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Alumna Discusses Role of Pharmacists in COVID-19 Fight

By Zachary Durham

Published on May 5, 2021

JOCELYN KONRAD P’92, executive vice president for pharmacy for Rite Aid, spoke during a webinar earlier this year entitled, “Improving the Health and Wellness of the Consumer in the Post COVID-19 Environment,” hosted by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

The webinar explored the critical role retail pharmacies are playing in a pivotal customer event for most Americans – their COVID Vaccination.

“This is our time as pharmacists to step up and show the value of our profession,” said Konrad. “This is our opportunity to meet the customers’ needs during this entire emotional journey.”

“There are so many things we can do through this journey,” said explained. “The support is going to come in a variety of different ways, whether that is the information, telling them what they are going to experience, and then checking in at the end.”

The webinar further touched on how the industry – pharmacists, retailers, CPGs, insurers, and pharma – can create engaging and connected customer experiences that address hesitancy issues and achieving unparalleled vaccination rates, while creating a springboard to a healthier future for Americans.

“It comes down to the pharmacists building that relationship and being empathetic and informative,” said Konrad. “We have to make sure they know they feel safe. The COVID vaccination journey is successful when patients feel informed, safe and supported. That is the definition of a trusted advisor; that is the definition of a retail pharmacist.”

Building that trust is key in the not only managing the months ahead, but the future of the industry as a whole.

“As I reflect on pharmacy in general outside of the pandemic, we are a source for all of these journeys for our customers, and I think we need to meet that persona across the board in everything we do.”

That is something Konrad is confident her colleagues will achieve, because during this period of uncertainty, there is one thing she could not be more certain of.

“I could not be prouder to be a pharmacist right now.”

Categories: News, Alumni, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Pharmacy, Coronavirus