Christopher Daly, April’s Pharmacy Times/Walmart RESPy award winner, is a third-generation pharmacist who is poised to merge family traditions with the new realities of pharmacy.
Daly’s grandfather graduated from University at Buffalo (UB) School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1953 and opened an independent pharmacy in Blasdell, New York. Today, it is run by Daly’s parents, who are both 1979 UB graduates. Daly will follow in their footsteps when he graduates this year from UB with a PharmD—but the joint MBA he will also receive marks his decidedly modern approach to pharmacy practice.
Daly has already begun exploring what business training can mean for a community pharmacist. He was the founder of a 3-person team of pharmacy students who entered the Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition for 2 consecutive years. The team took fourth place its first year and received national recognition for a third place finish in its second year. The experience taught him a lot about what it will mean to be a pharmacist-entrepreneur.
“To be able to blaze new frontiers and start new business ventures, a pharmacist needs to be passionate to put in the time to start up,” Daly says. “This bold characteristic will separate an entrepreneurial pharmacist from the pack.”
Legislation is another key interest for Daly. He helped lobby for the right of pharmacists to immunize in the state of New York and worked to help make New York the 43rd state to adopt a collaborative drug therapy management law. He has served as president of the Student Pharmacists Association of Western New York as well as president of the student chapter of the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York.
After graduation, Daly will complete a PYG1 community pharmacy residency at Moose Pharmacy in Concord, North Carolina. The residency will allow him to witness firsthand the intersection of pharmacy and business, and help further prepare him to be an entrepreneur and a community leader.
“According to the Gallup Poll we are the second most trusted profession behind nurses,” Daly says. “It is time we start leveraging this honor and using it to our advantage to acquire more leadership roles in the community.”
Q What has been your most rewarding extracurricular activity?
The 2012 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, by far. This was an opportunity in the pharmacy school that lent itself to the skills I acquired at the business school. I was able to bridge the 2 skills sets together and greatly augment the product as a part of a 3-person team. Our second year, since we placed in the top 3, we were able to present our plan nationally in front of a diverse crowd of professionals. It was a great experience, probably the best of my academic career.
Q What do you say to your colleagues to encourage them to participate in pharmacy legislation efforts?
A Mark Schroeder, former member of the New York State assembly, once said, “If you don’t stand up for yourselves, no one else will.” The message was clear and simple: positive change only comes through action. If you choose not to act, whatever conditions you may find yourself in will persist or get worse. It is important for students to remain open minded about politics. Policy and regulation dictates what environments ourpractice settings will adopt. It is extremely worthwhile to communicate your views to your own legislature or representative in Congress, because the people who dis- agree with you also do so on a consistent basis. Political advocacy is a process of communication, collaboration, and perseverance. Now more than ever advocacy is needed because the extra effort makes a huge difference at the end of the day.
Q What is the most important issue in the field of pharmacy today?
A Getting reimbursed adequately for the cognitive services of a clinical community pharmacist. I believe this will be the future growth of our profession and is an area that will solidify our position and value in the health care profession. It is why I am pursuing a community residency. I concentrated in marketing in business school, and the profession of pharmacy can do a much better job in marketing itself overall for these services. We need to show our skills, market them accordingly, and create business models that are sustainable. The future will rebrand the role of the clinical community pharmacist, and I want to play a role in this.
About the School
The University at Buffalo (UB) School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was founded in 1886, and is the only pharmacy school in the State University of New York system. Encompassing the departments of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences, the school offers professional, undergraduate, and graduate programs. More information can be found at www.pharmacy.buffalo.edu.
The RESPy (Respect, Excellence, and Service in Pharmacy) Award is presented to the student who has made a difference in his or her community by demonstrating excellence in pharmaceutical care. For more information, please visit www.PharmacyTimes.com
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