Sharks RX Spring 2015 Magazine
COLLEGE OF PHARMACY r 27 “I went from being a kid out of school to being on a national circuit,” she said. “It was a great opportunity.” Jeff Borenstein, M.D., M.P.H., now vice president of content at Stanson Health in Los Angeles, was part of the team that selected Graber Maxwell for the fellowship. “Geneen is brilliant and extremely personable,” he said. “She made great contributions. Without her, we would not have had sufficient organization to successfully conduct the study.” A representative of the Eckerd drugstore chain (now part of CVS Health) heard one of her speeches and sought her help in putting her research into practice at Eckerd’s pharmacies. The second year of her fellowship took her to Novartis, which had underwritten the study. There she eventually led a team that oversaw research and development and marketing and sales for the hypertension drug Lotrel, which then became the fastest-growing blood pressure medication on the market and is now a generic. Graber Maxwell was 29 years old when she decided to come home and launch a pharmacy that would offer customers more personalized attention. While at each pharmacy, Graber Maxwell approves prescriptions before medications are handed to patients. She learned that many people want just that. “My clientele tends to have more medications,” she said. “They have questions. They need a feeling of security, a health care professional who can help guide them through the system.” She helps clients sort through their medications to make sure they are appropriate and don’t put them at risk. “I have had people start crying when they see how expensive [medications] can be,” she said. “I will work with the patient to find a more affordable option that will help them.” Her clientele grew by word of mouth. “I have built my business based on quality and earning people’s trust,” she said. “The hardest part is finding a team [that shares the vision]. I am very particular about who I have join the team.” Graber Maxwell has created an atmosphere that harkens back to earlier times. Medications are deliv- ered in black-and-white bags decorated with labels of elixirs of the past, such as WitchHazel andWhite Pine Cough Remedy. Patients picking up prescrip- tions also leave with a Saturday Evening Post calendar with illustrations by Norman Rockwell. Her Lauderdale-by-the-Sea location features Dr. G’s Java, a coffee bar that serves up cappuccinos and lattes for clients waiting for their prescriptions to be filled or who simply want to sit and chat for a while. The inclination would be to assume that her pharmacies would cost more, but Graber Maxwell said that is not the case. She doesn’t have a big infrastructure to support, and so prices are comparable, she said. As chief executive officer and president of both pharmacies, Graber Maxwell is in charge of all operations and hiring phar- macists and other employees. But she also works as chief phar- macist at both locations several days a week to maintain contact with her clients. Graber Maxwell has a daughter, Jordyn, 5½, and a son Gray, 4. She has enlisted her husband, corporate attorney Charles Maxwell II, into the business. He has become a registered pharmacy technician so he can lend a hand if needed. Graber Maxwell has warmmemories of Nova Southeastern University’s College of Pharmacy. “I had some very remarkable professors,” she said. “They really believed in me and gave me chances.” NSU has returned the compliment, recognizing Graber Maxwell with a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 2009. “She is a shining example to our current students of what you can do in the profession if you have a desire to positively impact people’s health,’’ Deziel said. “She is extremely intelligent and possesses leadership and entrepreneurial skills with a strong work ethic,” the dean added. n Opposite page: Geneen Graber Maxwell creates a warm atmosphere at her pharmacies. Medications are delivered in black-and-white bags decorated with labels of elixirs of the past. Left: Geneen Graber Maxwell’s second pharmacy is located in an urgent care center that is owned by her sister, Mylissa Graber, M.D. (left), a board-certified emergency room physician.
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