I am NCPA
Aimee O’Reilly, PharmD
PHARMACY: Owner, O'Reilly Family Pharmacy,
FAMILY: Husband, Brendan; Three children,
Clare, 2; Isaac, 1; and Henry, 10 weeks.
EDUCATION: PharmD, Ohio Northern University
Raabe School of Pharmacy, 2012.
HER SURVIVAL SECRET: With three children
under 3 and a pharmacy to run, how does Aimee
keep going? "Right now," she says, "it's a lot of
INDEPENDENT ALL THE WAY: Independent
community pharmacy captured Aimee's heart early
on. She attended Ohio Northern with the idea of
a combination law-pharmacy course of study, but
pharmacy won out. "Pharmacy is about service to
your community and to your patients," she says.
"I liked that." After graduation she worked for the
Ohio Pharmacists Association in a role where she
tried to help independents become more profitable.
She is also on the board of the NCPA Foundation
HATCHING A PLAN: After working for the state
association, Aimee decided ownership would be
her next step. Her husband was working in downtown Columbus at the time. She considered his
commute and drew a circle on a map. Included in
the circle were all locations with one hour or less
commute from her husband's office. She made
a list of every independent pharmacy within the
circle and set out to visit each one. At each stop,
she'd meet the owner, pass out a business card
(she called herself "Future Independent Pharmacy
Owner"), and say: "If you're interested in selling
your pharmacy, call me." She stopped at a Medicine Shoppe in Worthington and chatted with the owner, who
told her he wasn't ready to sell. But not long after, she got
a call from that owner. "He said, ‘Were you serious about
wanting to buy my pharmacy?'" She was – and she did.
GETTING STARTED: Aimee bought the pharmacy, and
the deal was finalized on Jan. 1, 2017. She was ready; it
was what she'd wanted for years. But, she added, "You
think you're ready until you go and do it." Her husband,
she says, compared it to being a freshman in high school
– you know a lot, but you're still scared to death. Still,
she says, "I was lucky in that I had a lot of experience."
MAKING HERSELF AT HOME: Right away, Aimee and
her husband made Worthington their home. "I believe
very strongly in being part of the community we live
in," she says. "It's a wonderful community. Very small
business-oriented." She has made connections with city
government, the fire department, the police department
– among other things, making sure they had plenty of
hand sanitizer when the pandemic started.
HER PHARMACY NAME: Aimee put her name on her
pharmacy and added "family" because that's the kind
of atmosphere she wanted to create. "I know almost
everyone who comes in by name. Each customer is greeted when they come in. It's a priority to me that
when you come you have a good experience."
PRIZE PACKAGING: The pharmacy's adherence packaging has been a big hit with patients and their families.
"I have a lot of adult children who are worried about their
parents forgetting to take their medications. They love
the packaging because it's easy to tell if a dose has been
missed," she says. "They tell me that the packaging has
truly changed their lives. Their parents are happier and
healthier. There's nothing special about what we're doing
but for that family, it means everything. Those kinds of
moments … this is why I own a pharmacy."
TAKING HER BEST SHOT: O'Reilly Family Pharmacy
is participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program
for coronavirus vaccinations. The pharmacy administered
vaccinations at three private schools as soon as the state
opened eligibility to educators. The night before Henry
was born, Aimee was in the pharmacy administering
NCPA'S VALUE TO ME: "NCPA is a real resource for
best practices. They give us the resources to perform
at a high level. And the advocacy they do on behalf of
community pharmacy is wonderful."