Rite Aid exec wins industry’s top prize

Rite Aid’s Corporation Vice President of Pharmacy Services, Mike Podgurski, wins the industry’s top award from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS).

Rite Aid’s Corporation Vice President of Pharmacy Services, Mike Podgurski, wins the industry’s top award from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS).

The association announced that Podgurski received the Harold W. Pratt Award- the highest honor commemorating service to pharmacy - during the associations Business Program of the Total Store Expo.

“Mike Podgurski’s dedication to the profession of pharmacy and to this great industry inspires us all. He is a true leader who puts his words into action, and who is highly effective in advancing pharmacy’s public policy priorities through his tireless activism,” said NACDS Chairman of the Board Mark Panzer, Senior Vice President of Pharmacy, Health and Wellness, of Albertsons Companies, in presenting the award. “I am particularly honored to be able to present this prestigious award to Mike because I had the pleasure of working with him, and from that time to the present I have experienced first-hand his passion for collaborating to advance pharmacy patient care.”

Joining Rite Aid Corporation in 1987, Podgurski has contributed extensively to his company from the diverse positions he has held, including pharmacy operations, pharmacy services, pharmacy development and government affairs. Podgurski’s more than four-decade pharmacy career began at West Virginia University College of Pharmacy. As a practicing pharmacist, in 1972 he joined the former SupeRx Drugs, Inc., and advanced from a registered pharmacist position to district manager.

The announcement comes shortly after Rite Aid announced that they are revamping its communications strategy just a few weeks after its proposed merger with Albertsons fell through. The drug retailer has named Havas North America as its new Agency of Record with an emphasis on brand strategy and creative. Under the agreement, Havas will form a team of talent known as the “Well Village,” which will include thought leaders with experience in retail health care strategy and creative from across the agency’s network, designed to provide Rite Aid with a comprehensive suite of marketing services.

Podgurski was recognized this year at the NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill for his outstanding commitment to grassroots advocacy, as exemplified by his engagement at every NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill over the past decade. NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill is the event that brings pharmacy advocates to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress. In 2015, he was named honorary president by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). He has participated in many industry committee and task forces, including the NABP’s Task Force on Pharmacy Licensure Standards, the American Pharmacists Association’s Work Group on the Future of Pharmacy, and the Food and Drug Administration’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee.

The Pratt Award was established in 1985 by the NACDS Board of Directors and recognizes individuals whose activities have contributed to the promotion, recognition and improvement of the practice of pharmacy in the chain pharmacy setting.