McWhorter School of Pharmacy has more than 4,600 alumni throughout the country and around the world. During the school’s celebration of its 90th anniversary, Dean Michael Crouch set out to visit 90 alumni-owned or operated pharmacies, and in doing so, we saw how our alumni are living out our vision of preparing pharmacists who transform lives.
CVS Health, Tuscaloosa
We dropped in to see alumna Kristen Minor, ’16. Featuring Minor was especially important because we also highlighted her mom, Karen Minor ’89, in a previous post. These two ladies are another perfect example of how families pass down the tradition of attending Samford and choosing pharmacy as their career of choice.
We were truly honored to stop by and see James Harrison, Jr., ’56, who owns and operates Harco Drugs. Harco Drugs grew out of his father’s pharmacy in Tuscaloosa into more than 150 stores before merging with a national retailer in 1997. Harrison’s exceptional reputation is well-known in the Alabama pharmacy community and he has been honored many times over for his commitment to the profession, his employees and the community.
Green Valley Drugs
There aren’t many pharmacies like Green Valley Drugs. Opened in 1961 by Joe Box, ’58, the apothecary and attached lunch counter have truly stood the test of time. The business is now proudly run by Joe’s son, Bill Box, ’83, who has deliberately done little to alter the space since his dad originally opened the storefront.
Neighborhood Walmart Pharmacy, Hoover
At the Neighborhood Walmart in Hoover, we found Chirayu Purohit, ’04. When this relatively new store was built, Purohit jumped at the opportunity to become the pharmacy manager for this progressive store. During our stop, we were especially impressed with the technology that Purohit and the team at Walmart were implementing here to serve patients.
Sam's Pharmacy, Irondale
Many thanks to Nasser Iranikhah, ’05, for welcoming us into his pharmacy at Sam’s and telling us your story. Iranikhah believes that he was always meant to be a pharmacist, but didn't start listening to fate until later in life. He has now been with Sam’s for more than 12 years, and he is very proud to be a McWhorter School of Pharmacy graduate.
Tim Mullins, ’99, and his wife, Sondra (who is also a Samford alum) opened up Hometown Pharmacy in Bessemer 7 years ago with the goal of providing the local community with fast, friendly service, and it appears that they’ve done just that! During our brief visit, patient after patient entered the pharmacy to greet the Mullins with hugs and praises for their hard work and dedication to those that they serve.
DCH Regional Medical Center
We’re so grateful for Kim Hooker, ’95, and all that she does for the McWhorter School of Pharmacy. Besides being the clinical pharmacy manager and an active preceptor at DCH Regional Medical Center, where she’s worked for more than 25 years, Kim also dedicates her time to serving on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the McWhorter School of Pharmacy. Her passion for supporting the future of pharmacy and being a mentor and friend to our students is a gift that we are so grateful for.
Druid City Vital Care
We visited Ryan McFerrin, ’08, at Druid City Vital Care in Tuscaloosa, which he co-founded with fellow McWhorter School of Pharmacy alumnus Logan Davis, ’08, in late 2013. The specialized pharmacy focuses on providing home infusion pharmacy and nursing services as well as comprehensive pharmacy services to residents of all types of long-term care facilities and independent living communities.
CVS Health, Tuscaloosa
It was such a pleasure to meet Stephanie Fair, ’93 at her CVS in Tuscaloosa. Stephanie loves being a pharmacist in the Tuscaloosa community. Besides being a hardworking pharmacist, she’s also a dedicated wife and mom, and she is highly involved with her church. Plus, Fair is a registered preceptor with the McWhorter School of Pharmacy.
Tuscaloosa VA Medical Hospital
Tuscaloosa VA Medical Hospital, we were greeted by a large group alumni. This tight team had wonderful things to say about their hospital which provides primary care, long-term health care and mental health care services to eligible veterans. Located on 125 acres in Tuscaloosa, the facility is a welcomed resource for veterans in the area and to our students—as the hospital is one of the most requested rotation sites for students at the McWhorter School of Pharmacy.
We had the great fortune of meeting with two alumni when we stopped at Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa. As colleagues and friends, Erin Harris, ’13, and Karen Minor, ’89, work together with the rest of the Bryce pharmacy team each day to serve those that call this inpatient facility home.
CVS Health, Tuscaloosa
It as an honor to visit with alumna Jennifer Campbell, ’00, at one of the stores she manages as a District Manager for CVS Health in Tuscaloosa. Campbell has a long history with CVS, serving in some role in the company since 2006. Clearly passionate about her work and providing effective, positive leadership, Campbell was a delight to chat with during our short visit.
Florida Hospital, East Orlando
We tracked down Sarah Minor ’09 at her booth at the ASHP Midyear Conference’s Residence Showcase in Orlando. As Florida Hospital, East Orlando’s residency program director, Minor was hard at work interviewing candidates at the popular conference.
Publix Pharmacy, Hoover
Many thanks to the team at Publix at Hoover Place for having us! Megan Monroe, ’10, and fellow alumna Kate Hunter, ’11, manage this pharmacy and do an excellent job at it—if we do say so ourselves. Monroe is especially passionate about precepting students from her alma mater and identifying those that she thinks will be a good fit to represent the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the United States.
Walmart Pharmacy, Montclair
When we set out to meet Casey Souders, ’10, at the Walmart on Montclair Road, we had no idea that we would also get the opportunity to shake the hands of two more alumni: Heidi Beasley, ’95, and Brittany Cotant, ’12. They seem to always have someone arriving at their pharmacy and they work hard to manage their patients efficiently by finding new ways to direct the pharmacy traffic to ensure all questions get answered and that they have enough time to get to know those that they are serving.
CVS Health, Rocky Ridge
Cori Urban-Coffman, ’14, welcomed us to her pharmacy in the CVS located on Rocky Ridge. Managing this busy pharmacy in the heart of Vestavia helps the day pass by quickly which is part of the reason she loves it. But the best part? She loves the patients that she serves. Urban-Coffman also keeps her schedule full by precepting students from the McWhorter School of Pharmacy, and for us, there is no greater gift!
Those in the Cahaba Heights community are very fortunate to have Jim Parekh, ’00, ready to serve them at Cahaba Pharmacy. You'll be hard pressed to find a friendlier pharmacist who is as passionate about the profession as Parekh. He is truly committed to personally knowing each and every one of his patients and giving them the same care that he would his own family.
When we visited Liberty Pharmacy, it had only been open for a matter of weeks, so we were grateful to alumna and pharmacy manager, Kacey Todd, ’15, who took time out of her day to tell us more about this exciting venture. A welcomed addition to Liberty Park, this pharmacy is one of several new amenities located within this popular neighborhood.