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PharmaSmart execs join Wegmans pharmacy council

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Executives from PharmaSmart International have joined the Wegmans School of Pharmacy Advisory Council.

Executives from PharmaSmart International have joined the Wegmans School of Pharmacy Advisory Council.

The blood pressure screening technology manufacturer said Wednesday that senior vice president/general manager Ashton Maaraba and president and chief executive officer Fred Sarkis have joined the pharmacy advisory council, a committee aimed at identifying and initiating new academic and extracurricular opportunities.

Maaraba stated, "Pharmacy students are entering a retail pharmacy environment that is transforming itself daily into primary care giving. Today’s pharmacy graduates now inherit the role of therapeutic counselor, not ‘pill counter’ or ‘insurance lobbyist.’ It is important for pharmacy students to be prepared for this enhanced healthcare role."

The PharmaSmart leaders began their first term by providing an educational grant in the form of donated technology: innovative blood pressure screening equipment and Web services for students and faculty to use as part of their training in chronic disease management and advanced patient education.

"Ashton and I are very excited to become part of this prestigious committee," Sarkis commented, "and we hope that our grant and continuing support make a difference for the students, faculty and the School of Pharmacy."

PharmaSmart noted that both Maaraba and Sarkis have extensive experience in the retail and clinical pharmacy industry.

"Many of our graduates will practice in a retail setting as community pharmacists, who are the most accessible health professionals to patients. It is vital that they assist and counsel patients in managing their medications and chronic conditions," explained Dr. Michael DeBisschop, chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, at the Wegmans School of Pharmacy. "PharmaSmart’s generous donation of blood pressure screening equipment and web-based management tools will help to ensure that our graduates are educated to help patients in the most effective way possible."