October 31, 2023
Emilie Barleben, a fourth-year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) candidate at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, received the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Presidential Scholarship at NCPA’s Annual Conference last month in Orlando. The Presidential Scholarship recognizes active members of the organization who demonstrate strong leadership and academic abilities, in addition to an interest in independent pharmacy.
Barleben has taken part in the communities formed around independent pharmacies since childhood.
“While growing up, my grandparents lived in an apartment adjoining our house. It became common for me to assist my parents when they prepared their daily prescriptions," Barleben said. "I would often tag along to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions for them. During my senior year of high school, I shadowed at an independent pharmacy. The connections I saw between the patients, pharmacists and techs was something I knew I wanted to have one day.”
Barleben found plenty of opportunities to get involved with community pharmacies during her four years with the NCPA chapter. As director of programming, she organized speakers for club meetings which in turn introduced her to the importance of recognizing the different roles and trailblazers in the field of pharmacy.
“Serving on the e-board of NCPA allowed me to become a better leader and communicator, along with giving me a variety of networking opportunities,” Barleben said.
Just before attending the NCPA conference, Barleben furthered her independent pharmacy expertise at the NCPA Pharmacy Ownership Workshop. She was able to attend with the assistance of a scholarship sponsored by NCPA and Pharmacists Mutual. The workshop involved two days of diving into the details of how to pick a pharmacy location, valuing an existing pharmacy and more.
Outside of workshops and NCPA meetings, Barleben is working in the field to hone her skills as a community pharmacist. In addition to her rotating APPE locations, Barleben works as a pharmacy intern at Uptown Westerville Pharmacy.
“I enjoy my time there as I’m able to take what I learn in the classroom and apply it to the real world with the guidance of our pharmacists,” Barleben said.
Thanks to mentors like Donnie Sullivan, RPh, PhD, professor of clinical pharmacy, and her many learning experiences with NCPA, Barleben is excited for the next steps in her career.