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Decade Demeanor: 2018 DELTA Rx Summer Interns

This summer marks the 10th year that the DELTA Rx Institute has provided student pharmacists  the opportunity to develop their leadership and innovation skills through participation in a unique internship experience, the prestigious Entrepreneurial Leadership Internship Program. Selected student pharmacists gain experience working in a community pharmacy and developing their skills through the completion of unique and innovative projects. The objectives of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Program include the following:

1) Involve students in a program that will allow them to witness and develop entrepreneurial leadership in the community pharmacy sector.

2) Prepare student pharmacists for future entrepreneurial leadership positions within the community practice environment.

3) Provide participating community pharmacies with exposure to and opportunity for potential recruitment of emerging entrepreneurs.

Matthew Glasow's Experience

My 5-week DeltaRx internship at Eagle Grove Pharmacy allowed me to look at community pharmacy from a new perspective, and gave me the chance to step out of my comfort zone to make an impact on the patient population I helped serve. For those who have never been, Eagle Grove is a town of about 3,500 people and is located about an hour and a half northwest of Des Moines. During my experience, I had the opportunity to live in Eagle Grove, courtesy of the pharmacy owner, Mickey Cooper. Allowing me to stay in town and really immerse myself in the community, I felt I was able to gain a lot from my 5 weeks on both a professional and personal level.

While in the Eagle Grove Pharmacy, I was surrounded by pharmacists and technicians who are driven by the desire to serve their community and to make their pharmacy the best it can be. In the final stages of a large expansion and remodel, the pharmacy is home to a USP 800-compliant compounding area, multiple counseling rooms, a large OTC section including diabetic shoes and other DME, a filling robot, adherence packaging tools, and plenty of friendly faces. While it may be an independently owned pharmacy in a small town, it is easily one of the most efficient and patient-focused pharmacies I have ever been in, which was one of my favorite things about the experience. Being able to learn from Mickey and her partner, 2017 Drake PharmD Grad Andrew Wagner, and hear first hand what it takes to start a business and make it successful is something that I think is fairly unique to the DeltaRx experience. 

While I was only in Eagle Grove for 5 short weeks, I really felt I gained a lot from my DeltaRx internship. From learning about pharmacy ownership and working in an innovative community pharmacy practice to exploring the Eagle Grove community at the local golf course and their annual County Fair, I feel very grateful for the time I was able to spend there. I would like to give a big thank you to Mickey Cooper, Andrew Wagner, Barb Anliker, and the rest of the Eagle Grove Pharmacy staff who helped make my summer one to remember!

Ari Johnson's Experience

My experience with GRx Holdings was a summer of new experiences. I had the opportunity to shadow the Director of Clinical Pharmacy and Regional Managers of the many Medicaps owned by GRx Holdings. My co-intern and I assisted with many projects that were to be implemented at each store, such as our Wellmark project and assisting stores with PrescribeWellness. As reimbursement for physical prescriptions is decreasing and the practice of pharmacy is changing, independent pharmacies have had to become creative. Through our Wellmark project, we took examples of what their Phase I stores were doing, gathered resources for students and pharmacists, created organized binders for documentation, and created an instructional video on how to incorporate this into the workflow. It was very interesting to see how new projects are implemented in stores, and it was great to be a part of it!

I was so grateful that I was able to experience this past summer at GRx Holdings. This experience provided me with a more managerial and big-picture outlook on pharmacy that I would not normally have seen in my current employment. All the projects that we completed over the summer provided me with a new learning opportunity from a different perspective! I now feel more confident in my potential future to become a pharmacy manager or clinical director. I am thankful to DELTARx for providing modules presenting the business side of pharmacy, and to GRx Holdings for providing me with the opportunity to learn from their Director of Clinical Services and their Regional Managers!

Emma Robasse's Experience

My DeltaRx internship was great! It gave me the opportunity to utilize my knowledge and skills from both my PharmD and my MBA. My intership was with NuCara, which is a diversified medical services company with locations in 35 communities in the five states of: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and Texas. There I was able to work among variety of their team members; interacting with everyone from their Pharmacists In-Charge at many of their locations, a few of their VP’s, Brett Barker and Darci Olson, their CEO Brain Wegmann and their owner and president, TJ Johnsrud.

NuCara utilizes a team approach to strategic planning, risk management and compliance. They emphasize strategic planning to stay competitive in the growing and changing health care industry. With a focus on value-based and outcome-based products and services NuCara is positioning for growth. Because of their innovation, I was able to participate in meetings regarding their pharmacy operations, strategic planning, company partnerships and new business growth in the areas of compounding, long term care and online pharmacy prescription orders.

I enjoyed being a part of the team that makes NuCara run, grow and innovate. The policies, regulations and innovation needed to stay competitive and provide the best patient services possible takes people in the company working hard every day to create and implement these ideas. Working with Brett throughout the summer I was able to see and learn how to integrate my pharmacy and patient knowledge into strategic, business orientated decisions.

A special thanks to Brett Barker, TJ Johnsrud, Darci Olson, Lori Willis, Ashely Loeffelholz and the entire NuCara team for allowing me to work with such an innovative and determined group. I was able to learn, travel, network and have fun growing my appreciation for business and pharmacy through NuCara and the DeltaRx Institute.

Bridget Tunink's Experience

My DeltaRx internship this past summer gave me an unforgettable experience. There are so many ways to be an entrepreneur in the pharmacy world, and GRx Holdings, LLC gave me the opportunity to learn from countless leaders in the field.

 GRX Holdings provided me with a unique opportunity to explore both the clinical and managerial side of pharmacy. During my time as one of their summer interns, I was challenged with learning all the aspects of running multiple pharmacies in various communities. This internship gave me a new viewpoint about the advantages of independent pharmacies and how the pharmacists use a wide form of clinical knowledge all throughout their workday to provide optimal care to their patients.

Interning at this progressive company has increased my knowledge of current events in the industry and my ability to do research on the projection of the pharmacy world. I had the chance of learning how to market to individual communities, present ideas and clinical benchmarks to pharmacists, and listen to the pharmacists about what they need help with for their store to thrive. I was also able to work on the implementation of Prescribe Wellness medication syncs, observe the new practice model in different Medicap stores, and learn about the goals of CPESN and Wellmark’s best practices.

This internship gave me a new perspective of what pharmacy can and should be. The profession is constantly changing, and it is important to not only stay on top of these advancements, but to have the ability to investigate the future and see what each pharmacy has the ability of doing. I am so grateful to have had this 8-week internship that allowed me to work with incredible entrepreneurial leaders every day.