SAN DIEGO (Oct. 29, 2019) - A team of student pharmacists from the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy was named the winner of the 16th annual Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition. A team from the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy was the runner-up, and a team representing the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy finished as the second runner-up. The winners were announced during the Opening General Session of the National Community Pharmacists Association's 2019 Annual Convention after an energetic live competition on Oct. 26.
"Congratulations to all of the participating teams from the 16th annual Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, and in particular the three teams that made it to the live competition. After an intensely competitive event, we congratulate the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy as this year's winner," said NCPA President Bill Osborn, PharmD. "In working hard to develop these plans, the teams of student pharmacists participating in the competition received invaluable experience that will increase their chance of being successful pharmacy owners and entrepreneurs. If these thoroughly-considered plans are any indication of the future of independent community pharmacies, then the future is in good hands."
The 2019 competition drew participants from 36 schools and colleges of pharmacy across the United States. The business plan competition 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 student pharmacists 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 live competition presentations of their business plans before the competition judges and a large audience at NCPA's Annual Convention. The teams were also honored at the NCPA Foundation's award ceremony on Oct. 27.
"The NCPA Foundation helps cultivate the next generation of independent community pharmacy owners and the Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition is our crown jewel in those efforts," said Jerry Shapiro, PharmD, president of the NCPA Foundation. "Many past participants in the competition have gone into ownership and point to this experience as being an important stepping stone in achieving that goal."
The winning team, the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy, is comprised of team captain Hayley Sewell and team members Victoria Boudiette, Johnathan Little, and Jennifer Walling. The team advisers are Eric Johnson, Katherine O'Neal, and Justin Wilson, and the dean is JoLaine Dragaulis. Their chapter received $3,000, and an additional $3,000 was contributed to the school in the dean's name to promote independent community pharmacy at the college of pharmacy. The team members, team advisers, and dean will also receive complimentary registration, travel, and lodging to NCPA's 2020 Multiple Locations Conference this February in Florida.
The runner-up, the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, is comprised of team captain Courtney Gibson and team members Lauren Brewer, Garett Faucette, and Makayla Winters. The team advisers are Ashley Hannings and Matt Lastinger and the dean is Kelly M. Smith. Their chapter received $2,000, and an additional $2,000 was contributed to the school in the dean's name to promote independent community pharmacy at the college of pharmacy.
The second runner up, the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, is comprised of team captain Brooke Allison and team members Alex Cantu, Chelsea Griffin, and Omar Fuentes. The team adviser is Nathan Pope and the dean is M. Lynn Crismon. Their chapter received $1,000, and an additional $1,000 was contributed to the school in the dean's name to promote independent community pharmacy at the college of pharmacy.
All newly participating schools received a plaque commemorating their involvement in the competition. Schools that already were awarded a plaque in a previous year receive an engraved plate to add to their plaque. Teams placing in the Top 10 received a special plate acknowledging this distinction. Teams in the Top 10 also received a team travel stipend, sponsored by the NCPA Foundation, to help them attend the NCPA Annual Convention.
The remaining finalists in the Top 10 were Idaho State University College of Pharmacy, Rutgers University Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy, Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Washington State University-Yakima College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, and Western University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy.
The submissions were judged by more than 70 community pharmacists, pharmacy owners, and business coaches from across the country.
The pharmacist judges for the written competition were (in alphabetical order): Amina Abubakar, Greg Adams, Joel Arceo, Justin Baker, Robyn Bradley, Brittany Carney, Brian Caswell, Chris Cella, Mark Ciarlone, Jenna Clack, Matthew Conner, Stephanie Smith Cooney, Tom Cory, Kristine Cosmai, John Cravey, Christopher Daly, Kelley De La Fuente, Bhavesh Desai, John Duffy, Robert Dozier, Curtis Ernst, Ken Epley, Carter High, Holly Henry, Cathy Humphrey, Lisa Garza, David George, Ahu Gudivada, Julie Hambley, Kayla Harris, Ed Horton, Michael Kim, Grant Kinn, Braheim Knight, Elaine Ladd, Mark Lawson, Emma Leffler, Dixie Leikach, Neil Leikach, Mike McCarty, James McCaslin, Ben McNabb, Brian Menses, Tanya Mericle, Jason Montgomery, Steve Moore, Cortney Mospan, Tim Mitchell, Robert Mosby, Diego Naranjo, Danny Nelson, JJ Peak, Scott Podolan, Dared Price, Jeffrey Puetz, Cody Puzinski, Kristen Riddle, Phillip Rozell, Cole Sandlin, Paul Satterfield, Matt Savoie, Troy Simons, Yorke Spence, Scotty Sykes, Clayton Thompson, Michael Vesely, Donald Via, Dirk White, Jessica Wine, Travis Wolff, Tom Wright, and Hashim Zaibak.
The judges for this year's live competition were (in alphabetical order): Michele Belcher, NCPA Board Chair; Mike Bollinger, Live Oak Bank; Melissa Jostand, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company; Scott Pace, NCPA Foundation board member; and Scott Welle, AmerisourceBergen.
Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing 22,000 pharmacies that employ 250,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America's most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit www.ncpanet.org.