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


TAMPA, FL (Oct. 12, 2008) - David Elm, Sharlea and her husband Gary Leatherwood, Joe and his wife Betty Schutte, L.D. Sparks, John and his wife Karen Tilley, and Millie Vincent were announce the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Foundation Awards Ceremony as members of the NCPA Foundation's Visionary Class of 2008. These distinguished individuals were joined by the healthcare company, Covidien. The announcements were made at the association's 110th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition held October 11-15 in Tampa, FL. Each of the recipients of this honor have donated a major gift-in excess of $10,000, to the NCPA Foundation-which allows it to fulfill its objective of preserving the legacy of independent community pharmacies through a myriad of programs targeted to research, education, disaster relief and student outreach.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines "visionary" as a focus on the future with imagination and wisdom. The NCPA Foundation qualifies as a visionary organization, because of its focus on preserving the legacy of independent pharmacy. However, carrying about that charter requires outside funding for its operation. The individuals who comprise the 2008 class contributed well in access of the $5,000 threshold for this designation, and the $50,000 threshold was met with the corporate representative. A "visionary" is the highest annual patron giving level of the NCPA Foundation's Leadership Series

"The NCPA Foundation's effectiveness depends on the generosity of people and corporations who understand the critical role they can play in buttressing the future of community pharmacies," said Stephen L. Giroux, RPh, NCPA President and an upstate New York pharmacy owner. "David Elm, Sharlea and Gary Leatherwood, Joe and Betty Schutte, L.D. Sparks, John and Karen Tilley, Millie Vincent and Covidien are NCPA Foundation Visionaries because their substantial financial investments allow the NCPA Foundation to prosper and for the programs it supports to thrive."

Elm is the manager of the Wardenburg Student Health Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder. The center provides a wide array of medical services to the campus and has 200 employees.

Leatherwood is the current NCPA Foundation President and was NCPA president from 2003 to 2005-the first woman to hold the position in the history of the association. She has been a pharmacy owner in Missouri since 1981, and serves as a board member on numerous pharmacy organizations.

Schutte is a trustee on the NCPA Foundation and was NCPA president from 1985 to 1986. He owns six pharmacies in Kentucky. Schutte partnered with the Pruitt family in 2004 to establish the Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition Endowment Fund. The competition promotes interest in independent community ownership by having students submit and be judged on theoretical, detailed business plans to purchase existing pharmacies or establish new ones.

Sparks is president and CEO of the Pharmacy Compounding Centers of America (PCCA). The organization's objective is to strengthen the role, position and member compounding pharmacists so they can meet patients' needs.

Tilley served as NCPA president from 2006 to 2007. A successful businessman who has owned and sold numerous pharmacies in California, he currently owns five pharmacies with plans for further expansion.

Millie Vincent is the wife of James Vincent, who died in April 2008. A pioneer in the concept of the one-stop drug store, James was NCPA president from 1983 to 1984. His most lasting accomplishment during his tenure was spearheading the successful effort to get the federal government to designate pharmacy crimes as a federal offense.

Covidien is a global medical technology company that focused on improving patients outcomes through the products they sell. A corporate partner for the Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition since its inception five years ago, Covidien has been a long-standing NCPA Presidential Scholarship partner for many years.

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

Covidien is a leading global healthcare products company that creates innovative medical solutions for better patient outcomes and delivers value through clinical leadership and excellence. Covidien manufactures, distributes and services a diverse range of industry-leading product lines in four segments: Medical Devices, Imaging Solutions, Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Supplies. With 2007 revenue of nearly $9 billion, Covidien has more than 42,000 employees worldwide in 57 countries, and its products are sold in over 130 countries. Please visit to learn more about our business. To learn more go to


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