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August 6, 2010

College of Pharmacy receives $10,000

The University of Louisiana at Monroe College of Pharmacy recently received a $10,000 check from Ohio-based Cardinal Health following its announcement on July 25 that Jim Vallee, a ULM College of Pharmacy alum, was the recipient of the the 2010 Ken Wurster Community Leadership award.

At its annual Retail Business Conference in Denver, the company announced that Vallee, owner of C&C Drugs of Mandeville, was awarded the honor. In honor of Vallee’s commitment to community service, Cardinal Health donated $10,000 in his name to ULM’s College of Pharmacy.

The award recognizes an independent pharmacist for outstanding contributions to his or her community, and is named for Ken Wurster, an independent pharmacist in Tampa, Fla., who died in 2008. Wurster was highly regarded for his commitment to serving his customers, epitomizing the role of pharmacist who took responsibility for the wellness of his community.

Community pharmacists and Cardinal Health employees were encouraged to submit nominations for the award, and all nominees were judged on a variety of criteria, including community leadership and involvement; ability to inspire others; and willingness to go above and beyond the day-to-day operations of a retail independent pharmacy to make sure the customer comes first.

While managing two stores, Vallee also participates in numerous community service organizations with activities including providing shelter to the homeless, helping children in developing countries, serving those affected by natural disasters and providing medication counseling and assistance to senior citizens.

Vallee is also committed to helping local high school students pursue higher education, by hiring students to work in his stores and mentoring those who are interested in pursing pharmacy degrees.

Vallee’s commitment was perhaps best illustrated in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina destroyed his store as well as his home. Despite the devastating circumstances, he persevered and built a new pharmacy 40 miles from the original location.

Then, when the city approached him about rebuilding his old store because no other pharmacies were in the area, he readily agreed, seeing an opportunity to assist a community in need. Now, Vallee operates two stores while still delivering his trademark exemplary customer service.

“The ULM College of Pharmacy is very grateful to our distinguished alumnus, Mr. Vallee and to Cardinal Health for the generous donation to the College,” said Interim Pharmacy Dean Benny L. Blaylock.

“Mr. Vallee exemplifies the best traits of a pharmacist that we try to pass on to our students and this gift will allow the College to provide financial aid and resources to educate tomorrow's pharmacists.”

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