February 7: FAMU is the Nation’s Top Producer of Black Pharmacists

Florida A&M University produces more Black pharmacists annually than any other school in the country — PWI or HBCU.

In 2015, FAMU alumnus Martez Prince opened a Wellness Center in Charlotte, NC dedicated to providing top-notch care to Charlotte reidents and empowering patients to advocate for their own physical, mental and financial health. Premier Pharmacy and Wellness Center offers standard pharmacy products and services, including walk-in clinic services, patient education and even free prescription delivery to nearby residents. His personal approach is an embodiment of his alma mater’s motto: Excellence With Caring.

According to futureofpersonalhealth.com, the black-owned and staffed pharmacy is doing exceedingly better than most independent pharmacies; in its second year, Premier reported $3.2 million in revenue, compared to an average of $500,000 a year for independent pharmacies as a whole.

But it almost didn’t happen. After a discouraging experience working with Rite Aid Pharmacy soon after graduation, Prince, who earned both his bachelor’s and his doctor of pharmacy degree from FAMU, says he almost left pharmacy altogether.

“I felt like it drained my creativity and I didn’t have any control or power even though I was the pharmacy manager for four of the five years I worked for them,” he said in an interview with Black Wall Street. “I didn’t feel fulfilled or connected to the Charlotte community where I relocated after graduation.”

So Prince set out to ‘guide patients to greater health’ in a more personal way.”

He chose October 3 — FAMU’s founders day — as the pharmacy’s opening day.

“The university was born to change lives forever and I opened my doors on October 3 to also change lives forever,” he said.

Autumn A. Arnett is an education reporter and editor and an avid sports fan based in Austin, Texas. www.a2arnett.com