RITE AID PHARMACISTS REACH OUT TO UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS

Pharmacy Careers, Volume 0, 0

ATTRACTIVE GEOGRAPHIC MARKETS,diverse patient populations, variedcareer opportunities, and an organization-wide concentration on the businessof pharmacy and the provision oftop-quality patient care. For manypharmacists, these are primary considerationswhen selecting an employer,and Rite Aid Corp offers them all.

Rite Aid operatesmore than3300 stores in 27states and theDistrict of Columbia.It is oneof the nation's leading drugstore chainswith approximately 70,000 full-andpart-time associates and 2006 sales of$17.3 billion.

As a company, Rite Aid prides itselfon offering a modern store base,strong brand name, modern distributioncenters, and superior pharmacytechnology—and doing so to benefitpopulations that are often overlookedby other chain drugstores.

"We build our stores in 3 differenttypes of populations: extremerural areas, suburbia, and wealso build in inner cities," saidMichele Belsey, Rite Aid's vicepresident of college and professionalrecruitment. "A lotof our competitors, you won'tfind them in extreme rural orinner city areas, but we do gointo those areas. That's a goodthing about Rite Aid; we tryto serve every different typeof community out there."

Along with putting a primaryemphasis on serving all populations,Rite Aid also ensures its pharmacistsare able to provide top-qualitycare in the manner they deem mostappropriate for their patients byempowering pharmacists at all levelsof the organization.

"It's a drugstore, and what isimportant in that regard is that indrugstores, pharmacists report topharmacists, so the focus really is onpharmacy," said Belsey. "In general,the concentration is pharmacy, thefocus is pharmacy, and our businessreally is pharmacy. That's what makesit special."

Pharmacists can be found at everylevel of the organization, rangingfrom staff pharmacists within theretail outlets, to pharmacy and regionalmanagers, the latter of which oversee asmany as 25 different stores.

And opportunities do not stop at thepharmacy doors. Pharmacists hold corporatepositions including clinicalservices, human resources, third-partyinsurance, managed care, purchasing,pharmacy operations, and governmentaffairs. "We even have pharmacists inthe technology department," said Belsey.

Getting started with Rite Aid is asclose as your computer.Human resourceinformation isavailable on-line atwww.riteaid.com, orprospective employeescan e-mail résumésor informationrequests torecruit@riteaid.com.

For students, Rite Aid offers pharmacyinternships and pharmacy-basedpositions such as technicians, cashiers,and clerks designed to give buddingpharmacists valuable in-store experienceas they prepare for their careers.The company also teams up with anumber of pharmacy schools for itsExperiential Programs. These rangefrom shadowing programs for firstandsecond-year students to moreadvanced programs for fourth-yearstudents in areas like community care,management, and clinical services.

Add to the mix upcoming expansionsalong the East Coast and astrong presence in California, and acareer with Rite Aid becomes evenmore attractive, said Belsey. "It's reallyan exciting time coming up for us,"she said.

Ms. Roop is a freelance writer based inTampa, Fla.