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She was recently recognized at the 2019 Cardinal Health RBC as Runner-Up for the Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award. Continue reading to learn more about how she leads through community involvement and innovation.
With 39 years of experience as a pharmacist, Melody Savley has encountered her fair share of change. She knows how important it is to stay involved in the community and adapt to the evolving industry. In addition to Alps Pharmacy, she has opened 3 new stores over the past 3 years.
Savley explains that they “needed to diversify,” expanding services to long term care, specialty pharmacy, and even drug addiction programs. “I don’t care if you’re 61 or 31 – change is hard,” she admits. “But I just had such a good staff – they’re just sharp”.
Her community involvement has been instrumental in fueling and maintaining this change. An avid member of multiple committees – from Missouri Pharmacy Association to CPESN to NCPA – she makes an impact any way that she can. “We passed a big PBM law last year and the governor came to my pharmacy…[We] just try to stay involved for the better of pharmacy overall,” Savley says.
But the importance of local contributions really hits home for her. “I feel like my biggest impact for pharmacists as a community has been through the Missouri Pharmacy Association,” Savley muses. “I spend a lot of time talking to the students and other pharmacists about getting involved”. She is passionate about giving back locally and empowers her staff to do the same, as seen through her Director of Specialty Pharmacy Morgan Miller.
One of Savley’s most notable achievements was the formation of the DREAM coalition: Drug Responsibility Education Advocacy Movement. It was developed to gain proper funding for an annual drug takeback program – something that was not already in place in the community. “We were just the committee volunteering out of the goodness of our hearts so that this happened every year”, she remarks. It has now become a program that is making a difference in educating 22 different counties.
Savley emphasizes that these achievements would not be possible without her amazing staff- “I try to hire progressive pharmacists that want to . . . do exciting things.” When it comes to new technology, such as med sync, she is glad to have her staff by her side. “We went to a PioneerRx conference. We were having a really hard time getting synchronization going … I took one of the pharmacists with me and she got it. It just kind of clicked at the…conference.”
Alps Pharmacy strives to build a robust pharmacy system to aid in its consistent innovation and education. “PioneerRx [software] has been so instrumental…I get asked all the time about Pioneer and I say ‘that’s the one you have to go with. It’s the only one there is.’ Because they stay ahead of the curve, they’re basically always coming up with something”.
Melody Savley and her pharmacy staff have demonstrated the power of being involved and promoting constant education and improvement. It all goes back to the root of why they chose to be involved in pharmacy:
“The nature of being a pharmacist is a nature to take care of and be a leader for the people [in your] community.”