LAWRENCE — Sixteen University of Kansas School of Pharmacy students will take a three-day trip across Kansas next week to visit 13 independent community pharmacies.
Dean Ronald Ragan and Senior Associate Dean Gene Hotchkiss will accompany the students on the annual trip, sponsored by the KU Chapter of the National Community Pharmacists Association (KU–NCPA). NCPA is a professional pharmacy student organization that promotes independent pharmacy as a career option.
Hotchkiss, who serves as adviser to the group, said the visitation program allows students the opportunity to learn firsthand the details of owning and running an independent pharmacy. Students spend close to an hour at each location and speak with the owners on topics such as business management, customer relations, community service, quality of life as an independent practitioner and more.
Hotchkiss said the annual trip also strengthens relationships between pharmacy students and pharmacy owners in Kansas. The hope is that the connections made will lead to transitions of ownership and a continuation of vital pharmacy care services to Kansans.
“Independent community pharmacies are critical health care resources for rural communities,” Hotchkiss said. “In addition to traditional prescription services, they provide a broad scope of patient-centered pharmacy care services, including medication therapy management, medical supplies, durable medical equipment, oxygen and respiratory equipment.”
On Jan. 9 the students will visit Kinsley Drug in Kinsley, Reed Pharmacy in Larned and Cardinal Drug in Hoisington.