Campbell pharmacy alum encourages students to make a difference

Ron Smith, chief operating officer of Biologics and Campbell pharmacy grad, welcomed new and returning students to Buies Creek at the College’s annual Convocation ceremony today.

Smith reflected on the first Convocation ceremony he attended at Campbell nearly twenty years ago. He still remembered the advice that Dr. Jack Watts gave to his incoming class, the class of 1998. Watts shared that they were entering healthcare at a wonderful time, that Campbell would equip them to be leaders in their industry, and they were there to make a difference in people’s lives.

Considered by many as the “grandfather of pharmacy in North Carolina” and a long-time advocate of Campbell’s health programs, Watts’ words were relevant then and still impactful today. 
“Whether you are training in public health, pharmacy, medicine or clinical research, we need you,” Smith said “The world needs you right now, more than ever!”

Smith mentioned several statistics that validate the need for health professionals in our country – over 50% of Americans have one chronic disease that requires treatment, and over 25% of Americans have two chronic diseases.  He also mentioned that the health sciences industry was making immeasurable advancements in furthering medicine by approving 90 new medications in the past three years alone. He even commented on the Affordable Care Act slated to be implemented in January 2014, “I personally believe that this act provides for each of us an incredible opportunity to improve the delivery of care and the health of patients – to make a difference in people’s lives!”

Smith commended the classes on their dedication to being accepted into the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, but warned that their hard work has only just begun. He encouraged them to remember that at the end of the day, healthcare is personal. Hard work, trusting and empathetic relationships, and effective communication are the keys to making a difference.


Photo: Ron Smith, PharmD '98, addresses the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences student body