Just one day before starting vacation I was honored to receive the Bowl of Hygeia Award for Arizona. I knew I would give a little speech so here is what I wrote. I’m not much for reading from a script, as anyone who has been to one of my talks knows. So I’ll try to give you some of the ad-libs as I remember them (in parentheses) and some mental background (italics).

Hello Arizona pharmacy! I’ll be brief. Action speaks louder than words. (This went a little wordier as I commented on my wife’s comprehensive introduction and recount of my service and good deeds) (After hearing her speech, I was taken by how many of my endeavors involved sports and the Susan G Komen 3-Day. I almost commented that “wow, after hearing Kathy talk about me, you must think I’m all about balls and boobs!” but I held my tongue)

This is truly an honor and I am humbled to join the ranks of so many wonderful pharmacists, many of whom are here today. I have to give thanks, starting with my family, especially my wonderful wife Kathy, who is already a Hygeian. (I was paraphrasing by this point and I don’t think I used the term Hygeian to describe Kathy) I love you always, babe. To the many pharmacists and technicians that have been a part of my career, names like Savage, Wastchak, and Kristal that many of you may recall fondly. To my Fry’s family (Paul says we now have 8 Hygeia winners), to ASU, (kept out the part where I was going to say that my stint at ASU was like a 12 year rotation with a focus on sex, drugs, and rock & roll because I didn’t want to make the other schools jealous.) UConn ( I gave a nod to Jim and Maria, fellow alum), and the AZPA ( gave a plug here to encourage everyone to find a new member!). To the U of A and Midwestern for letting me precept their students, keeping my brain agile and alert. To my amazing mother, whose values and unconditional love started it all and kept me going through thick and thin. (Got a little emotional here and rambled something about living on rice and veggies while working my way through school) (that may have been a little cheesy, but true, and it got me back on track).

Being a part of the Mesa Leadership program was a terrific opportunity to learn about my community from the inside out, giving me a chance to meet our leaders and learn where I could make a difference. This diverse (I told them awkwardly just how diverse) group had many sessions where we worked out solutions to problems through respectful debate and a desire to do some good. In this election year, I will demand the same attitude from my elected leaders.

I would encourage more pharmacists to take part in these types of civic programs which are a great way to broaden your horizons beyond pharmacy and have an impact on your community. (paraphrased, then I glanced down to get this next part right…)

Our national political environment has developed into a shallow spectacle, where demagoguery is acceptable (and unfortunately, effective), corporations are people, and money is free speech. Don’t let yourself be drowned out. Participate beyond voting. We elect people to represent us and to work together for the common good. Insist on that. (I added that I would like to throw them all in a room and lock them in until solutions were found) (My first draft was harsher and contained the phrase “the bastards” so I was pretty smart to edit it to something more appropriate to the occasion)

Thank you all for being a part of this grand adventure and keep pushing the envelope. Get out there and do more good! Thank you all! (or something pretty close to that)