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Independent Pharmacist Michael Burns Receives Seventh Annual Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award
Wurster Award winner 2015
2015 Ken Wurster award winner, Michael Burns (right), and Steve Lawrence, SVP of Retail Independent Sales at Cardinal Health (left)

LAS VEGAS — July 27, 2015 — Recognizing his commitment to promoting the principles of community pharmacy and his significant impact on the Kansas communities he serves, Michael Burns, owner of AuBurn Pharmacies, was named this year’s Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award winner at the 25th annual Cardinal Health Retail Business Conference in Las Vegas.

“I feel privileged to give this award to a pharmacist who is so committed to community service, inspires others, and makes his community a better place to live,” said Steve Lawrence, senior vice president of Independent Sales for Cardinal Health. “For more than 20 years, Michael Burns has worked diligently to increase the presence of community pharmacy in all markets, including underserved areas. He’s also helped struggling pharmacies remain viable businesses that contribute to their local economies by offering affordable, quality health care at, and in turn, giving back to the communities that support them.”

Burns owns 18 retail pharmacies in 13 communities; he invested in several rural Kansas pharmacies to help provide a higher level of service and commitment. In addition to improving these pharmacies to be thriving businesses that serve their local economies, Burns has also donated more than $315,000 to various community charities, organizations, projects and causes.

Burns’ involvement in the community ranges from collaborating with local elementary schools to provide the AuBurn Healthy Kids Free Vitamin Program, which is focused on helping children make healthy choices, to donating his time to lead grassroots organizations through successful bond issues to build new hospitals and schools in the areas they serve. Additionally, Burns and his company support area schools of pharmacy every year by providing mentorship, instruction and education as preceptors to dozens of pharmacy students.

To recognize Burns’ extraordinary commitment to community service, the pharmacy profession and residents of the communities his pharmacies serve, Cardinal Health will donate $10,000 to the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy in his honor.

Additional finalists for the 2015 Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award include:

  • Lisa Goldstein, pharmacy manager at Beverly Hills Medical Plaza Pharmacy in California, is dedicated to helping patients living with HIV/AIDS, and has worked with more than 10 community partners, including Alliance for Housing and Healing and the AIDS Project Los Angeles, to provide resources to patients. Her philanthropic focus also includes notable causes such as the AIDS Walk of Los Angeles and the AIDS LifeCycle.
  • Roger, Michael and Armand Paganelli, brothers and owners of Mt. Carmel Pharmacy in Bronx, New York, are active members of the New York State Pharmaceutical Society, the New York City Pharmaceutical Society, Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, and the Italian American Pharmacists Society. Since 1993, the Paganellis have hosted a Thanksgiving feast for entire community, feeding entire families, homeless, elderly, and the sick. They also deliver meals to home-bound people in their community.
  • Beth Tomac, owner of Broad Street Pharmacy in Chesaning, Michigan, founded "Angel Care,” a program designed for anonymous donors to help cover medication costs for those who cannot afford them. Thanks to this program, local doctors and the local health department will send uninsured or underinsured patients to Broad Street Pharmacy to get their prescriptions filled or vaccines administered. Tomac was also instrumental in encouraging the Michigan Pharmacy Association to educate members about the role they can play in preventing prescription drug abuse.
  • David Hester, at the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Maxton, North Carolina, offers DisPill®, which is a simple, colored-coded system to make it easy for people of all education levels to know when to take their medication, at no charge for nearly 100 patients. David is also passionate about helping children with special needs in the community, and single-handedly started an Exceptional Children baseball league that has grown from one to nine teams.

This annual award was created in honor of Tampa, Florida independent pharmacist Ken Wurster, who passed away in 2008. Wurster was highly regarded for his commitment to serving his customers, epitomizing the role of a pharmacist who took responsibility for the wellness of his community. All nominations were evaluated by members of Cardinal Health’s selection committee. The five finalists were sent to an executive committee of Cardinal Health leadership who together selected Burns for his extraordinary community commitment.


About the Cardinal Health Retail Business Conference (RBC) 
The Cardinal Health Retail Business Conference (RBC), held July 22-25 in Las Vegas, provides independent pharmacists and pharmacy franchise owners with the opportunity to network with and learn from thousands of their peers from across the nation, while gaining new insights to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their businesses. The annual event provides independent pharmacy owners, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and other pharmacy industry professionals across the United States with access to pharmaceutical manufacturers, buying opportunities, continuing education sessions and programs to help pharmacists reduce costs and improve patient care and efficiency. For more information, visit or use #RBCWin on Twitter.

About Cardinal Health
Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is a $91 billion health care services company that improves the cost-effectiveness of health care. Cardinal Health helps pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and physician offices focus on patient care while reducing costs, enhancing efficiency and improving quality. Cardinal Health is an essential link in the health care supply chain, providing pharmaceuticals and medical products and services to more than 100,000 locations each day and is also the industry-leading direct-to-home medical supplies distributor. The company is a leading manufacturer of medical and surgical products, including gloves, surgical apparel and fluid management products. In addition, the company operates the nation's largest network of radiopharmacies that dispense products to aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of disease. Ranked #26 on the Fortune 500, Cardinal Health employs 34,000 people worldwide. More information about the company may be found at and @CardinalHealth on Twitter.


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