Five DELTA Rx interns had the opportunity to complete an entrepreneurial-oriented experience this past summer during the twelfth year of the DELTA Rx Entrepreneurial Summer Internship Program. The pandemic continuing during this summer made it especially evident how rapidly changing community pharmacy must be. The mission of the DELTA Rx internship program is to allow pharmacy students to participate in activites that revolve around innovation and entrepreneurship prepare them for their future careers. Learn more about their personalized experiences and how it impacted them:
My internship was with Hartig Drug based in Dubuque, IA. “Hartig” is a small-chain community pharmacy company with business in long-term care pharmacy as well. My role as a DELTA-Rx intern was working with Charlie in the corporate office completing several major projects. My three major projects included updating Hartig’s Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) program, analyzing non-profitable prescriptions, and building materials for the company to participate in the statewide naloxone program. I also got to compare the differences in pharmacy law since Hartig has pharmacies in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
Most of my internship work was creating formulas and graphs in Excel to then make the correct clinical decisions. With a business minor, one of the classes I completed sophomore year was a workshop in Excel. I did not understand how much I would benefit from the class while I was taking it, but in hindsight the knowledge from that course helped me succeed in my internship.
One of my favorite memories is when Chris (the long-term care pharmacy director) and I drove up to the Waukon pharmacy as they were in a transition period at the time. During the drive there and back, we discussed many issues in pharmacy and my own career path. He mentioned a saying about “having the right people in your corner” when it comes to a career, and I am glad that I have my co-workers from Hartig in my corner because they are all wonderful people who support my career.
I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Steven Donnelly at Community, A Walgreens Pharmacy in Des Moines during my DELTA Rx summer internship. Community, A Walgreens Pharmacy is a URAC accredited specialty pharmacy that serves to manage patients with complex, chronic, or rare conditions. Such conditions may include Cancer, HIV, Hepatitis C, Psoriasis, Transplant, and more. The specialized care that the pharmacy provides offers medications, therapies, and services to patients that make managing their conditions easier.
As my main project, I worked to provide patients who are at risk of contracting HIV with PrEP medications. I researched and performed an analysis of the local at-risk patient populations through networking with many different members of the community and decided to target my outreach to college-aged people. I developed a business pitch, marketing plan, and various marketing materials. Along the way, I encountered many hurdles to overcome, which ultimately led me to partnering with Drake University’s CPHS Ambassadors to develop and implement the first annual Bulldog Health Fair on Drake’s Campus. Through the health fair, students were provided with the opportunity to receive free HIV testing, PrEP resources, and other services.
As a student pursuing a PharmD/MBA dual degree, my DELTA Rx internship with Walgreens exposed me to many new opportunities and allowed me to put the knowledge that I have gained in the classroom to use. It was a true privilege to work alongside the Walgreens team this summer, and I look forward to continuing to work with them as an intern during the school year!
I completed my DELTA Rx entrepreneurial internship with GRX Holdings, the home office of 22 Central Iowa pharmacies including Medicap Pharmacies, Wright Pharmacy, and Midwest Compounding. During the summer, I had the privilege to work with Cheri Schmit and other members of the Operations team at GRX Holdings. I completed a wide variety of projects and tasks during my experience from updating the immunization binder for all the stores to creating contactless flu consent forms that the stores could send to the patient ahead of time. What I enjoyed the most about the internship was that I could personalize the projects to what I was the most passionate about.
The project that I spent the most time on during my experience was the implementation of the contactless consent forms. The COVID-19 pandemic caused many of the Medicap Pharmacy lobbies to be closed, which called for a shift to electronic methods of communication. The electronic flu consent form allows patients to fill out the consent form ahead of time, reducing the amount of time the patient is in the store, therefore, protecting the safety of our patients and employees. I was asked to continue working as an intern at the home office during the school year to help with the consent forms. This project has expanded into allowing patients to fill out their consent form and schedule an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
Pursuing this internship was one of the best career decisions I could have made. As a PharmD/MBA dual-degree student, completing an internship at the home office allowed me to combine my two interests, management, and community pharmacy. This experience allowed me to see how store policies get started, implemented, and revised. The experience also gave me the opportunity to strengthen and expand upon my knowledge from my pharmacy curriculum since I was able to apply it to real-life situations. Finally, the connections and relationships that I formed during this experience are unimaginable. I am so thankful to have been welcomed into the GRX Holdings family!
This summer I had the privilege to work alongside with Dr. Brett Barker at NuCara Pharmacy during my summer DELTA RX internship. NuCara pharmacy focuses on a patient-centered approach to provide quality services to all those they serve. NuCara is one of the most innovative pharmacies I have been able to work for; their team focuses on finding solutions for all their patients and closely works with both patient and provider.
Throughout my experience, I learned how important the rules, regulations, and management strategies are to maintain a highly functional and accredited pharmacy. The COVID-19 pandemic brought many changes to how pharmacies are managed. I attended multiple virtual board of pharmacy meetings and learned how each rule and regulation impacts community pharmacies. Many meetings between board members and NuCara allowed me to understand the importance of staying up to date with new laws and regulations during the pandemic and how much work goes into implementing them and operating a pharmacy.
My umbrella project helped NuCara become re-accredited with Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). I revised and reorganize the technician training manual to be concise and up to date. I added and cross checked NuCara’s company competencies to make sure all the board of pharmacy regulations and ACHC’s requirements were met. Other projects of mine included a presentation for Trimix, site visits to multiple NuCara locations in Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois, and assisting in the community pharmacy needs.
This internship highlighted the importance of management in community pharmacy. My professional and entrepreneurial skills developed because of the many different experiences NuCara offered me. I have a newfound appreciation for the managerial role in pharmacy because I see how much work goes in to developing a great pharmacy. NuCara’s innovation has inspired me to now look for ways to better the profession of pharmacy. I am thankful to have been part of this learning experience.
I had the unique opportunity this last summer to work at Eagle Grove Pharmacy with co-owners Andrew Wagner and Mickey Cooper for my DELTA Rx Internship. Eagle Grove Pharmacy specializes in the sale of durable medical equipment, healthcare aids, and compounded medications. As a part of the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN), Eagle Grove Pharmacy also performs enhanced pharmacy services such as transition-of-care management services, immunization screenings, and medication reconciliations. One unique aspect of my experience was my involvement in the city’s Pharmacy-Based Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
I started my internship while my site was developing their COVID-19 policy and procedure for reopening. Regarding business management and independent ownership, some of the learning experiences discussed were alternative revenue streams, financial modeling and accounting, and advertising. However, my main project was the development of an inventory management system for the city’s EMS. The most difficult aspect of the project was determining an appropriate software with low to minimal server costs, as well as implementing the project results with key stakeholders.
The DELTA Rx Entrepreneurial Internship allowed me to utilize real world experience for the project management and planning skills in the didactic learning aspect of dual PharmD and MBA education. I am thankful of everyone from Eagle Grove Pharmacy, Eagle Grove Emergency Medical Services and Wright County Board of Public Health for giving me such a diverse and varied learning experience.