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2018 Ken Wurster leadership award goes to pharmacist humanitarian

Cardinal Health named Troy Simons, owner of Foster Corner Drug in Perry, Okla., the recipient of the 2018 Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award. As part of the recognition, Cardinal Health will donate $10,000 to the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy.

“[Simons] is such a tireless advocate for his community and a participant in so many activities that it’s impossible to list them all,” Chris Lanctot, vice president retail independent sales for the Central Region at Cardinal Health, told Cardinal Health RBC 2018 attendees during the Friday evening program on June 29. “Highlights include volunteering at the Free Medical Clinic that serves underprivileged patients unable to receive health care through other channels, volunteering at Oklahoma State University [and] mentoring students interested in marketing and economics.”

Simons owns two pharmacies and has junior partners in four other locations. He encourages each of the stores to focus on connecting to their respective neighborhoods. For example, Simons has set up a program at each pharmacy that helps patients who have medicine needs but can't afford them. At Foster Corner Drug, the program is a charge account called Foster's Fund. If a pharmacist identifies a legitimate need, they can discreetly charge medications to that account. Simons set up these programs hoping that a patient will not leave his pharmacy without the medications they need.

Simons also attends an annual medical trip to Nicaragua organized by One World Health. He travels with local doctors, dentists, nurses and support staff in Nicaragua each January and spends four days in a local clinic where he works as the pharmacist to fill all the prescription needs. His personal best is 640 prescriptions with one pharmacist.

Another project in which Simons participates is Arms of Hope in Medina, Texas, which is a home for disadvantaged children. Simons supports Arms of Hope by painting, building playgrounds and clearing trees.

In addition, Simons volunteers for USA adoption, a Christian program that matches out-of-town Oklahoma State University students with local community members as a connection point and source of encouragement.

Each year, Cardinal Health nominates a number of independent pharmacy owners for the Ken Wurster award, which recognizes a pharmacist that exemplifies strong leadership, commits to community volunteer efforts and inspires others in their community.

In honor of Ken Wurster’s commitment to his Tampa, Fla., community and his pharmacy customers, Cardinal Health and the National Retail Advisory Board created the Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award. Each year at Cardinal Health RBC, this award is presented to an independent pharmacist who demonstrates a commitment to promoting the principles of community pharmacy.
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