2013 Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists


Entrepreneur of the Year

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Plain City, Ohio, had not had a pharmacist since 1992—until Joe Craft opened Plain City Druggist in 1999.

After attending the National Community Pharmacists Association “Ownership Academy” in 1997, and attempting to purchase pharmacies in other communities unsuccessfully, Craft set up his business in a strip mall in his hometown.

The 1000-square-foot original location allowed Craft to speak to his patients as they picked up their medications, and helped him pursue his goals of service and treating patients with dignity and respect. It has also made him the face of Plain City Druggist." Because he is caring, devoted, and completely backs his community, many people trust Joe as not only their pharmacist, but as the shining symbol for the profession of pharmacy,” read his nomination.

The business came with legwork, which Craft undertook himself: marketing, introducing himself at local doctor’s offices, and passing out flyers to notify patients about the new pharmacy in town. He also handled outfitting the pharmacy, setting up accounts with wholesalers, and getting the licenses needed to operate.

Craft has since grown his business, moving to a larger location in 2007. The growth has also allowed him to split his pharmacy’s compounding arm into a separate business, Midwestern Compounding Pharmacy. His business grew in terms of services as well as location. Craft is among the first pharmacists in Ohio to receive immunization training. Integrating technology is another service he offers, with texts, faxes, and social media options for contacting and connecting with his patients.

Since opening his pharmacy, Craft’s involvement in his community led him to be recognized as Small Business Owner of the Year in 2004, as well as Lion of the Year and Knight of the Year. Craft has also been named Preceptor of the Year for his work as a pharmacy preceptor with his alma mater, Ohio State University School of Pharmacy.

His involvement with Ohio State University School of Pharmacy generated speaking engagements with the school’s National Community Pharmacists Association student chapter regarding independent pharmacy—supporting a belief that teaching and mentoring can help produce the next generation of independent pharmacy owners.

Bob Lomenick has a vision for pharmacy that includes improving patient health by strengthening medication adherence. His vision led many of his business decisions that have not only strengthened his pharmacy in Holly Springs, Mississippi, Tyson Drug, but have improved patient outcomes.

Lomenick couples new technology and a patient-centered focus with old-fashioned customer service in a small rural community where medication adherence can be troublesome. As a result, he strives to help patients not only adhere to their therapy, but also understand their therapy.

A refill program created specifically with this in mind helped Lomenick synchronize patient refills, which in turn helped his patients with adherence. He added strip packaging technology to his pharmacy soon after that to help ensure dispensing accuracy. The technology provides his patients with a simple method of seeing whether they took their last dose of medication, and also keeps all of a patient’s daily medications in a single location. Noting the need for patient participation, and the challenges for some patients to get to the pharmacy, Lomenick provides a free delivery service as well.

In addition to his adherence program, Lomenick offers immunization services, medication reviews, and diabetes and heart education classes for his patients. His medication therapy management services include contacting his patients’ physicians monthly to review their medications.

Lomenick is currently working with researchers from his alma mater, the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, to track the outcomes of his adherence program. Thus far, research into the adherence program shows a 26% improvement in patient adherence. Lomenick is also working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to share the benefits of this program.

Lomenick’s career spans more than 35 years in independent community pharmacies. He bought his first independent pharmacy in 1986, and has expanded that business to encompass 3 locations.

As an independent pharmacy owner, Lomenick ensures the strong presence of independent owners in pharmacy. As a speaker at the Pharmacy Development Services’ Independent Growth Conference in Orlando in February 2013, Lomenick shared his program innovations with other independent pharmacists.

An unconventional journey brought Christian S. Tadrus to practice pharmacy, and allowed him to institute innovations in his family’s group of pharmacies.

After growing up working in the family’s pharmacies, Dr. Tadrus received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Boston University in 1991, but returned to school to pursue pharmacy. Once he rejoined the family business, he immediately began upgrading technology to reduce workload and provide faster and more accurate services to patients.

Although the pharmacies had computers since 1974, Dr. Tadrus integrated automated technology into his pharmacies, allowing pharmacists to spend more time with patients.

Dr. Tadrus is working to establish patient adherence programs rooted in comprehensive and targeted medication therapy management, coordination of refills, and convenience and compliance packaging. His goal is to educate patients about their medications and assist them with compliance. The program also aims to provide a basis for integrating pharmacy practice into coordinated care specifications within the Affordable Care Act.

As an adjunct clinical instructor at the University of Missouri School of Pharmacy and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Dr. Tadrus focuses on developing medication therapy services in the community setting. He is also working to establish an American Society of Health System Pharmacists PGY1 community pharmacy practice residency for 2014.

Dr. Tadrus’ belief in the position of pharmacists as health care providers leads him to advocate for recognition within the health care field. Dr. Tadrus serves on the Missouri Board of Pharmacy’s Drug Distributor Advisory Committee, and has advised several working groups within the board of pharmacy, particularly in the area of independent pharmacies. His work there includes creating avenues for physician-pharmacist collaborations, as well as pharmacy-friendly, patient-centered legislation.

Within the Missouri Pharmacy Association, Dr. Tadrus acts as chairman of the Professional Affairs Committee, and has worked to help develop template immunization protocols and policy and procedural manuals to guide pharmacists in new practice areas.

As a nationally certified asthma educator, Dr. Tadrus takes particular interest in the pharmacist’s role in managing asthma. His efforts with AsthmaReady.org, the Asthma Friendly Pharmacies, the Missouri Pharmacist Care Network, and Missouri Health Net’s DirectCare Pro project led to the production of a pharmacist-based asthma education video series.

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