The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is recognizing School of Pharmacy alumnus Mike Podgurski (BS Pharmacy, 1972) with its highest honor. Podgurski is the 2018 recipient of the Harold W. Pratt Award which recognizes individuals whose activities have contributed to the promotion, recognition and improvement of the practice of pharmacy in the chain pharmacy setting.

Podgurski, who serves as vice president of pharmacy services for Rite Aid Corporation, was presented with the award on Aug. 26 at the NACDS Total Store Expo in Denver, Colorado.

“Mike Podgurski’s dedication to the profession of pharmacy and to this great industry inspires us all,” said NACDS Chairman of the Board Mark Panzer. “He is a true leader who puts his words into action, and who is highly effective in advancing pharmacy’s public policy priorities through his tireless activism.”

Podgurski began his career with Rite Aid in 1987 and has contributed extensively to the company from the diverse positions he has held, including pharmacy operations, pharmacy services, pharmacy development and government affairs.

Prior to joining Rite Aid, Podgurski worked for the former SuperRxDrugs Inc., where he advanced from a registered pharmacist position to district manager.

In addition to the Pratt Award, the NACDS also recognized Podgurski at this year’s RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill. He was applauded for his outstanding commitment to grassroots advocacy, as exemplified by his engagement at every NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill over the past decade. NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill brings pharmacy advocates to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress.

In 2015, Podgurski was named honorary president by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). He has participated in many industry committees and task forces, including the NABP’s Task Force on Pharmacy Licensure Standards, the American Pharmacists Association’s Work Group on the Future of Pharmacy, and the Food and Drug Administration’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee.

Podgurski is a proud Mountaineer and says his career — spanning four decades — “all started with an excellent education and caring professors at the WVU School of Pharmacy.”