Inspiring Thoughts from the PPA Pharmacist of the Year

October 30, 2019 | Smart-Fill

Two individuals of Asti’s South Hills Pharmacy, a Smart-Fill member since 2018, were recently recognized by the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association! Chris Antypas, PharmD, received the Pharmacist of the Year award while Christan Gist, CPhT, received the Pharmacy Technician of the Year award.

We want to spread the word about their achievements and share Chris’s inspiring enthusiasm toward community pharmacy and the impact he and his team have on their patients. We asked Chris the following questions to help share his thoughts, and we hope you will find them as inspiring as we do.

What does it mean to you and your team to be named the 2019 PPA Pharmacist of the Year?

It’s certainly an honor to receive recognition as Pharmacist of the Year for the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association (PPA). The PPA represents all areas of pharmacy practice in Pennsylvania, which means there are a lot of great pharmacists to choose from, making this award even more humbling. My pharmacy team, as well as so many customers and colleagues, were overwhelmingly excited and showered me with praise and congratulatory remarks. It was—and continues to be—an awesome experience. Yet, while this is an “individual” award, the reality is that I couldn’t possibly do what I do without an entire team of other individuals supporting me and allowing me to do my thing.

My focus—and what I believe to be my mission—is to highlight the incredible work being done in community pharmacies, as well as advance the profession to further increase the impact that pharmacists can make in their community. This award is an affirmation that my team and I are heading in the right direction, but our journey is far from over!

What is the key to your store’s success?

I believe that the key to our success can be attributed to a couple of key principles.

The first is relationships. Relationships—with both patients and providers—are extremely critical to success. We know our patients, and they know us, which makes communicating so much more effective. We don’t believe that this should be a passive exercise of just getting to know someone over time; rather, we actively pursue building these relationships every day. Having relationships with patients makes them more forgiving when you make a mistake, and it also allows you to provide better care because they trust your recommendations and opinion. Patients are more likely to change their behavior with a suggestion from a pharmacist who they know and who knows them. The same concept applies to prescribers, who can grow to rely on their go-to pharmacy to resolve the countless medication-related problems they face daily. As with our patients, we believe that building relationships with prescribers (and their staff) requires an active approach, which we act on with every interaction.

Another key principle is that we follow through to the end, every time. To take care of every patient, solve every problem, and do so with a smile takes A LOT of energy. The team at Asti’s South Hills Pharmacy has completely committed to never give up and never pass the buck. This approach can be extraordinarily exhausting, but at the same time, it is absolutely rewarding in multiple ways. It’s because of this approach—and our successful track record—that we have built a reputation in our community as a healthcare destination. We constantly get new patients referred to us as a result of other pharmacies falling short, and our incredible team finds a way to persevere.

From everyone at Smart-Fill, congratulations to the Asti’s South Hills Pharmacy team!

Pennsylvania Pharmacists AssociationPharmacist of the YearPharmacy Technician of the Year


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