Pharmacy Careers
Volume 0

Ms. Roop is a freelance writer based in Tampa, Florida.

After 117 years of successfuloperations, the Bartell family haslearned a thing or two about runninga successful pharmacy chain.

"It is [about] focusing on the patientas well as?having a one-on-oneconnection with each of our employees,"said Carol Carnahan, RPh,director of pharmacy for SeattlebasedBartell Drugs, the oldestfamily-owned retail pharmacychain in the nation. "We encourageour pharmacists to shareideas regarding patient care andpharmacy services."

Founded in 1890 by pharmacistGeorge H. Bartell, Sr, BartellDrugs remains a pharmacistcentricorganization. The familyalso remains just as visible andinvolved in the company's dayto-day operations as they were acentury ago—including making personalvisits to each of the 55 storesthroughout Puget Sound every holidayseason.

Chairman and chief executive officerGeorge Bartell "takes a lot ofpride not only in the way each storelooks, but also the relationship he haswith his employees," said RebeccaSiegmund, assistant vice president ofmarketing. "It is part of the emotionalinvestment and the day-to-daybusiness ethic that the family has andimparts on the entire organization."

Part of that investment can be seenin the chain's many innovative patientcareprograms, including immunizationsat in-house clinics and on-siteat local businesses, traveling osteoporosisscreenings, cholesterolscreenings, medication therapy managementservices, and even travelclinics designed to meet the uniqueneeds of patients who will be travelingoutside the country.

All the programs have been developedin part to achieve Bartell's goalof being the region's health careprovider of choice. More important,the programs were all designed andimplemented by the chain's pharmacists,who are in the best position toknow the needs of the communityeach store serves.

"We encourage our pharmacists todrive cognitive services programs intheir stores," said Carnahan. "That ishow all of our programs got started,by pharmacist request. It is my job asdirector of pharmacy to supportthem in whatever way I can, so thatthey can provide the services to theirpatients that they want."

Knowing that, it should come as nosurprise that a career with Bartelloffers the flexibility to explore multipleavenues. Pharmacists start aseither relief or staff pharmacists andthen progress to pharmacy managerand district manager, or they can pursueopportunities outside the pharmacy,such as store management.

"When we place a pharmacist in astore, we want to make sure that it is agood fit for themselves, the store, andthe neighborhood," said Carnahan."The opportunities are there [in thepharmacy] if that is the career paththey want to choose, and there arecertainly opportunities if they want togo outside of pharmacy."

In addition to a competitivebenefits package that includesmedical, dental, vision, and disabilityinsurance, as well as a401(k) plan, Bartell providespharmacists with the incrementaltraining they may need topursue additional service areas.The company also is undergoinga chainwide information systemupgrade to ensure pharmacistshave access to the latest technologicaltools they need to providethe highest quality carepossible to their patients.

Finally, Bartell "continues to encourageour pharmacists to get outinto the community," said Siegmund,such as participation in one of themany company-sponsored events,providing outreach services in seniorcenters, or getting involved in one ofthe charitable organizations the companysupports.

Anyone interested in a career withBartell Drugs is encouraged to visitthe company's Web site at, or simply to dropby any of the stores and talk with thepharmacist.

When it comes to its pharmacists,Bartell "will support their practice andtheir profession," said Carnahan.

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