SAN DIEGO — Bob Egeland, vice president, pharmacy, Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, Iowa, told delegates to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Pharmacy & Technology Conference here on Sunday that Hy-Vee’s collaborative business approach that encourages involvement in all aspects of food retailing has helped him run a better pharmacy operation.
“The fact is that patients and consumers are the same people. They need health care products and services, and many other things we carry in our stores. They lead lives — whole lives that can’t be understood in neat and tidy segments. I am better at what I do because I have the chance to engage on the bigger picture,” he said.
Egeland, who is chairman of this year’s conference, noted that the role of the pharmacist has evolved from dispensing to providing more clinical services.
“You can see the factors that helped to bring that about. They include changes in the education of pharmacists — including the length and scope of their study. There’s also the technology, the changing business models, the new life-saving and life-improving medications — both prescription and over the counter.”
In his remarks, Egeland paid tribute to John Susich, who was Hy-Vee’s senior vice president of general merchandise, who is now retired. Egeland said Susich had “the best business mind of any pharmacist I have ever known and he was able to see the big picture.
Manny Goldberg, the former president of Keystone/Medicine Chest and past NACDS board of directors member, was noted for his ability to build trust and relationships with customers.
Egeland urged those attending the conference to seek out such mentors as Susich and Goldberg and learn from them. Those who possess the experience can benefit all by passing it on, he added. NACDS’ conference ends tomorrow.