April 04, 2014
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Winn-Dixie Pharmacist Jennifer McRight with U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo of Mississippi in his Washington, D.C. office during a visit March 13.​

Jennifer McRight of Winn-Dixie No. 1357 in Biloxi, Miss., has long had an interest in the politics of her community. She attends City Council meetings and is involved with her local government. She was a natural choice to travel with four other BI-LO Holdings pharmacists to talk to elected officials on National Association of Chain Drug Stores RxImpact Day, March 13.

McRight got a chance to talk to U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo of Mississippi and invite him to the store’s pharmacy to see first-hand how pharmacists impact the communities they serve.

“He graciously agreed to schedule a pharmacy visit with me in April,” she said. “I was amazed how an impromptu visit with Congressmen Palazzo could bring about a pharmacy visit.”

Also visiting Washington D.C. to meet with elected officials were Abby Schuler of BI-LO No. #5661 Simpsonville S.C.; Louann Medlock of Winn-Dixie No. 482 in Columbus, Ga.; Jonathan Finley of Winn-Dixie No. 2206 in Silver Springs, Fla.; Valerie Ponder of Winn-Dixie No. 2390 in Orlando, Fla.; Darryl Shiloh, Pharmacy District Manager for Baton Rouge, La. and New Orleans; and Pharmacy Marketing Director Mike LeBlanc.

BI-LO Holdings Vice President of Pharmacy John Fegan said one focus pharmacists discussed was Medicaid Part D and the importance of inclusion on the Affordable Care Act list of preferred providers. This would allow people covered under the Act to more affordably use the services of the BI-LO and Winn-Dixie pharmacies.

“When we inform legislators of the impacts on retail pharmacy and their constituency, it hits closer to home,” Fegan said. “This helps establish our credibility and establishes the level of influence we can have here in the marketplace.”

McRight said the trip was productive and she felt she’s made an impact.

“Our elected officials need to know our concerns,” McRight said. “I feel great knowing I played a great part in bringing pharmacy concerns to Congress and hope to continue this mission in the future.”

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From left, Mike Lablanc, Jonathan Finley, Valerie Ponder, Louann Medlock, Jennifer McRight, Darryl Shiloh. Not pictured: Abby Schul;er.
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Abby Schuler has a face-to-face meeting with U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina.

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