CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Oct. 10, 2021) – A team of student pharmacists from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy was named the winner of the 18th annual Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition. A team from the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy was the runner-up, and a team representing the Medical University of South Carolina finished as the second runner-up. The winners were announced as part of the National Community Pharmacists Association’s 2021 Annual Convention, which was held Oct. 9-12.
“We applaud each of the participating teams from the 18th annual Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, and in particular this year’s three finalists,” said NCPA President Brian Caswell, owner of Wolkar Drug in Baxter Springs, Kan. “After a highly competitive live competition, one team stood out above the rest and was declared the winner – the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy. Congratulations for rising to the top of a very strong group! With these well-thought-out business plans, the future of independent pharmacy is in good hands.”
The 2021 competition drew participants from 23 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. Its 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 presented their business plans in a live competition on Oct. 9, 2021, at the NCPA Annual Convention in Charlotte, N.C. The judges for this year’s live competition were Amina Abubakar, Mike Bollinger, Steve Hoffart, Melissa Jostand, and Aimee O’Reilly.
“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 steppingstone in achieving that goal.”
The winning team, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy, is comprised of team captain Jason Lam and team members Michael Kramer, Bobby Le, and Rachel Murray. The team adviser is Dr. Seth Heldenbrand and the dean is Cindy Stowe, PharmD. 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 runner-up, the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, is comprised of team captain Daniel Alonso and team members Mitchell Telles, Hector Fernandez, and Braden Kahanek. The team adviser is Dr. Nathan Pope and the dean is Sam Poloyac, PharmD, PhD. 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 Medical University of South Carolina, is comprised of team captain Matthew Brock and team members Erin Dougherty, Brandea Hardie, Amanda Newton, and Raymond Parker Jr. The team adviser is Dr. David Shirley and the dean is Philip Hall. 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 the schools this year have participated in a previous year, and will receive an engraved plate to add to their plaque. Teams placing in the Top 10 received a special plate acknowledging this distinction.
The teams rounding out the top 10 of the competition, listed alphabetically, are the Mercer University College of Pharmacy; Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy; Rutgers University Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy; University of Iowa College of Pharmacy; University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy; University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy; and Western University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy.
Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing over 21,000 pharmacies that employ approximately 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.ncpa.org.