Sixteen students from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy joined Dean Ken Audus and Senior Associate Dean Gene Hotchkiss on a three-day trip across Kansas to visit 15 independent pharmacies and their owners Jan. 10-12.
The annual trip is sponsored by the KU Chapter of the National Community Pharmacists Association (KU–NCPA), a professional pharmacy student organization that promotes independent pharmacy as a career option.
Hotchkiss, who serves as adviser to the group, said the visitation program can build relationships between pharmacy students and pharmacy owners in Kansas. The hope is that those connections will lead to transitions of ownership and a continuation of vital pharmacy care services to the people of Kansas.
“Independent community pharmacies are a critical health care resource for rural communities,” Hotchkiss said. “In many instances, in addition to traditional prescription services, they provide a broad scope of patient-centered pharmacy care services, including medication therapy management, medical supplies, durable medical equipment, oxygen and respiratory equipment.”
Students spent close to an hour at each location and spoke with the owners on topics such as business management, customer relations, community service, quality of life as an independent practitioner and more.
The group made stops in Atchison, Holton, Manhattan, Clay Center, Concordia, Beloit, Osborne, Smith Center, Phillipsburg, Stockton, Russell, Salina, Hillsboro, Emporia and Topeka.