Luke Shockley graduated from Western Kentucky University in biological anthropology four years ago with the idea that he would be like a character on “Bones,” the popular television series that was based on forensic anthropology and archaeology.
Taking a summer job at Owensboro Family Pharmacy and Wellness, Shockley said there was a running joke that he always told the owners he didn’t need to be trained in everything technicians did at the pharmacy because this was just temporary.
Four years later, in May 2019, Shockley was recognized as the Kentucky Pharmacy Technician of the Year Award by the Kentucky Pharmacist Association. Shockley was nominated by Owensboro Family Pharmacy and Wellness owner Jesica Mills, who said in her letter of nomination that the speed at which Shockley learned and his ability to work as part of the team were two of the reasons for the nomination.
“As a Pharmacist, you work with a variety of technicians, and throughout the years, you appreciate the technicians that make your job easy and make your patient’s happy,” Mills said. “He has excellent pharmacy knowledge, and I feel confident in his ability to communicate to patients and solve problems. He is very skilled at utilizing the pharmacy computer system to solve complex problems, and he is the most efficient technician I have had the pleasure of working with.”
Shockley earned his Masters in Business Administration while working at Owensboro Family Pharmacy and Wellness and is now the Chief Operating Officer at the pharmacy, but he said that most often he is “just the manager of the business,” trying to determine what products to bring in. This includes medical as well as naturopathic options for patients and customers.
In September, both Shockley and Mills plan to receive their doctor of naturopathy degree, a system of alternative medicine that believes that ailments and diseases can be successfully treated or prevented naturally.
“I hope to begin seeing clients when I get my doctorate,” Shockley said.
Shockley and Mills have an interest in serving the community, especially English as a Second Language (ESL) children. Recently the two were part of a program at Deer Park Elementary School where they met with families who needed dosages of medication interpreted and explained.
Mills said that Shockley went the extra mile, as he does with all patients, and found over-the-counter medication that could be covered by Medicaid for these families. The pharmacy then put together bags for the families that could not afford medication.
Without advertising the event, the two said they handed out 186 bags the first day and over the course of the event, 400 were handed out. They realized there was more help they could offer the community and are working on ways to incorporate that into their business model.
“I admired how he would go the extra mile for all of our patients,” Mills said. “As the years have progressed, I have seen his knowledge and skill set grow, and his compassion and empathy extend to all of our patients and employees.”
As the pharmacy continues to expand, Shockley said they continue to defy the trend of pharmacies not making money, adding that they continue to have a monthly growth. He is very interested in Cannabidiol (CBD) and has informally educated other pharmacists while at pharmacy conferences.
“He has great drive and initiative, and is able to connect with patients, providers and coworkers in positive ways to effect change and positive outcomes,” Mills said. “He has brought in new and innovative services, is trained in all areas of the pharmacy and is committed to lifelong learning and perfecting his skills. He is very pleasant to work with and always has an uplifting and optimistic attitude that spreads to coworkers and patients daily.”
Shockley said that he is appreciative of the award.
“I think it is cool they appreciate me enough to nominate me,” Shockley said.