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Ken Wurster award winner a ‘shining example’ of community pharmacy


Before the Blues Brothers took the stage Friday night, July 22 at Cardinal Health RBC 2016, attendees celebrated one of their peers — the winner of the 2016 Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award. Cardinal Health honored Ed Christofano, owner of Hayden’s Pharmacy in Youngwood, Pennsylvania with the award, which recognizes an independent pharmacist with an outstanding commitment to promoting the principles of community pharmacy.

Christofano was recognized for his community leadership, ability to inspire others and willingness to go beyond the day-to-day tasks of pharmacy to make his community better. Christofano and his pharmacy work to combat prescription drug abuse by offering education symposiums and community presentations, going as far as purchasing 800 pill lockboxes for community members to properly dispose of medications. Additionally, he has built a bocce court in his neighborhood and hosted holiday events to thank his community for their support.

“Whenever the town is in need of some cheer, our winner steps up to the plate, whether to build a bocce court for the enjoyment of the neighborhood or hosting a ‘Light up the Night’ Christmas event to thank the community for their support of local businesses,” Cardinal Health VP Sales for the Central Region Chris Lanctot said at the ceremony. Also on hand was Cardinal Health CEO Pharmaceutical segment Jon Giacomin, who called Christofano “an inspiration to us all.”

Christofano received an engraved crystal award for his pharmacy, and Cardinal Health donated $10,000 in his honor to the Ohio State University College of Pharamcy’s Generation Rx program.

Christofano was 1-of-5 finalists for the Ken Wurster award. Finalist Marcie Parker of HealthWise Pharmacy of Greenville and Therapeutic Solutions Vital Care in Wake Forest and Greensboro, North Carolina, was named a 40 under 40 this year by East Carolina University and began a charity called Bryson’s Birdies for Kids, which raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network. As the mother of a son with cancer, she brings the cancer crusade to her pharmacy, too.

Mark Zilner, of Diamond Pharmacy Services and Medical Supply in Indiana, Pennsylvania, sponsors free education conferences for nurses and nursing home administrators. His company has been named one of Inc. 500’s Top 500 and Top 5000 Fastest Growing Independently Owned Companies, and was named one of the Top 100 People in Business by Pennsylvania Business Central.

Finalist Bianca Delgado has a focus on outreach within and outside of her practice. In addition to her work at Farmacia Lechuga in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, she is part of Christian motorcyclist group “Road to Heaven” and volunteers for various activities in the northern region of the Puerto Rico College of Pharmacists. Delgado also plans and organizes for various pharmacy and charitable organizations in Puerto Rico.

The final nominee, John Hoeschen, owner of St. Paul Corner Drug in St. Paul, Minnesota, has plugged himself into the community by maintaining the local outdoor ice rink and acting as a member of Small Business Minnesota, school organizations, church groups and other community nonprofit organizations. Hoeschen also invites the community into his pharmacy by inviting local artists to sell their books there and hosting an annual Christmas party.

“Some people see an issue or a gap, and they take action. They utilize their passion to fuel positive change, giving back to their communities. They have grit,” Lanctot said. “They are brave. They lead the way. They are community pharmacists. And our 2016 Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award winner is a shining example.”

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