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UW pharmacy students win national biz plan contest

















University of Washington pharmacology students Dana Ling, Alisha Fewins and Rachel Merrill and Zsolt Hepp will travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands in February as their reward for winning a national business plan contest Saturday Oct. 17 in New Orleans. Their vision for "Sequim Apothecary" used Frick’s Rexall Drug Store and Jim’s Pharmacy in Port Angeles as role models of independent community pharmacies. The contest was sponsored by National Community Pharmacists Association.


Four University of Washington pharmacy students have won a national business plan contest using Frick’s Rexall Drug Store and Jim’s Pharmacy in Port Angeles as role models of independent community pharmacies.

They will travel with their two advisors to the U.S. Virgin Islands in February, all expenses paid, as their reward.

Students Dana Ling, Alisha Fewins and Rachel Merrill all are in their third year of the four-year doctor of pharmacology program at the University of Washington. Zsolt Hepp is in his second year.
They were flying back on Sunday afternoon and couldn’t be reached for comment.

The contest award was presented Saturday, Oct. 17 in New Orleans during the National Community Pharmacists Association’s annual convention.

The four, along with UW pharmacy professors Jackie Gardner and Don Downing, spent Aug. 18 visiting Sequim and Port Angeles.

Along with meeting Sequim city officials and visiting both pharmacies, they also took photos for a slide show.

Cy Frick has worked with University of Washington pharmacy students and has served as a preceptor in the pharmacy school, teaching interns and technicians.

Downing said the photos were prominently displayed throughout the students’ presentation. The Sept. 2 Sequim Gazette article on the students was used as the final slide.

Downing said several audience members commented the article was a fantastic way to show the importance of small businesses in rural communities.

The group’s plan for “Sequim Apothecary” envisions a cooperative arrangement between Frick’s and Jim’s Pharmacy to provide a wide range of personalized services.

Fewins said she has an internship at the U.W. Medical Center and is exploring how independent pharmacies operate.

Merrill is from the small town of Napa Vine near Chehalis and said she is seeking to work in a small town where people go to retire.

Ling said the Sequim area goes well with the independent small town pharmacy ideal of the contest.

Hepp said he is attracted to independent pharmacies because they offer a chance to become part of the community.

The business plan contest was sponsored by the National Community Pharmacists Association, whose motto is “Keeping independents independent.”

Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequimgazette.com.

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