Pharmacist Spotlight: Amina Abubakar, PharmD, AAHIVP

Publication
Article
Pharmacy TimesJune 2024
Volume 90
Issue 6

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

I’m the founder and CEO of Avant Pharmacy & Wellness, which operates across 4 locations in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our pharmacy includes a population health division that embeds clinical pharmacists in medical practices to manage patients with multiple chronic conditions. I am also the cofounder of Avant Institute, which trains pharmacists to build pharmacist-led collaborative clinical services. Additionally, I founded Roho Voyage, offering luxury African safari experiences and destination continuing education with a commitment to helping marginalized communities improve access to health care, education, and sustainable development.

How did you get into entrepreneurship, and what has that experience been like?

I graduated from pharmacy school in 2005 and initially worked at a major chain store. After 2 years, I shifted to an independent pharmacy, attracted by the opportunity to innovate and serve patients differently. This experience, under the mentorship of the pharmacy owner, encouraged me to open my own pharmacy when the opportunity arose. Entrepreneurship, especially in scaling and growing a business, has been a challenging journey requiring constant adaptation, resilience, and mental fortitude. Despite the challenges, the growth of our team and the impact we’ve made keep me motivated and grateful for the path I’ve chosen.

Can you discuss your international work and the value of pharmacy in international aid work?

Deeply motivated by the community support I received, which funded my education in the US, I founded Roho Voyage. This venture extends beyond luxury travel, aiming to significantly uplift underprivileged communities. We facilitate educational scholarships for children and collaborate with Safari Doctors [an organization that provides health services in Lamu County, Kenya] for our medical missions. These missions enhance health care in underserved areas by connecting health care providers with local communities, training health workers, and striving to establish sustainable health care infrastructure, thus bridging significant health disparities.

You seem to have a focus on community, both in the US and in Africa. How do you view pharmacists’ roles in their communities?

Pharmacists, often the most accessible health care providers in many communities, play a pivotal role in public health. With a pharmacy typically within a 5-mile radius of most Americans, and sometimes being the only health care access point, pharmacists are deeply embedded within their communities. They utilize their extensive knowledge to educate the public, significantly impacting overall community health and wellness. Thus, pharmacists stand as pillars within their communities, crucial for accessing essential medical information that can greatly improve public well-being.

Let’s Connect!

linkedin.com/in/amina-abubakar
Avant Institute | @avantinstitute | linkedin.com/company/avant-institute
Avant Institute Symposium | tickettailor.com/events/avantsymposium2023/960914
Roho Voyage | rohovoyage
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