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CONTACT: Valerie Briggs
Director of External Communications
Direct: (703) 838-2686

NCPA Foundation Receives $250,000 Challenge Grant Pledge for Pruitt-Schutte Business Plan Competition Endowment Fund

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Nov. 24, 2008) - The NCPA Foundation is pleased to have received a $250,000 challenge grant pledge from Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company to support the Foundation's "Preserving the Legacy of Independent Pharmacy Campaign" to grow the Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition endowment to $1 million by 2012.

"I would like to thank Pharmacists Mutual for stepping up with this strong commitment of support. Having served as a past board member of Pharmacists Mutual this is particularly meaningful to me," said Sharlea Leatherwood, PD, NCPA Foundation president. "This challenge grant is just that--it means that NCPA and the NCPA Foundation are challenged to seek donors who will match this funding on a one-on-one basis, in order for us to realize the full benefit of this pledge, but at the same time this grant will double the support of our contributors. Together, we will secure a promising future for the Competition and continue to cultivate future generations of independent pharmacists."

"Pharmacists Mutual is pleased to offer this challenge grant to support the future of independent pharmacy," said Ed Berg, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company President and CEO. "What better way to help cultivate the next generation of independent pharmacists than to support this Competition, which teaches pharmacy students about ownership."

This is the fifth year the Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition has been held. The 2008 contest drew entries from 30 schools and colleges of pharmacy-nearly one-third of all U.S. pharmacy schools. Last year, at the NCPA Annual Convention, the NCPA Foundation launched a "Preserving the Legacy of Independent Pharmacy Campaign" to grow the endowment to $1 million dollars by 2012. The goal of the endowment will support the annual operating expenses of the Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Completion in perpetuity and therefore sustain its long-term viability.

"With each passing year the level of interest in independent community pharmacy grows among students," said Holly Whitcomb Henry, PD, NCPA president 2008-09. "Every team of students that participates in the Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition is a winner with a better understanding of the entrepreneurial side of pharmacy and an experience that will benefit them for life."

The Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition is the first national contest of its kind in the pharmacy profession. It is named to honor two champions of independent community pharmacy, H. Joseph Schutte and the late Neil Pruitt Sr. The competition is supported by the Pruitt and Schutte families, the NCPA Foundation, and Covidien (formerly Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals).

The NCPA Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1953 to honor former NARD Executive Secretary John W. Dargavel. Contributions to the NCPA Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent permitted under federal tax law. The Foundation supports the growth and advancement of independent community pharmacy through low-interest educational loans and scholarships to pharmacy students in need, critical research and programs to improve the success of independent pharmacy, and financial assistance to community pharmacy owners for their recovery in the event of disaster, accidents, illness, or adverse circumstances. For more information or to make a donation, visit

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains represent an $84 billion marketplace, employ over 300,000 employees and dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines. To learn more go to

Founded in 1909, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company is the only nationally recognized insurance provider dedicated to pharmacy and directed by independent pharmacy owners. Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company is rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best. Pharmacists Mutual Companies and its subsidiaries – Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company, The Pharmacists Life Insurance Company and Pro Advantage Services, Inc., d/b/a Pharmacists Insurance Agency (in California) – are committed to serving the insurance and financial needs of the pharmacy profession and fulfilling their mission “To help our customers attain financial peace of mind.” Pharmacists Mutual celebrates 100 years of history in 2009. Visit for more information.


Valerie Briggs
Director, External Communications and Marketing Outreach
National Community Pharmacists Association
100 Daingerfield Road
Alexandria, VA 22314