Pharmacy Students to Compete in National Competition


Atlanta, GA—Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy’s student chapter of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) was recently named a finalist in the NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Business Plan Competition. Only three finalist teams were selected from pharmacy schools nationwide to participate in a live competition, to be held at the NCPA Annual Convention in Boston, Mass., this fall.

Third-year pharmacy students Teresa Hesher of Melbourne, Fla.; Gabe McLemore of Lithia Springs, Ga.; Cory Patterson of Utica, N.Y.; and Scott Tomerlin of Louisville, Ky., will compete on behalf of Mercer. Kansas University and Washington State University teams were also finalists.

Each team’s presentation will be ranked from first to third place, and each team will receive an award package. The first place prize includes a $3,000 award to the school’s NCPA chapter, a $3,000 award to the school’s dean to promote independent community pharmacy and a complimentary trip for the team, faculty advisor and dean to the NCPA Multiple Chain Conference, to be held at St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands next year.

NCPA and the NCPA Foundation established the Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition in an effort to promote interest in independent community pharmacy ownership. The competition is the first national competition of its kind in the pharmacy profession and is designed to motivate pharmacy students to acquire the business skills necessary for buying or developing a new pharmacy. The competition is named for notable independent pharmacists Neil Pruitt, Sr., and H. Joseph Schutte.

With more than 100 years of experience, the Southern School of Pharmacy is a recognized leader in pharmacy education. Receiving a record 1,822 applicants this fall for the 130 seats in its first-year class, the School has the highest applicant to student ratio in the nation.

Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as three regional academic centers. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. For 14 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South. The Princeton Review has listed Mercer among The Best 351 Colleges in North America.