By Patrick Smith
University of Mississippi
Hayden Wooldridge and Lindsey Simmerman, students in the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, have been selected as recipients of the EPIC Pharmacies student grant program.
A network of 1,500 independently owned pharmacies, EPIC Pharmacies annually awards the grants to students who plan to practice independent pharmacy after graduation.
Wooldridge is a native of Grenada and in her fourth year of pharmacy school. This is the third year that she has been selected for the award.
“It is a huge honor to be selected again as a recipient of the EpicRx student grant,” Wooldridge said. “I am so grateful to receive this award from an independent pharmacy network that is so supportive of students who are working towards a career in independent pharmacy.”
Wooldridge’s work in pharmacy school points to a bright career, said John Bentley, professor of pharmacy administration and director of the UM Center for Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management.
“Hayden has grown considerably in her confidence during her time in pharmacy school, and I know that she has a firm understanding of and commitment to her chosen profession of pharmacy,” Bentley said. “Not only do I truly believe that she will be a model pharmacist, I am quite confident that she will achieve her goal of owning her own pharmacy one day.”
Wooldridge is active in numerous student organizations at the School of Pharmacy, as she continues to work toward a future in independent pharmacy.
“This year, I have been working on a list of practice ideas that I would like to implement in the future in order to advance my career, as well as advance independent pharmacy practice,” Wooldridge said. “Some of these ideas came from things I have learned during rotations, and others I have learned from researching additional services or business practices that an independent pharmacist could offer.”
A native of Sardis, Simmerman also is a fourth-year student pharmacist. She said it is a great honor to be selected for the award.
“Community pharmacy has been my passion since day one of pharmacy school, and being selected for this grant means the world to me,” Simmerman said. “I am truly grateful to know I have people and a company in my corner supporting me so that I can become the best advocate for my patients.”
Jordan Ballou, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice, praised Simmerman for striving to improve the health of her community through pharmacy work.
“She truly understands the value that she will bring to her community and future patients,” Ballou said. “We have had several conversations about her passion for the profession of pharmacy and how she will impact both individual health outcomes, as well as public health in the community.”
During pharmacy school, Simmerman has shown great commitment with her involvement in many professional and university organizations, and she hopes to reinforce her commitment to pharmacy back in her home state after graduation.
“It is my hope to return to my home area here in north Mississippi and work for a community pharmacy before hopefully owning a pharmacy one day,” she said.