After 2 years of a virtual event, ThoughtSpot returned to an in-person event in July 2022. Here's what had people excited about the event.
Drug Topics®: How does it feel to be back at ThoughtSpot in person?
Brian Nightengale (President, Community and Specialty Pharmacy and Long-term Care, AmerisourceBergen): It feels amazing. So much energy, so much excitement. What I think about most, I think I feel humble. I feel honored. And I feel inspired because of the customers we have here. What they've done over the past 2 years has been amazing, inspirational and makes me proud to be part of the profession.
Brandi Johnson (Pharmacist): Usually at work, we’re right there in thick of things and you feel all the pressures of the day- to-day job. What I love about being here is that you get to kind of breathe for a moment and hear some more positive perspectives from fellow pharmacists.
Kelley De La Fuente (AmeriSource Bergen Business Coach): I think ThoughtSpot is a great place to connect with your peers. A lot of learning actually comes from your peers: what they're doing in a community, how they can learn, how they can take those processes back to their location in their community.
Larry McIntosh (Pharmax Pharmacy, St. Louis, Missouri): Of course coming off not being able to go to meetings, this one has been incredible. Love to see my peer groups and everything else at these meetings. Getting to see the executives firsthand again and listening to their passionate story about what they believe in pharmacy and what we're doing, how we're adapting.
Rich Tremonte (EVP & President of Customer Operations, Animal Health, and Community & Specialty Pharmacy, AmerisourceBergen): It is so exciting to be here. The energy in this building, I can't think of a better way to celebrate Good Neighbor Pharmacy’s 40th anniversary than being here in Orlando with all of our customers who we've missed so much.
Chichi Illonzo Moman (CEO & Pharmacist-in-charge, Springfield Pharmacy, Springfield, Pennsylvania): I was excited to come to this year's ThoughtSpot because there's so much happening in the pharmacy world and a lot of changes. I'm just so excited about it.
Drug Topics®: What’s your favorite thing about ThoughtSpot?
Jenni Zilka (President of Good Neighbor Pharmacy): It's hard to choose. My favorite thing I would say is watching all of our pharmacy owners connect and collaborate. I get to meet with pharmacies on a regular basis. But to see someone from Kentucky meeting with someone from Iowa, they share the same set of concerns and issues and to see them be able to network and bounce ideas off one another is really, really rewarding.
Honey Nikfar (McCarthy Drugs, Santa Monica, California): We've been coming to ThoughtSpot for many years, so it's good to see the community back together from different parts of the United States.
Tremonte: I think the Pharmacy of the Year is always so exciting. You walk down the halls, you can see all the names of past winners. We see last year's winner when you walk into the trade show floor, in bright lights. It's really exciting to see all of the pharmacies and who will win this year. I think Pharmacy of the Year is just the most exciting thing.
Moman: The best thing about ThoughtSpot is connecting with everyone and just sharing ideas, planning for the future.
Nightengale: Probably my most favorite thing is just seeing people in the hallways reconnect, friends that have known each other for a long time. It's like seeing family, a family reunion, and at the end of the day you walk away from this meeting thinking ‘that was amazing’.
Drug Topics®: Are you enjoying your first ThoughtSpot meeting?
Megan Wiese (Medicine Man Pharmacy, Wahoo, Nebraska): So this is my very first ThoughtSpot and I didn't really know what to expect. But since being here, it's been really fun to meet new people and also to see what we can bring back from here to our community.
Gretchen Garofoli (Association Professor, West Virginia University, Pharmacist, Westfront Family Pharmacy, Morgantown, West Virginia): So it's great. I've enjoyed seeing so many pharmacists that I've worked with over the course of my career and getting to collaborate, getting to network. It's so wonderful to be back in person and see people again.
Ashton Pearce (Pharmacy Student, South Carolina): So it's definitely huge. It's definitely a big experience. I'm excited to be here. I’m thankful my boss has sent me. I just am thankful to be here and be able to learn more and apply this to my future as a health care provider.
Drug Topics®: Why is it important to celebrate independent pharamacy?
Nightengale: You know independent community pharmacy has always been just such a core anchor in their community. So that's always something to celebrate, but this year in particular, community pharmacy has stepped up in a way that has helped revive this country. That certainly needs to be celebrated. I think it's an important time because the American public now has a whole new appreciation for what community pharmacy is and can do and should do within their communities and that's certainly worth celebrating.
Drug Topics®: What do you hope attendees will take away from this year’s meeting?
Zilka: I hope they walk away feeling energized about the future of independent pharmacy. Because over the last 3 years, they've proven how valuable they are to their patients and to their communities. So I hope they leave energized, refreshed, and really excited about the future.
Tremonte: I hope attendees can leave here and know that they're not alone. I know they're in their pharmacy often by themselves, don't feel like they have a network. But we are here for them, all the time. They get to interact with all of their colleagues, from all over the country and just leave here knowing that they have a support system that will always be here unwavering.
Drug Topics®: If you could share one message with this year’s ThoughtSpot attendees, what would that message be?
Garofoli: I think that it's really important for everybody to see what other folks are doing and take that back to their own areas, so that they're not reinventing the wheel and that they can learn from others and get to do very cool things in their own areas too.
Tremonte: The one message I would leave for everyone is: AmerisourceBergen will always be here in support of pharmacy, and specifically independent pharmacy. We have an unwavering commitment to that. It's the core of what AmerisourceBergen does and we think about you every day.
Nikfar: That the ThoughtSpot community really aims to help the pharmacies and independent pharmacy. And they've got a lot of opportunities for learning and for connecting, so take advantage of it. Make sure you visit every booth. Make sure you visit with every one of your representatives. It's a great opportunity to get together.
Zilka: I think that's really simple. Thank you. Thank you for all that you do for your patients and in your communities. And thank you for letting us support you and those efforts and being amazing partners. Our pharmacies are very easy to support and to champion and to advocate for. So I think just a hearty thank you.
Nightengale: It's time to activate. It's time to advocate and it's time to unify. We have an opportunity right now to transform this profession for years to come. And we need everybody to join together in that message to communicate the value that we provide each and every day.