Few corporate ladders in the retail pharmacy world rise higher than Derel Smith’s did. As former Director of Pharmacy Operations for a major regional retailer, he managed oversight of nearly 600 pharmacies. It was a position nearly 30 years in the making, and one that afforded him an enviable lifestyle in Orlando. So why, you’d have to wonder, didn’t Derel ever sell the house he left-behind in Houma, Louisiana decades ago?
“I grew-up here. My family is here. My daughter’s a nurse in the Ochsner system, which Terrebonne General Health System is a part-of. And when she started having my grandchildren, it was time for me to go back home.” At that point, Derel also made another decision: “I was done with the corporate world. I wanted to be in a place where I could work directly with patients — where I could have a direct, positive impact on outcomes.”
That’s when Derel found the Pharmacist In Charge position at ProxsysRx’s Terrebone pharmacy listed on our Indeed page. He’d actually accepted a role with the hospital’s inpatient pharmacy several years earlier, but when his previous employer offered him a pay-raise he couldn’t refuse, he reluctantly stayed put. Terrebone’s loss then is Terrebone’s gain now.
“After seeing that Indeed listing, I did a lot of research on ProxsysRx — and I was impressed. That impression only grew after I interviewed with [Talent Acquisitions Specialist] Bre Lemons and [Pharmacy Operations Director] Drew Holleman. Their genuine emphasis on the importance of family life made ProxsysRx a perfect fit for me.”
It didn’t take long for Derel to make himself a perfect fit for ProxsysRx. And while you’d think a man who’d led the operations of 600 pharmacies might be a little resistant to corporate training, “If anything,” says Drew, “he was excited. Our training model, in the way we work with new pharmacists, is very collaborative. Besides, Derel brought a great business mindset to the equation, which is exactly what we look for with Pharmacists In Charge. We want them to be fully involved in the pharmacy’s success, both on a clinical and business level — so the transition was really easy for him.”
“Honestly,” says Derel, “ProxsysRx offered me everything that the pharmacy world, as I knew it, is getting away from: Close, personal contact with patients. Local, hands-on responsibility for managing operations. And a team around me with the same enthusiasm for patient care that I have. It didn’t take long for this place to feel like home, and my co-workers to feel like family.”
In short order, Derel’s team had every aspect of the pharmacy’s operations finely-tuned — from their retail product mix to the close working relationships they’ve developed with the hospital’s nurses and physicians through ProxsysRx’s Meds To Beds program.
Derel takes great pride in mentioning several of his team members by name, particularly in the way they routinely drop whatever they’re doing to talk with patients — and with the pharmacy’s retail customers. He’s even recruited several of his crew as co-volunteers in supporting the local theater — a cause also championed by the hospital itself. “Our theater has always been an important part of the community in Houma, and when it was damaged in a hurricane, a lot of people stepped-up and volunteered.”
Granted, it’s a far cry from his days managing 600 regional pharmacies — not to mention the status and prestige that came with it. But in return, Derel will tell you, he now has something far more valuable: “Job satisfaction. And,” he says with a smile, “a life outside the office. It’s good to be home.”
Unlock your pharmacy career potential with ProxsysRx
At ProxsysRx, we’re intent on preserving the reputation we’ve earned as an employer of choice. It’s why our company culture is centered around guiding principles we call “ProxsysRx Cares.”
We understand that our employees are people with lives and needs outside of work. From our generous paid-time off, to no evening hours, it’s our goal to be a place where you’ll feel valued and supported. A place where you’ll genuinely enjoy working. It’s an approach that’s good for our people, and in turn, for the patients and health systems we serve.
Here’s hoping that, someday soon, we’ll unlock your potential — together!