General Session at McKesson ideaShare 2023 Announces Health Mart Pharmacy of the Year Finalists


McKesson also announced the rollout of the Foster & Thrive program and a new Ohio distribution center during the conference.

McKesson announced the 3 finalists for the Health Mart Pharmacy of the Year award during the June 22 General Session at ideaShare 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. An important criterion for the nominees was advocacy on behalf of the community and independent pharmacy, said Jeanine Singer, senior vice president of Field Sales and Operations at McKesson, who introduced the nominees.

“Serving our community is our motto and it is something that we take to heart,” said nominee Mike Powers, RPH, PIC, of Hazel Green Pharmacy, Hazel Green, Alabama, during a video presented at the session. “People don’t care about how much you know because they know how much you care.”

Powers largely advocated for health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The community pharmacist provided a “room of H.O.P.E (helping our patients every day)” for people to receive physical, emotional, and spiritual health. He also created a makeshift drivethrough for people to get the vaccine at a critical time and pray with them.

Nominee Pete Crouch, RPh, PIC, owner, Eden Drug, Eden, North Carolina, is a strong advocate for patient education, offering an array of counseling services for diabetes, nutrition, lift classes, and goes into the community to better understand adherence issues and gaps in therapy.

During the general session, McKesson awarded Virginia Keller the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication and time (50 years) in the field.

“The way to do [pharmacy] the best is if you love it,” Keller said. But, “you actually have to be ahead of the change [in pharmacy].”

Change is crucial to being successful in this industry, Keller noted. The third Pharmacy of the Year Nominee, Christine Lee-Wilson, PharmD, owner of Professional Pharmacy in Baltimore, Maryland, can attest to this. In 2018, Lee-Wilson was struggling to keep her business open, so she embraced change, applying for grants, leaning into the long-term space, and becoming a part of clinical trials.

Today, she’s continued to adopt new innovations, now offering medical-at-home, long-term injectables, and patient monitoring.

“I had to take a very hard look at what I was doing and come up with some of my own unconventional ways to keep the doors open,” Lee-Wilson said. “It is so hard to be an independent pharmacist right now, but it is so doable. I am living proof.”

Speaker Raj Chhadua, PharmD, managing partner, ReNue Pharmacy, emphasized the value of the community and independent pharmacist, but acknowledged that the work is still not being fully received.

“We deserve fair compensation for our outstanding work,” Chhadua said, earning him a round of applause from the audience.

During the session, McKesson highlighted its newly constructed distribution center in Ohio. McKesson makes approximately 40,000 deliveries per day and the new center aims to innovate and improve the distribution of important medications.

Scott Miller, president of Health Systems at McKesson, also announced the rollout of Foster & Thrive, a curated private brand of OTC health and wellness products that has a spot on the exhibit floor.

“People are saying ‘I want to be price conscious, but I also want to see value,” said Peter Koo, vice president and general manager of Pharmacy & Healthcare Solutions, to Pharmacy Times.

The McKesson exhibits at ideaShare 2023 feature exhibitors who are modernizing the industry in purchasing and ordering, business operations, and key partners. Top of mind at this year’s meeting is using technology to help independent pharmacists engage with customers better.

“We want to help customers reduce some of the complexities that they encounter in their ordering experience [and] take control of their pharmacy supply chain.” said Spencer Williamson, vice president and general manager, Supplylogix, to Pharmacy Times.

“Last year, we had advocacy on the forefront, and we still have advocacy as one of our core priorities,” Mike Cihlar, national vice president, Pharmacy Retail Operations, McKesson, told Pharmacy Times.“This year…we really just want to continue to support our customers.”


McKesson. General Opening Session. McKesson ideaShare 2023. Las Vegas, Nevada. June 22 to 25.

Related Videos
Pharmacist holding medicine box in pharmacy drugstore. | Image Credit: I Viewfinder -
Pharmacy Drugstore Checkout Cashier Counter | Image Credit: Gorodenkoff -
Testicular cancer and prostate cancer concept. | Image Credit: kenchiro168 -
Medicine tablets on counting tray with counting spatula at pharmacy | Image Credit: sutlafk -
Capsules medicine and white medicine bottles on table | Image Credit: Satawat -
Human cell or Embryonic stem cell microscope background | Image Credit: Anusorn -
Concept of health care, pharmaceutical business, drug prices, pharmacy, medicine and economics | Image Credit: Oleg -
Biosimilar pharmaceutical drug bottle on blue background. | Image Credit: Carl -
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.