Print this page

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


Anaheim, Ca. - October 14, 2007 The National Community Pharmacists Association Foundation today announced the establishment of an endowment fund to support the Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition. The announcement was made at the 2007 National Community Pharmacists Association's (NCPA) 109th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition held October 13-17 in Anaheim, California.

In an effort to promote interest in independent community pharmacy ownership, NCPA and the NCPA Foundation established the Pruitt-Schutte Annual Student Business Plan Competition in 2004. The goal of the competition is to motivate pharmacy students to create the blueprint necessary for buying an existing independent community pharmacy or developing a new pharmacy.

"This competition helps pharmacy students understand the importance of having a solid business plan," said NCPA Executive Vice President and CEO Bruce Roberts, RPh. "By giving them the chance to develop and test their planning models and receive valuable feedback from pharmacy professionals, we are able to better prepare tomorrow's pharmacy entrepreneurs for the future. In the short time since we began the competition, several competition participants have gone on to successfully implement these plans after graduating from pharmacy school."

Donors can contribute an immediate or monthly donation or a planned charitable gift posthumously, such as a bequest via a will or estate. All donors receive recognition in the NCPA Foundation Annual Report and those who establish planned gifts automatically become members of the NCPA Foundation's Legacy Society. The Foundation has set a goal to raise $1 million by the end of 2012 to perpetually underwrite the annual operating expenses of the Pruitt-Schutte Annual Student Business Plan Competition.

Named in honor of Neil Pruitt, Sr., and H. Joseph Schutte, two pillars of the independent pharmacy community, the Student Business Plan Competition is the first national contest of its kind in the pharmacy profession. Neil Pruitt, Sr., who was killed in a tragic car accident in 2003, served as president of NCPA, then NARD, in 1981-1982 and was a Trustee on the NCPA Foundation. Pruitt grew his company, United Health Services, from a single independent pharmacy in northeast Georgia into a multifaceted health care organization with operations in several southeastern states. H. Joseph Schutte served as president of NCPA in 1985-1986 and is a Trustee on the NCPA Foundation. His career started with owning his own community pharmacy and eventually he owned six pharmacies in Kentucky that provided services for thousands of patients in long-term care facilities. In 1995, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Entrepreneur of the Year Institute. He is the CEO and founder of Geri-Med, Rx-Med, and IV-Med.

"We are pleased and excited by the nationwide enthusiasm generated by the Pruitt-Schutte Business Plan Competition," said NCPA Foundation President Charles West, P.D. "We plan to broaden this enthusiasm and strengthen the impact of the competition for future pharmacy entrepreneurs by building upon the funding started by the Pruitt and Schutte families. Looking toward the future, our pharmacy colleagues can help insure the positive momentum of the Business Plan Competition and influence tomorrow's pharmacists with a contribution to the NCPA Foundation Business Plan Competition Endowment Fund. It is our hope that we continue to help students explore the myriad of opportunities in pharmacy ownership."

For the latest information on the Endowment Fund and the Foundation's other programs, scholarships, educational and research efforts, as well as links to make donations and plan charitable gifts, visit .


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.

The National Community Pharmacists Association, founded in 1898 as the National Association of Retail Druggists, represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 24,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines.


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