New Educational Venture, "Pharmacy is Right for Me," Aims to Inspire America’s Next Generation of Pharmacy Leaders

October 27, 2011
  • OptumRx and the American Pharmacists Association to kick off collaborative initiative with an interactive forum today in Washington, D.C.

OptumRx and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) today launched Pharmacy is Right for Me, a unique educational initiative aimed at propelling students in grades 8-12 toward careers in pharmacy.

A forum to introduce the program and its new website,, was attended by STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education champions, leaders in the pharmacy field, and health care executives at the historic APhA headquarters building in Washington, D.C.

Pharmacy is Right for Me is designed to provide middle school and early high school students, their families and educators with information and resources about the exciting and diverse career opportunities available in the pharmacy field. Educational units on the history of pharmacy, groundbreaking discoveries and the challenges ahead are designed to provide teachers with useful classroom resources that heighten students’ interest in pharmacy, science and medicine.

The program’s centerpiece is an interactive website with engaging, easy to read and use features including a self-assessment test (“Is Pharmacy Right for You?”), fun facts, career profiles and educational requirements needed for related careers. The website also features video testimonials from current and future pharmacists who explain why they chose pharmacy as their profession.

“We created Pharmacy is Right for Me to inspire students – particularly minorities and young people from underserved communities – to explore and learn about the diverse and innovative careers pharmacy has to offer,” said Jacqueline Kosecoff, PhD, CEO of OptumRx. “Pharmacy is a vibrant and vital profession, and we’re excited to engage the next generation of industry leaders using the tools on this site.”

“The Pharmacy is Right for Me program is helping to increase young people’s understanding and appreciation of the broad career opportunities that exist within the pharmacy profession,” said Thomas E. Menighan, MBA, ScD, FAPhA, executive vice president and CEO of APhA. “Now more than ever, pharmacists play a vital role in working alongside patients and their health care providers to help people better manage their health conditions. Students across the country will require access to needed tools and resources if we wish to continue meeting our nation’s needs and inspire youth to pursue careers as pharmacists.”

Pharmacy is Right for Me is a collaborative effort by OptumRx, a leading pharmacy benefits management organization and an Optum company, and APhA, the national society representing pharmacists in all settings. APhA received support for this program through an educational grant from Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The campaign and website content are guided by an Advisory Board of pharmacy leaders and experts from academia and across the health care industry.

OptumRx provided the funding for the development and ongoing implementation of the program as part of its STEM and social responsibility commitment, which includes participation in Change the Equation (CTEq), a nonprofit CEO-led initiative. OptumRx is one of 110 CTEq member companies committed to transforming STEM learning in the United States.

About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States.

About OptumRx
OptumRx is an innovative pharmacy benefit management organization managing the prescription drug benefits of commercial, Medicare and other governmental health plans, as well as those of employers and unions through a national network of 64,000 community pharmacies and state-of-the-art mail service pharmacies in California and Kansas, both of which have earned the prestigious Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites™ (VIPPS®) accreditation by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy®. Visit or for more information.

About Optum
Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to making the health system work better for everyone. Optum is comprised of three companies – OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx – representing more than 30,000 employees worldwide who collaborate to deliver intelligent solutions that modernize the health system, improve overall population health and support Sustainable Health Communities. Optum serves the broad health care marketplace, including care providers, plan sponsors, government agencies, life sciences companies and consumers.  

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