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.
Druid City Vital Care, Corporate Headquarters
We met Logan Davis, '08, at the corporate headquarters of Druid City Vital Care in Mississippi. To our delight, we were also fortunate enough to also meet one of the company’s newest employees, Rob Nelson, ’95. These two McWhorter School of Pharmacy alumni are now working together to grow this home infusion company and we anticipate great results.
Jet Davis, ’92 and his partner started NuMedRx more than a decade ago and have now become a trusted resource for local doctor’s offices and hospitals. Their passion for their business and for helping the local community shined brightly during our visit and we are excited about their success. It truly couldn’t happen to a nice guy—or a better pharmacist!
North Sunflower Medical Center Pharmacy
In a small town in the Mississippi Delta, we found Samford McWhorter School of Pharmacy alum, Mike Gilbow, ’80. Gilbow's passion to make a difference brought him back to the place he’s always called home and, by working with others in his community, he has helped create the rural health care hub of the Delta at North Sunflower Medical Center. Gilbow is in charge of the pharmacy operations at the hospital, but is clearly contributing so much more.
Walgreens Specialty Store, Columbus
We had a wonderful time meeting Leah Hawthorn ’10 at her Walgreens Specialty Store in Columbus, Mississippi where they provide specialized services for a variety of patient conditions. Hawthorn and her team were so very warm and welcoming and we were instantly impressed with the close comradery that they obviously share.
Walmart Pharmacy, Louisville
Just south of Starkville, Mississippi, we found Michael Franklin, ‘07 at the Walmart Supercenter in Louisville. Franklin feels so blessed to be a part of the pharmacy profession. He attended pharmacy school after his first career and feels lucky to have a career where he can make a positive impact on people’s lives on a daily basis.
Magnolia Regional Health Center
Iver Vandiver, ’17 grew up in the small town and simply could not pass up the opportunity to become the first pharmacy resident for Magnolia Regional Health Center, his hometown hospital, after graduation. We were impressed with this multi-specialty hospital and even more captivated with Vandiver drive to succeed in reaching whatever goals he sets out for himself.
North Mississippi Medical Center
After graduating from Samford’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy, LeAnn Ladner, ’13 was thrilled to be starting her career with a residency at North Mississippi Medical Center. Little did she know that the hospital would also be where she would take the next step in her career. She now serves as the Advanced Practice Pharmacist and is clearly an integral part of the hospital’s team.
One of the things we love about Samford is the long legacy that our alumni and their families have with the university. Cole Sandlin, ’08 is an excellent example of this. As a triple legacy, Sandlin and his family have been connected with the McWhorter School of Pharmacy for nearly seventy years, as both his grandfather and his father also graduated from Samford Pharmacy. The family continues to serve patients at Fred’s Pharmacy, a progressive, bustling community apothecary located in the heart of Hamilton, Alabama.
We visited Samford Pharmacy alumna, Vicki Chauvin, ’77, recently at her Walgreen’s store on Richard Arrington Boulevard. During our visit, we were amazed to learn that Chauvin has been precepting Samford Pharmacy students for almost 40 years in her different roles and she has no intentions of stopping anytime soon!
CVS Pharmacy, Crestline
In picturesque Crestline Village, we had the pleasure of visiting Matt Smith, ’17 at CVS. Housed in the old Piggy Wiggly location, this new store is doing a great job serving the Mountain Brook community in a site that is known and loved. As a new dad himself, Smith is grateful to work in a location where he has the opportunity to serve families and patients of all ages.
Nicole Heaton ’03 has spent almost her entire career, nearly 25 years, serving patients in the Montevallo community as a pharmacist at Montevallo Drugs. Heaton spent a majority of those years working alongside fellow McWhorter School of Pharmacy alum, Bill Ford, ’70, until his retirement last year.
Mills Discount Pharmacy, Warrior
Laura Moon Foshee ’13 loves working at a small independent pharmacy and feels so lucky to be serving the Warrior community through Mills Discount Pharmacy. We are especially grateful to Foshee for her dedication to supporting the Dr. Susan P. Alverson Scholarship at the McWhorter School of Pharmacy. She shared with us that Alverson was her favorite professor and she’s happy to do whatever she can to support our efforts to honor her through this scholarship.
We had an engaging visit with Brett Ballew, ’11 at Bradford Health where he currently serves as pharmacy manager for the drug and alcohol addiction treatment center. As one could imagine, the work that Ballew and his team do here is different—and in the best cases life-changing. We were inspired by the dedication of his team and how they work holistically with the rest of the staff to bring new hope to patients and their families each day.
Shipp's Discount Pharmacy
Many thanks to Drew Allison, ’07 for being so gracious and allowing us to visit with him at a moment’s notice. Inspired to pursue pharmacy by his grandparents, both of whom were Samford Pharmacy alumni, Allison manages Shipp’s Discount Pharmacy in Warrior. He told us that he loves being a pharmacists and he can’t imagine doing anything else. Although our visit was short, we feel lucky to have made this connection with Allison and feel so fortunate to hear his story and learn his deep connection with Samford Pharmacy.
Jennifer Metcalf ’92 has a long history with Samford’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy. She followed in her dad’s footsteps by attending Samford and graduating from pharmacy school. Not only did we visit Metcalf to see Hayden Pharmacy, her amazing pharmacy in Hayden, Alabama, but we also had the great pleasure of delivery a report that provided an update to her and her family on the endowed scholarship that is named after her father, Larry Shipp ’66, and is currently supporting current students that the McWhorter School of Pharmacy.
Bunch Pharmacy, which is owned and operated by Buddy Bunch ’79, has been serving the Guntersville community for 20 years. After working for another chain for many years, Bunch decided that he wanted to venture out on his own and open his own pharmacy in this well-known lake town. So, he did just that and he hasn’t looked back since.
The Pill Box
After working at another well-known discount store for more than 20 years, Jeff Stephens ’96 decided it was time to go out on his own. That’s when he opened up his pharmacy, The Pill Box, in Albertville, Alabama. Since then, there’s been no looking back! His bustling pharmacy is a popular place to be and all of the employees—which also includes Jeff’s two daughters—strive hard to meet their desire to be a “modern pharmacy with old-school values.”
In a small town in northeast Alabama, we had the great pleasure of meeting Shana Silvey ’02 at her independent, family-owned drug store, Ohatchee Drugs. Silvey has long called the Ohatchee community her home—she says that she knows nearly everyone and nearly everyone grew up with her or her mom—and was blessed to be able to purchase Ohatchee Drugs a few years ago.