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Bruce Harris, LWC '08, is Distinguished Young Pharmacist
By Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com
Bruce Harris, a 2008 graduate of Lindsey Wilson College and 2012 graduate of Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy, is the Distinguished Young Pharmacist of 2019 awarded by the Alabama Pharmacy Association recognizing him for individual excellence and outstanding service to the profession.
Even though he is a native of Ballard County in western Kentucky and now lives in Alabama, Harris still calls Columbia and Adair County home and comes back to visit regularly.
He said, "Only by the grace of God working through Lindsey Wilson College could this kid who grew up on a free lunch program in a rural public school, land in a welcoming, encouraging community like Columbia/Adair County, end up with Bachelors degrees in biology/chemistry and, upon graduation, be launched with the strength, knowledge and faith to go on to get a doctorate degree and jobs with top corporations."
The Distinguished Young Pharmacist award is sponsored by Pharmacists Mutual Insurance company, a nationally recognized leader providing insurance and risk management solutions within the insurance industry.
Ronda Lacey, a pharmacist and lawyer who was his pharmacy school law professor, said in the award presentation, "This year's recipient graduated with his PharmD from Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy in 2012.
"In 2013 he began working for ACPI (American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc where he helped to develop strategies for addressing performance measures and exploring opportunities to broaden the scope of practice of independent pharmacists by providing expanded clinical services through direct patient care services.
"Currently he is the Medicare Clinical Pharmacy Manager for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. In this role he has been instrumental in developing and operationalizing a state-wide Patient Care Integration program that places value on the pharmacists' role in improving health outcomes. This pharmacist is always willing to speak for APA events, and is one of our most requested presenters. He is one of the strongest people I know and has earned the respect of everyone who knows him," she said.
The summer following graduation from Ballard Memorial High School, he was selling printing and promotional products, when he received a call from an LWC admissions counselor asking him to come to the college. Harris remembers thinking perhaps the caller was going to place an order for promotional products and printing for Lindsey and agreed to make the trip.
He remembers comparing his small town hometown, Bandana, to Columbia after he exited the Cumberland Parkway onto Jamestown Street. He said, “I passed Dairy Queen, Walmart, and thought, 'I am coming to a city!'
Harris said he had a whirlwind visit with the admissions counselor - a student recruiter who'd had no plans to purchase promotional products. He said, Before I left Lindsey Hill that day, I had a plan for the next four years, a place to live, and food to eat.
"Of all the good things that have happened, up to and including this honor," Harris said, "Lindsey Wilson College is where my life seems to have started - where I became me. Through the Lindsey faculty and staff making the mission tangible, being part of the community, meeting the trustees and learning about Christian charity, I learned more about the Lord's work and being part of something much bigger than myself, and something that makes a measurable and consistent difference in the lives of countless people. All that summed up is the miracle that is Lindsey Wilson college.“
Dr. Sue Stivers, LWC Trustee, said she knew right from the start that Bruce was destined for great things and felt blessed when, as a freshman, he picked her among Bonner scholar work opportunities. He went to work with her at the Chamber of Commerce and tourism and over the next four years she saw his character and goodness as he worked dutifully on the job while he excelled in his studies.
The two say they adopted each other and formed a friendship that has lasted to this day. She said that, beyond Lindsey, all the while he was going to school for his pharmacy degree, he made time to come home from Alabama on weekends and holidays.
He said Columbia and Lindsey Wilson remain his true home.
This story was posted on 2019-08-15 11:46:43
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