Dr. Lucas Smith, PharmD, '14, joined us for 5 Minutes with a Pharmacist, a new series on why our alums live and work in Colorado. "It is a great place to raise my family," he says. "I enjoy being in a place where I can easily spend time with my daughters outdoors and watch them adventure and explore."
Tell us about your job.
I am the owner of Buena Vista Drug and Salida Pharmacy & Fountain. Having purchased one from a previous owner and starting a brand new location, there have been many challenges but it has also been very rewarding. As an independent pharmacy owner, I have been able to quickly adapt and offer additional services needed in my community such as delivery, point of care testing, vaccines, oxygen concentrator rentals and much more. As part of a movement to change community pharmacy we have worked to implement additional education and care coordinate services such as Diabetes Self Management Education and hypertension monitoring and education.
Why do you live and work in rural Colorado?
Living and working in a rural mountain town has been great. Smaller communities allow you to connect with your community, become involved, and form strong relationships. It is also a great place to raise my family. I enjoy being in a place where I can easily spend time with my daughters outdoors and watch them adventure and explore. One of my goals is to hike a 14er every year with both my daughters. They both summited their first ones at 10 months old.
How did CU Pharmacy prepare you for your role?
CU Pharmacy prepared me to be a pharmacist and business owner by offering a business management elective which included creating a business plan to open a pharmacy. Through CU Pharmacy's large network, I was able to make connections with other independent pharmacy owners and learn from them which has allowed me to be successful.
What advice can you share with future students?
For anyone looking to go into pharmacy, I believe community pharmacy is currently undergoing a large change in its primary focus. Other companies in the healthcare system have made it challenging to be successful by only dispensing medications. Developing strong interprofessional skills that will allow you to collaborate with other health care providers and documenting services done in a community pharmacy will be essential to the continued success of community pharmacy and the improvement of healthcare in our communities.