Lessons Learned from the NCPA Annual Convention

Like many of you, we recently returned from Kansas City and the National Community Pharmacists Association’s (NCPA’s) 2022 Annual Convention & Expo, which took place Oct. 1-4 at the Kansas City Convention Center. As always, the show was chock full of ideas, innovation and energy, plus some award-winning pharmacy owners!

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RxSafe was one of more than 250 exhibitors, helping support thousands of pharmacists to gather together for education, advocacy and connecting with friends, both old and new. Here are some of the best moments and key learnings from the show.

Memorable Moments from NCPA 2022

Below are some key “lessons learned” from the conference.

  1. “Business of LTC” remains popular: NCPA reprised its second Business of Long-Term Care (LTC) Workshop, a two-day intensive featuring a variety of topics. Sessions included common LTC terminology and understanding a shifting marketplace, federal and state definitions, and the continuum of care. Also covered: types of LTC patients, key differences between the LTC and community pharmacy settings, workflow models, packaging methodologies, technology, the role of group purchasing organizations and PSAOs, pricing and reimbursement models, and acquiring business.
  2. Pharmacy team recruitment has changed: Who you hire today looks a lot different from who you hired pre-pandemic, according to pharmacy owner Ashley Moose. Speaking at a session entitled, "7 Foolproof Ideas for Incentivizing and Motivating Your Team," Moose said that the pandemic changed the needs of employers and employees. Employees, she said, want a flexible schedule. But that may not always work for the pharmacy.
  3. Profit means going beyond filling scripts: Pharmacy insiders and practitioners discussed how independents can leverage Medical at Home and adherence packaging to realize more profit. RxSafe hosted a jam-packed session featuring: Susan Rhodus, SVP for Contracts & Advocacy, GeriMed; Ronna Hauser, SVP for Policy & Pharmacy Affairs, NCPA; Dr. Lisa Faast, DiversifyRx Founder and Pharmacy Owner; Kelby Gorman, Pharmacist & Owner, Moore’s Pharmacy, Sinton, Texas; and Tim Mitchell, Independent Pharmacy Leader & Owner, Mitchell’s Pharmacy, Neosho, MO.

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RxSafe Customers are Award-Winning

Several RxSafe customers – your independent pharmacy owner peers – were honored during the convention for their excellence and dedication to patients and the profession.

  • Jim Martin, owner of Martin’s Wellness & Compounding Pharmacies, received the National Community Pharmacists Association’s 2022 Calvin J. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award. The award honors a pharmacist who has dedicated their career to the advancement of the pharmacy profession. “Jim has long been devoted to independent community pharmacy and its patients and, given his expertise and range of pharmacies touching on wellness, compounding and specialty, he is frequently sought out as a go-to resource on a variety of pharmacy topics,” said NCPA President Michele Belcher, owner of Grants Pass Pharmacy in Grants Pass, Ore. “Our industry is stronger as a result of Jim’s leadership throughout his career.” Martin’s company includes a group of four independent pharmacies in the Austin, Texas. He served as executive director and CEO of the Texas Pharmacy Association from 2000-2009 and as the CEO of the Texas Pharmacy Foundation from 2003-2009. A former Member of the Georgia General Assembly, Martin has also served as president and chairman of the board of the Georgia Pharmacy Association and president and chairman of the board of NCPA.

  • Tim Mitchell, owner of Mitchell’s Drug Stores, was presented with the 2022 NCPA Innovation Center Outstanding Adherence Practitioner Award in recognition of his commitment to improving medication adherence. “Adherence can be highly personal for many patients, but engaging with them and helping them manage their medications is critical,” said NCPA President Belcher. “Working together, Tim and the Mitchell’s Drug Stores staff are proactively putting in place programs that will improve health outcomes. I’m happy to recognize them for revamping their adherence strategies and applaud Tim for his leadership.” Mitchell’s family of drugstores is located in Neosho, Mo. The award is sponsored by RxSafe.

“I’m so happy to once again join the NCPA Innovation Center in sponsoring the Outstanding Adherence Practitioner Award,” said RxSafe Founder and CEO, William Holmes. “Tim Mitchell and his team have implemented a compliance packaging and medication synchronization program at Mitchell’s Drug Stores that serves as a great example of how improving adherence can transform community pharmacy. This type of service offering truly empowers patients to become proactive partners in improving health outcomes.”

  • Ken Thai, owner/operator of 986 Degrees Corp., is the winner of the 2022 Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year award, sponsored by Upsher-Smith. The annual award is given to a pharmacist who exhibits exemplary professional leadership, service to community, and commitment to independent pharmacy. The award is named in honor of Willard B Simmons, a former executive secretary of NCPA (then known as the National Association of Retail Druggists) and a longtime trustee of the NCPA Foundation. Thai runs a California-based pharmacy franchise that serves as a platform for pharmacists to become independent pharmacy owners. “Ken is an accomplished leader whose passion for helping patients, sharing knowledge, and engaging in policy dialogue makes him a deserving recipient of this year’s Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year Award,” said B. Douglas Hoey, NCPA CEO, pharmacist, MBA. “We applaud the work Ken has done to advance the future of independent pharmacy.”

  • You, our readers! Independent community pharmacists nationwide were collectively named the 2022 awardee of the NCPA Foundation's Sharlea Leatherwood Memorial Trailblazer Award for innovating and implementing outstanding care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The Trailblazer Award recognizes those whose pharmacy practice blazes a trail for other independent pharmacy owners and future generations of independent pharmacy owners. The award is in recognition of the late Sharlea Leatherwood, former president of NCPA and the NCPA Foundation. On behalf of RxSafe, thank YOU for being true healthcare heroes.
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One Final Note...

RxSafe was pleased to be a major sponsor of NCPA programs this year, as we are every year. We participate in so many tradeshows throughout the year because we are committed to helping independent pharmacies thrive. Together, we strive to discover and leverage new business models by offering transformative solutions that impact three core areas:

  • Enhancing patient care with improved adherence, accuracy and speed
  • Promoting the profession so pharmacists can operate at the top of their license
  • Boosting patient loyalty and patient growth, which leads to better profits

At its core, pharmacy transformation is simply making patients healthier. We do that by creating solutions that improve compliance, reduce errors and enable the appropriate use of vitamins and supplements, made possible by adherence packaging.

If you didn’t already get a chance to speak with us at NCPA, please contact RxSafe’s Business Transformation Department for specific details at 833-791-1772 or visit our pharmacy automation pages to learn more about our process and technology. Or, to see a demo of the RapidPakRx, RapidCardRx, or any of our pharmacy automation products, connect with a pharmacy automation expert today.


RxSafe improves patient health by partnering with the nation’s 21,000 independent retail pharmacies, using our technology solutions to transform the way you do business. We collaborate with pharmacies and other industry innovators to enable patient adherence, attract new customers, create additional revenue streams, and boost profitability. Learn more: www.rxsafe.com.