KENTON – West TN Pharms, a West Tennessee pharmacy chain co-owned by five University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy graduates, is set to receive its very own UT mural as part of the “Everywhere You Look, UT” campaign.
Painting begins at the Kenton Drug Company location in Obion County on April 3; the mural marks the 36th in the campaign.
Co-owner Derek Holyfield is a proud graduate of UT Martin (‘98) and the UTHSC College of Pharmacy (‘02). Holyfield, along with partners Jennifer Hopper (UTM ‘95, UTHSC ‘98), Philip Emison (UTHSC ‘02), Brian Whitby (UTM ‘01, UTHSC ‘05) and Kelly Weaver (UTHSC ‘04), founded the chain of eight pharmacies in rural West Tennessee with the aim of providing high quality pharmaceutical care to patients in mainly rural, underserved areas.
“We all felt that it’s better to work together, in our rural home areas, than with big pharmaceutical chains,” Holyfield says. “Pharmacy should be about taking care of patients, not just making profits.”
In addition to the Kenton location, the group’s other pharmacies include Duncan’s Pharmacy in Dyer, Duncan’s Express Pharmacy in Trenton, Duncan’s Pharmacy of Greenfield in Greenfield, Cavalier Pharmacy in Alamo, Three Oaks Pharmacy in Medina, Raines Pharmacy in Bells and Hometown Drug Company in Brownsville.
Holyfield attributes West TN Pharms’ success to UTHSC’s curriculum, culture and connections.
“My big takeaway from UT was that I was capable of doing whatever I chose,” Holyfield says. “But, at the end of the day, the patients always come first.”
Holyfield hopes that the 15-foot-wide mural on the side of Kenton Drug Company will be an emblem of his UT pride and a reminder to the daily 4,129 passersby of the unique opportunities the university offers. Additionally, he hopes that the reminder will encourage his fellow UTHSC pharmaceutical graduates to join the campaign as well.
“(UT) President (Randy) Boyd says he wants one of these murals in every county,” Holyfield says. “Well, there’s almost a pharmacy in every county with a UTHSC pharmacy grad.”
To learn more about the campaign and its locations, download photos or to nominate a canvas, visit the campaign website.
The University of Tennessee is a statewide system of higher education with campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin, Memphis and Pulaski; the UT Institute of Agriculture with a presence in every Tennessee county; and the statewide Institute for Public Service. The UT System manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership; enrolls about 54,000 students statewide; produces about 13,000 new graduates every year; and represents more than 433,000 alumni around the world.
505 Summer Place, UT Tower #1242, Knoxville, TN 37902
505 Summer Place, UT Tower #1236, Knoxville, TN 37902