Shandra Bouzemann did not start working with ProxsysRx’s Pharmacy At DeSoto by choice. “I was a senior at Ole Miss in 2021, and we were asked to choose the pharmacy where we’d like to do rotations. Well naturally, I picked the one at Baptist Oxford, which was a three-minute drive from campus, and less than 10 minutes from my apartment.”

Needless to say, she was none too pleased to learn she’d been paired with a pharmacy an hour away, on the campus of Baptist Memorial Hospital in Southaven, Mississippi.

She got over it. Fast. “Drew and I became friends almost immediately. He’s been a great mentor for me.” Shandra’s referring to ProxsysRx Director of Operations Drew Holleman, who was DeSoto’s Pharmacist In Charge at the time — and who, in fairly short order, saw something special in his new part-time employee. Six months after she started, he offered her his job.

Shandra was not Drew’s only option for DeSoto’s new PIC. The other candidate was an experienced pharmacist working with a large chain. And yes, one would have to imagine that a Large-Chain approach to pharmacy didn’t make for an optimal fit in the ProxsysRx culture. That said, it’s safe to say that, at first, the promotion — not to mention the responsibility that came with it — was fairly overwhelming for the recent graduate. That’s when Shandra learned about ProxsysRx’s corporate culture.

“When Drew was offered his new position, they told him to take all the time he needed to train me before moving to Birmingham. So for the next 8 weeks, Drew handled his new job remotely, and was here for me in the pharmacy whenever I needed him. Then, gradually, he backed-off from looking over my shoulder, until we both felt I was up to the challenge.”

Five months into her tenure, a challenge Shandra had not anticipated hit her like the proverbial ton of bricks. “In March of 2022, I got a letter from CVS CareMark informing me that our pharmacy would be audited.” Once she was able to breathe again, Shandra called Drew. “I’ll never forget it. The first thing he said was, ‘Don’t freak out. In fact, why don’t we say a prayer?’ Drew knew me well enough to know that was exactly what I needed to do first.”

Clearly, someone was listening. “The audit could not have been easier. All they needed was information on 300 prescriptions, and they gave us the numbers for every one. So when the auditor got here, we had everything printed-out and ready for her. And you know what? She was so nice! Not only was she a pleasure to work with, she gave me a lot of good advice that I still use.”

Mardi Gras At DeSoto

That said, Shandra will tell you the last thing she lacks at ProxsysRx is access to good advice and counsel. “Everyone I work with in the corporate office has experience as a pharmacist, so I never have to ask for help from someone who doesn’t understand what I’m going through; which is the exact opposite of the experience I’d had, several years earlier, working with a grocery chain — where nobody in the corporate office had a pharmacy background. And even if they’d had hands-on experience, they certainly wouldn’t have encouraged me and my staff the way ProxsysRx does.”

Encouragement, she continues, to routinely go Above And Beyond The Call helping patients in need. “For instance, six months ago we promoted Kiera Marion to Pharmacy Tech — working hand-in-hand with the hospital’s Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU).

“After surgery, a patient typically wakes-up within 20 to 30 minutes, and they need their medication right away. Which is why we make those prescriptions top priority. It’s also why the surgery department generates more income for the pharmacy than any other, because they know they can trust us — and Kiera — to be there when they need us.”

Kiera’s done the job so diligently that she was recently honored by the unit’s nurse manager with the PACU Pearl Award, for being “positive, engaged, active, reliable and loyal.” All well and good, you might think, but people get Great Job awards every day — right? “This is different,” says Drew. “That award came from the hospital, not us. We have pharmacies in 19 hospitals, and I can count on one hand the number of times one of our people has received an award like that.”

Another area the team at DeSoto goes above and beyond is in supporting the hospital community, and the causes it supports. Earlier this year, the team held a Mardi Gras celebration. Not only did they special-order masks and beads, they bought and delivered 26 Traditional King Cakes (from New Orleans’ renowned Joe Gambino Bakery) to the hospital’s employees.

Christmas Toy Drive

This month, Shandra’s team also participated in the Baptist Memorial’s toy drive for foster kids — again. “The hospital set a new record this year for the number of children adopted for Christmas — fifty-eight! Everyone in the pharmacy contributed, the corporate office gave us additional money for the kids we adopted — and we bought everything for them locally.”

Word of the team’s consistently enthusiastic service attitude has spread well beyond the hospital’s patient base. “We have people who drive 20 to 25 minutes, past a number of other pharmacies, to do business with us. And we’re not even open on the weekends. That’s a testament to how well our people treat patients.” It’s also, indirectly, a testament to the positive impact that a seemingly-disappointing turn of events — like getting paired with a pharmacy an hour’s drive away — can have in life. Needless to say, we couldn’t be happier with, or prouder of, what Shandra’s done with the “lemons” she was dealt her senior year in school!

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!