Denver, Colo. – Two industry retailers were honored for their political advocacy and grassroots support last evening at the NACDS Political Involvement Reception during the NACDS Total Store Expo.

We congratulate Albertsons/Safeway and Kinney Drug Inc. for their commitment to helping to reinforce the theme of pharmacy as the face of neighborhood healthcare.

NACDS chain member Albertsons/Safeway received the 2015 NACDS RxIMPACT “Leader of the Year” award for its efforts to inspire advocacy and leadership development through the NACDS RxIMPACT program. Accepting the award for the company was Dan Salemi, group vice president, pharmacy services for Albertsons/Safeway and a member of the NACDS board of directors.

Albertsons/Safeway represents over 10 percent of individuals enrolled in the new NACDS RxIMPACT Key Contact PLUS leadership development webinar program, which trains pharmacy advocates on relationship-building to promote pharmacy policy priorities.  Since the launch of the NACDS RxIMPACT program seven years ago, Albertsons/Safeway has consistently engaged in its advocacy programs, including hosting in-district meetings, pharmacy tours and town hall meeting exchanges – with more than ten in the last year.

NACDS member Kinney Drug Inc. received the NACDS Political Action Committee (PAC) “Politically Engaged Pharmacy”, or PEP, award. Accepting the award on behalf of Kinney Drug, Inc. was Craig Painter, executive chairman of the board, KPH Healthcare Services and member of the NACDS board of directors; Bridget-ann Hart, president and CEO, KPH Healthcare Services; Jim Spencer, president, Kinney Drugs, Mike Duteau, vice president, business development and strategic relations, KPH Healthcare Services.

This award is presented to a company or individual who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the advancement of pharmacy through political engagement, distinguishing itself as a leader in political involvement.

“Grassroots and political involvement is an essential element of political advocacy,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE.  “We congratulate Albertsons/Safeway and Kinney Drug Inc. for their commitment to helping to reinforce the theme of pharmacy as the face of neighborhood healthcare.”

The NACDS RxIMPACT grassroots program was launched in 2009 to further advance pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policies.  The program’s many facets – including the NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill meetings with policymakers in Washington and NACDS RxIMPACT Pharmacy Tours bringing Members of Congress into pharmacies in their states and districts – are just some of the opportunities to help engage policymakers about the value of pharmacy in improving healthcare delivery.  In fact, in the last seven years, more than 450 pharmacy tours and nearly 2,500 Capitol Hill meetings have been conducted by pharmacy advocates.

The NACDS-PAC supports federal Congressional candidates who advance pro-patient and pro-pharmacy policies.

NACDS also welcomed U.S. Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) as a guest speaker at last evening’s event. Carter is serving his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives and is a member of the Education and the Workforce Committee as well as the Committees on Homeland Security and Oversight and Government Reform.

As the only pharmacist serving in Congress, Carter is the co-chair of the Community Pharmacy Caucus and is dedicated to working towards a healthcare system that provides more choices, less costs and better services.

“We appreciate Congressman Carter’s effort to join us for this event, and to reflect the ways that public policy, politics and pharmacy business come together in really productive ways at NACDS,” said Anderson.  “We look forward to continuing to work with him and all congressional pharmacy advocates on pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policy priorities.”