THE KROGER CO MAY BE ONE OF the largest supermarket chains in the country, but pharmacists who work for the company say that the practice setting is anything but impersonal.
Pharmacists who work for the national supermarket retailer, which had fiscal sales of $66.1 billion in 2006, say that the company?s commitment to professional development and patient service are compelling reasons to forge a career at Kroger.
?Kroger pharmacy departments are run by pharmacists from top to bottom, so patients always come first,? said Bengy Mitchell, PharmD, pharmacy recruiter for the Cin/Day Division. ?Our pharmacies are well staffed, so pharmacists are free to counsel patients. We have open, welcoming pharmacy areas where patients can feel comfortable speaking with the pharmacist.?
Dr. Mitchell knows plenty about the chain?s pharmacy setting. In his 11-year career, he has worked behind the pharmacy counter as well as on the management side of the business. ?Kroger has given me an opportunity to showcase my leadership skills,? he said. ?The company is committed to training not just its pharmacists, but its technicians and interns as well. Such training allows the pharmacists to counsel and interact with the patients.?
Founder Barney Kroger once said that success is not measured by how much merchandise you sell. ?Real success,? he said, ?is found in the development of and opportunity you provide for the people who are selling it.? That commitment to professional development is evident in the chain?s pharmacy division where patient care is always front and center.
The Cincinnati-based company, which operates many retail divisions across the
?At Fred Meyer, our immunization program is not a mass clinic; it is a walk-up or appointment program,? said
The Fred Meyer division of Kroger also is the first pharmacy chain to be a part of the Asthma Control Test. ?We have piloted this GlaxoSmithKline program with
The Fred Meyer division looks for professionals who are motivated and entrepreneurial. ?We look for self-initiators who have ideas about what they would like to do and think about how they can make it happen within our chain. Personally, I also love to see residency experience because I know how this valuable experience allows students to become incredible practitioners,? she said.
Mitchell agrees. ?We look for pharmacists who are caring, who want to counsel, and who are motivated and interested in growth and change,? he said. ?We want pharmacists to bring their skills and really grow and develop with the company.?
Both professionals experienced much of their career growth within the Kroger companies and have enjoyed the geographic mobility that a national company with over 2500 grocery stores can provide.
The ability to move throughout the chain is appealing to many pharmacists. Mitchell worked for Kroger in
In her current position,
She also believes Kroger will continue to find a way to generate non-dispensing revenue. ?I would love to see a rotating full-time or part-time person devoted only to clinical services providing asthma, diabetes, lipid management, and all our other clinical services,? she said.
Both Mitchell and Davis have seen their careers grow in different and exciting ways at Kroger. ?There are many ways that you can move in a company this large,? said Mitchell. ?Our recruiting slogan is ?more than you ever expected,? and I think that is true. Once pharmacists, interns, and technicians are hired into the company, they see all that is available for them. The pharmacy profession is continuing to grow and change, and Kroger will continue to grow and change with it.?