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NACDS’ Pratt Award goes to Rite Aid’s Thompson

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Execs from Alberstons/Safeway, Kinney Drugs, Walmart, Sam's Club also receive honors

DENVER — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores honored the achievements of several retailers at the Total Store Expo, with the Harold W. Pratt Award — pharmacy’s highest honor — going to Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy Robert Thompson.

Thompson was presented the Pratt Award by NACDS chairman Randy Edeker on Sunday during the Expo’s business program. The award recognizes individuals whose activities have contributed to the promotion, recognition and improvement of the practice of pharmacy in the chain drug industry.

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Rite Aid’s Robert Thompson upon receiving the Pratt Award.

“Robert Thompson has always devoted his full energy to serving our customers and supporting the employees we count on to deliver that service — in pharmacies and in the rest of the business,” commented Edeker, who’s also chairman and chief executive officer of Hy-Vee.

“Robert is fully-deserving of NACDS’ highest industry recognition and we are honored to bestow the distinguished Harold W. Pratt award upon him. We thank him for his service to pharmacy, and we wish him well in his retirement.”

Joining Rite Aid in 2004, Thompson served in a variety of management positions, including senior vice president of pharmacy operations and senior vice president of operations for the Northeastern division. In 2009, he was named executive vice president of pharmacy and held that position until announcing his recent retirement. Thompson’s nearly four-decade pharmacy career began at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy. As a practicing pharmacist, in 1978 he joined the former Revco drug store chain and worked his way up to store manager and several management positions until becoming vice president of pharmacy operations until 1995.

On Saturday evening at the NACDS Political Involvement Reception, two retailers were honored for their political advocacy and grassroots support.

Albertsons/Safeway received the 2015 NACDS RxImpact Leader of the Year award for its efforts to inspire advocacy and leadership development through the RxImpact program. Accepting the award for the company was Dan Salemi, group vice president of pharmacy services.

Meanwhile, Kinney Drugs was presented with the NACDS Political Action Committee’s Politically Engaged Pharmacy award. Accepting the award on behalf of Kinney were Craig Painter, executive chairman of KPH Healthcare Services; Bridget-ann Hart, president and CEO, KPH Healthcare Services; Jim Spencer, president of Kinney Drugs; and Mike Duteau, vice president of business development and strategic relations for KPH Healthcare Services.

The PEP award is presented to a company or individual who has shown exceptional commitment to the advancement of pharmacy through political engagement and leadership in political involvement.

“Grassroots and political involvement is an essential element of political advocacy,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “We congratulate Albertsons/Safeway and Kinney Drug for their commitment to helping to reinforce the theme of pharmacy as the face of neighborhood health care.”

Also at the Expo on Sunday, the NACDS Foundation honored two industry leaders with the IMS Health Bernie Greenberg Pharmacy Partnership Award. Darren Townzen, director of health and wellness billing, reconciliation and health care data strategy at Walmart, and John Luebker, senior director of third-party contracting and pricing for Sam’s Club, were recognized with a $10,000 scholarship donated in their names by IMS Health to the NACDS Foundation.

“We are grateful for this generous scholarship donation from IMS Health in recognition of the leadership and industry commitment by Darren Townzen and John Luebker. This donation will help further advance patient care and pharmacy education by supporting the next generation of leaders in pharmacy patient care,” commented NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger.

Townzen and Luebker were presented the awards during an Insight Session led IMS Health’s Doug Long. The award acknowledges individuals who exemplify the qualities of leadership, commitment to collaboration and giving back to their companies and communities.

“This year, IMS Health selected two individuals who equally champion the use of information in driving business results and improving health care,” said Bob Wahl, vice president of global supplier services at IMS Health. “Darren and John exemplify the ideals and leadership exhibited by Bernie Greenberg, and we are honored to extend this recognition to them.”


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