Wal-Mart Names Community Pharmacist of the Year

Author: Barbara Sax

Wal-Mart recently named Jeanne Waggener, pharmacist from store 1254 in Bellmead, Tex, as its Community Pharmacist of the Year. Waggener was chosen for her professional accomplishments, her commitment to her patients, and her dedication to her community.

When describing what criteria Wal-Mart uses to select its award winner, Pharmacy District Manager Craig Andrews said that he looks “for a pharmacist who we believe has done an outstanding job over the year serving as a valued member of their community, as well as someone who has made a difference in their communities.” Andrews nominated Waggener, who reports directly to him. Selecting the winning pharmacist is never an easy task. Wal-Mart employs about 14,000 pharmacists—many outstanding professionals—and received nominations from 29 regions. Despite the competition, Waggener remained a standout.

She won her regional nomination and then went on to receive the honor for the divisional level. At corporate headquarters, executives also felt that Waggener was worthy of the award and named her Wal-Mart Community Pharmacist of the Year. “I was blessed with great associates and pharmacists alike, but when it comes down to it, Jeanne Waggener is one of the best in a sea of many great pharmacists in my district and the company,” said Andrews. It was not her first award from her employer. In 2004, Waggener was awarded Wal-Mart’s first Outstanding Performance Award.

Waggener, a native of Rusk, Tex, received her bachelor of science degree in pharmacy in 1972 from the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy and joined Wal-Mart in 1989 as a pharmacy assistant manager. Under the leadership of Pharmacy Manager Phillip Bowers, RPh, Waggener has helped make her store one of Wal-Mart’s top 50 pharmacies. Waggener’s commitment to her patients is one of the reasons her store has been a top performer. “Jeanne means so much to her community, district, profession, and to the associates whose lives she touches each and every day,” said Andrews.

Her commitment to the pharmacy profession is evident in the many professional organizations in which she is active. Waggener is a member of the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, Texas Pharmacy Association, Texas Health and Human Services Commission Drug Use Review Board, and Heart of Texas Pharmacy Association. She also is a member of the Advisory

Council for the Texas State Technical College Pharmacy Technician Program. Waggener is very involved in both church and community organizations. She has served as the parsonage chairperson as well as the usher captain at the Austin Avenue United Methodist Church in Waco, Tex.

In addition, she is very active in promoting the science professions. Her accomplishments include her service since 1997 as president of the Board of Trustees of the Central Texas Science and Engineering Fair, and her role as institutional review board chairperson of the Exxon Mobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair.

In 2004, Waggener was elected chairperson of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) Advisory Council. She was selected by Science Service, a nonprofit educational organization that conducts the Intel ISEF, to serve on the Best Practices Committee, which assists in managing the science fair at all levels of competition. During her career, she also has served on the Board of Directors of the Junior League of Waco and the Federation Board of Texas A&M Mothers Club where her son attended college.

Wal-Mart Regional Manager Holly Luke summed up her observations about Waggener’s drive and commitment: “There are truly few people that you encounter that have the heart, compassion, drive, enthusiasm, and integrity that I see in Jeanne,” she said. “She is so dedicated and loyal, not only to her profession of pharmacy, but also to Wal-Mart. Jeanne puts her best foot forward every day to make a difference in the lives of others. I am privileged and honored to know her and cannot express how deserving she is of this award.”

Ms. Sax is a freelance writer based in Chevy Chase, Md.