McKesson ideaShare recognizes excellence in community pharmacy

Eden Drug was the recipient of Health Mart's Pharmacy of the Year, while Pharm406 received Health Mart's Innovation Award.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor

More than 2,800 attendees including pharmacists, independent pharmacy owners, technicians, exhibitors and McKesson experts came together June 22-25 at the 2023 McKesson ideaShare conference in Las Vegas.

The annual event, which is hosted by McKesson, Health Mart and Health Mart Atlas, is designed to help independent pharmacy owners and their staff discover new ways to help their pharmacy innovate and thrive. This year’s meeting delivered a comprehensive and engaging program with increased clinical and business educational opportunities and a new pharmacy technician track.

“As a diversified healthcare services company, McKesson is committed to helping strengthen the health of pharmacies and elevate the role they play in people’s lives,” said Scott Miller, president of community, strategic, and specialized pharmacy at McKesson. “To help community pharmacies thrive in the ever-evolving landscape, this year’s McKesson ideaShare offered increased continuing education opportunities, three days of engaging sessions, nearly 150 exhibitors from across the industry, and peer-to-peer networking.”

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At the event, Health Mart presented the Pharmacy of the Year award, which recognizes a pharmacy for clinical and business excellence, commitment to leading a healthy community and advocating for independent pharmacy. For the second consecutive year, McKesson ideaShare attendees chose the winner during a live onsite vote from a selection of three finalists.

This year’s title was awarded to Eden Drug of Eden, N.C. After buying Eden Drug with his wife in 2005, pharmacy owner Pete Crouch has been dedicated to elevating the role of the pharmacy in the town where he grew up and raised a family. Using the philosophy of imperfect action is always better than perfect inaction, Crouch focuses on how to run a business and make it the best for his patients, his community and his employees, while making a profit. This includes teaching heart healthy classes at a local senior center and operating an Education Center to hold diabetes classes next to the pharmacy.

Additional finalists were Hazel Green Pharmacy of Hazel Green, Ala., and Professional Pharmacy of Baltimore, Md.

Health Mart also presented the Innovation and Lifetime Achievement Awards at McKesson ideaShare. The Innovation Award recognizes a Health Mart pharmacy for innovative offerings that exceed the standard of pharmacy care in business operations or clinical services. Pharm406, located in Billings, Mont., received this year’s Health Mart Innovation Award. Opening the pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kyle Austin, filled a critical need for his fellow Montanans. Pharm406 became the leading destination in Montana for obtaining the COVID-19 and flu vaccines. They serve communities across Montana with a mobile vaccine clinic. Partnering with local providers, Austin has implemented a cryotherapy service in the pharmacy and contracts with local sports teams for this service. Austin understands the challenges that independent pharmacies are facing and is a strong voice for the industry. He even ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2022.

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Virginia Keller, 76, of Keller Pharmacy, located in Ponca, Neb., received the Health Mart Lifetime Achievement Award for more than 50 years of dedication to the profession of pharmacy. A community member and patient of the pharmacy said Keller’s unmatched commitment to the community of northeast Nebraska, her children, faith and late husband is truly a legacy of love. Not many pharmacist careers have seen this much growth in the profession. In good times and bad times, Keller does what she has always done best; extending a smile, holding your hand, running a thriving business and providing the best care to every person that walks through the doors of Keller Pharmacy.

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