Brothers, Community Pharmacists Inducted into Dean’s Hall of Fame

John and Wayne VanWie of Professional Pharmacy honored for their commitment to independent community pharmacy, patient care, and mentoring.

By Becky Ceraul
June 16, 2015

John and Wayne VanWie, pharmacists and owners of Professional Pharmacy in Baltimore, were inducted into the Dean’s Hall of Fame for Distinguished Community Pharmacists as part of the annual banquet hosted by the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) student chapter on May 5. Established in 2006, the Hall of Fame Award is presented each year by Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School, in recognition of a pharmacist’s leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion for independent pharmacy.

The VanWie brothers, both graduates of the School of Pharmacy, bought Professional Pharmacy in 2006 following decades-long careers at Safeway. John VanWie, BSP ’84, began his career at Safeway as an assistant pharmacy manager, rising to manager, and then corporate director of pharmacy business development for the eastern United States. Wayne VanWie, BSP ’88, was a regional pharmacy manager for Safeway where he oversaw 26 pharmacies from Baltimore to Virginia.

“At Safeway, we always managed the pharmacies as if we were owners,” said Wayne VanWie. “When we were looking for the right opportunity to become independent pharmacy owners, Professional Pharmacy struck us having a great location with a sound business base.”

“At Professional Pharmacy, the VanWie brothers are on the cutting edge of community pharmacy practice, as early adopters of medication therapy management and through their participation in the Maryland P3 Program,” said Eddington in presenting the award. “They have grown their independent community pharmacy to encompass innovations such as pain medication therapy management and travel vaccinations, with clinical pharmacists on staff who helped develop and provide these services.”

Education and teaching the next generation of pharmacists are vital parts of the VanWie brother’s philosophy. For the last three years, Professional Pharmacy has been a practice site for one of the School’s community pharmacy residents. And as long time School of Pharmacy preceptors, they have taken dozens of students on rotations.

“With John and Wayne, our students see how patient care services are incorporated into the busy workflow of their independent pharmacy,” said Eddington. “As business owners, John and Wayne recognize the value of community service and giving back. As such, they offer their store on a regular basis to our student organizations for outreach events, have supported students competing in our NCPA chapter’s business plan competition, and provide financial support to the School’s winner of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists’ patient counseling competition to attend and compete at the national competition.”

In addition to serving patients and students, the VanWie brothers are extremely active in the pharmacy profession. Wayne VanWie has been a member of the Maryland Pharmacists Association (MPhA) for 25 years, serving on its board as a trustee and as speaker of its House of Delegates, in addition to chairing the scholarship committee. He is also serving a second term on the Maryland Medicaid drug utilization review board and has been a board member of the Harford Belair Community Mental Health Center for nine years. John VanWie is a past MPhA trustee, as well as a speaker of its House of Delegates.

“Wayne and John are wonderful examples of pharmacy owners who are supportive of patient care efforts, show students that advanced practice is possible in the community setting, and demonstrate why it is so important to advocate for our profession,” said Eddington.

“The School of Pharmacy not only gave us the knowledge and expertise to become pharmacists, but also taught us the importance of interacting and communicating with our patients to help them better understand their medications and improve their overall health,” said Wayne VanWie.

“We appreciate the recognition of the Hall of Fame award. It gives us further motivation to continue to excel at Professional Pharmacy,” said John VanWie.

The NCPA annual banquet recognizes the NCPA student chapter’s yearly achievements. It is also the event at which new chapter officers are installed.

“This outstanding group of students is the future of the profession, and based on what we’ve seen and heard here tonight, a group of which we can be especially proud,” said Eddington.

The chapter’s goal is to promote independent pharmacy with the intent of increasing students’ awareness of its advantages, encourage newly practicing pharmacists to pursue pharmacy ownership, and support independent pharmacy’s already established positive image.

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