owner. By getting work experience in an independent, you will be more ready to face the unique challenges of this career.

What challenges do I face as an independent pharmacy owner? One of the biggest challenges is unfair competition with chain stores and insurance companies. For example, I will fill a prescription for one of our patients. Within a few days, they get a letter in the mail or a personal phone call from their insurance company telling them they should get their prescriptions filled at XYZ pharmacy which is owned by the insurance company. The patient doesn’t know this. They think that somehow I have given this information out to another pharmacy and violated their privacy. Or they are told if they go to the other pharmacy, it will be cheaper. Sometimes, they get letters saying that the only pharmacy that takes their insurance is this other place, even though I obviously do.

If it came down to just beating the chains and mail order through service, we would win every time. We know our customers by name. We deliver to their door. We buy our groceries and other things locally. We support the schools and give to charitable organizations that work within Plain City and the surrounding areas. We are active in our community. But we have to compete with mail order and chains that use unfair practices and don’t care a bit about the Plain City community.

How did I choose our current location? Robin and I chose Plain City, because we lived here and there had not been a pharmacy in the town for over seven years.

What is my best advice for students interested in becoming an independent pharmacy owner? My advice for students would be for them to join NCPA and attend meetings, conferences, and take advantage of other opportunities provided by the organization. NCPA offers a super way to network with people involved in independent pharmacy. I would also advise getting an independent pharmacy mentor, someone who owns their own store and can show you the ropes. Ernie Sparks of Ernie’s London Apothecary (formerly The Medicine Shoppe) in London, Ohio was my mentor. I still call him when I have questions or face challenges.

Additionally, NCPA offers a pharmacy “Ownership Workshop” that I would recommend attending. Robin and I went to one of these workshops in 1997 in Memphis, TN right before we opened Plain City Druggist in 1999. This workshop gave me the confidence I needed to open our pharmacy.

Where do I see the future of independent pharmacy going? I think the future of independent pharmacy is very promising. There are going to be a lot of stores changing hands in the next few years as older pharmacists retire and need to pass their pharmacies on to the next generation. Believe me, those pharmacists do not want CVS or Wal-Green’s buying their stores. They want you, the future pharmacists, to buy them and continue on their tradition of serving their community.

If you have any further questions about independent pharmacy, please feel free to email Joe at pcdruggist@earthlink.net