LOS ANGELES, July 24, 2014 — The University of Southern California School of Pharmacy announced today that Kermit Crawford will join the School as Executive in Residence and Senior Advisor to the Dean. Crawford is retiring from Walgreens, where he is president of Pharmacy, Health and Wellness, after 31 years in a variety of advancing roles with the company. He has been a member of the School’s Board of Councilors since 2010.
“Having an individual of Kermit Crawford’s breadth of experience, expertise, vision for professional practice, and stature as one of the most admired and respected executives in the pharmacy industry join the USC School of Pharmacy is an incredible opportunity for the School,” said R. Pete Vanderveen, PhD, RPh, Dean and John Stauffer Decanal Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the USC School of Pharmacy. “Kermit shares the School’s passion for changing the professional role of the pharmacist and will provide our students as well as the school with a great new perspective on our profession with real-world vision and application, as well as working with our team of health economists at the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. We are very excited to have Kermit’s experience, expertise and inspiration at our school.”
Crawford will continue to serve as a senior counselor to Walgreens President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Wasson who said, “Words cannot capture the magnitude of Kermit Crawford’s impact on Walgreens and our people, on America’s retail pharmacy industry and on the health and wellbeing of millions of customers and patients we have been privileged to serve over the years. He has been so much more than a colleague — he has been a mentor, a friend, an inspiration, a guiding light and the architect and driver of Walgreens strategy to advance the role of community pharmacy in America.”
Crawford has led a transformation of the pharmacy experience at Walgreens, moving it from a model focused on product delivery to one where the pharmacist-patient interaction is central. He has been in his current role at Walgreens since 2010 in which he leads all pharmacy, health and wellness services of the nation’s largest drugstore chain. Joining Walgreens in 1983, his ascent in the company has taken him through the ranks of chain drug/community pharmacy operation at time when healthcare itself was transforming nationwide.
He has been a store pharmacist, a district manager, vice president of store operations and vice president of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services. As corporate vice president of pharmacy benefit management services, he oversaw all aspects of the Walgreens PBM which covered over 10 million lives. In each of these roles, Crawford has stressed that the value of medication is in the clinical outcome, which is a result of proper medication use enhanced by interactions with the pharmacist.
“After 31 years with Walgreens, starting as a pharmacy intern in my 20s, the time is right to retire from the company to broaden my horizons and seek new ways to serve,” Crawford said. “I love Walgreens, cherish my years and friends here and the incredibly dedicated people across the company. To me, community pharmacy has long been an unsung hero in our health care system, helping primary caregivers to provide convenient, affordable and essential health and wellness services in neighborhoods across America. I look forward to continuing to advance the role of community pharmacy in health care through my work at USC.”
Chain Drug Review honored Crawford in 2009 as the “Pharmacy Executive of the Year.” In 2011, Chain Drug Review named Walgreens “Retailer of the Year” and recognized Crawford among Walgreens top five executives earning the distinction. In 2012, Savoy Magazine named him one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.” Also in 2012, Black Enterprise Magazine named Crawford one of the “Top 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America.”
Crawford will also broaden his role at the American Diabetes Association, serving as national chair for its Ad Council campaign. He is a member of the board of directors of the Allstate Corporation and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores where he was previously on its Policy Council Committee. He is also on the board of directors of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and The Commercial Club of Chicago. Crawford earned a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from Texas Southern University in 1983, where he ranked second in his graduating class.