News Releases - 2017

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Wins the 2017 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition

by NCPA | Oct 16, 2017

ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 16, 2017) A team of pharmacy students from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy was named the winner of the 14th annual 2017 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition. A team from the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy was the runner-up, and a team representing the University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences finished as the second runner-up. The decisions were made after a spirited live competition on Oct. 14 at the National Community Pharmacists Association 2017 Annual Convention.

"Every team that competed in the 2017 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition should be applauded for their efforts, but a special recognition must go out to this year's winning team from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences," said NCPA President DeAnn Mullins, Pharmacist, CDE, owner of Mullins Pharmacy, WeCare Wellness and the WeCare Diabetes Education Program in Lynn Haven, Fla. "If the business plans submitted by this year's participating teams are any indication of what the future of independent community pharmacy ownership is going to look like, millions of patients across America will be in good hands."

The 2017 competition drew participants from 34 schools and colleges of pharmacy across the United States. This is the first national competition of its kind in the pharmacy profession. The contest is named in honor of two great champions of independent community pharmacy, the late Neil Pruitt, Sr. and the late H. Joseph Schutte. The competition's goal is to motivate pharmacy students to create a business model for buying an existing independent community pharmacy or developing a new one. Through this competition, NCPA is helping to prepare tomorrow's pharmacy entrepreneurs. The competition is supported by Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company, and the NCPA Foundation.

The three finalist teams made exciting live, competition presentations of their business plans before the competition judges and a large audience at NCPA's Convention. The teams were also honored at the NCPA Foundation's Oct. 15 Award Ceremony. The results of the competition were announced during the Opening General Session.

"The NCPA Foundation is committed to providing pharmacy students with all of the tools they need to take the plunge into pharmacy ownership, and at the forefront of that goal is the Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition," said Charles West, PD, President of the NCPA Foundation. "Many past participants have gone on to become owners, who greatly appreciate the invaluable learning experience that comes with the competition as they get a dry run into the challenging world of entrepreneurship."

The winning team, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, is comprised of captain Hilary Dowd and members Kansesha Day, Levi Ellison, and Stephen Strickland. The team advisors are Dr. Seth Heldenbrand and Dr. Schwanda Flowers, and the dean is Dr. Keith Olson. Their NCPA student chapter received $3,000, and $3,000 was contributed to the school in the dean's name to promote independent community pharmacy. The team members, team advisor, and the dean will also receive complimentary registration, travel, and lodging to NCPA's 2018 Multiple Locations Conference.

The first runner-up, the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, is comprised of captain Elizabeth Gonzales and members Nicholas Holloway, Lily Earnest, and Julie Shafer. The team advisor is Dr. Raffi Svadjian and the dean is Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos. Their chapter received $2,000, and $2,000 was contributed to the school in the dean's name to promote independent pharmacy.

The second runner-up, the University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, is comprised of captain Mary Anne Choi and team members Salley Park, Michael Sun and Michael Xu. The team advisors were Dr. Ed Sherman and Dr. David Collum and the dean is Dr. Phillip Oppenheimer. Their chapter received $1,000, and $1,000 was contributed to the school in the dean's name to promote independent pharmacy.

The submissions were judged by a panel consisting of NCPA members, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Business Coaching consultants, and business team leaders from across the country. There were 75 judges for the written competition and five for the live competition.

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About the National Community Pharmacists Association Foundation
The NCPA Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1953 to honor former NARD Executive Secretary John W. Dargavel. Contributions to the NCPA Foundation are tax deductible to the extent permitted under federal tax law. The Foundation supports the growth and advancement of independent community pharmacy through low-interest educational loans and scholarships to pharmacy students in need, critical research and programs to improve the success of independent pharmacy, community service programs and financial assistance to community pharmacy owners for their recovery in the event of disaster, accidents, illness, or adverse circumstances. To learn more, go to www.ncpafoundation.org.

About the National Community Pharmacists Association
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $80 billion health care marketplace and employ more than 250,000 individuals on a full- or part-time basis. To learn more, go to www.ncpanet.org, visit facebook.com/commpharmacy, or follow NCPA on Twitter @Commpharmacy.