National group honors Cottrell as pharmacist of the year

Published 7:26 am Wednesday, October 21, 2009

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

Danny Cottrell became famous overnight for his $2 “stimulus plan” designed to help his employees and the community just as the economy was going south.
But the Brewton pharmacist has been quietly helping the community for years, his colleagues said after Cottrell was named independent pharmacist of the year by the National Community Pharmacists Association.
Cottrell, who was honored at the association’s annual convention Sunday in New Orleans, said he was grateful for the award.
Cottrell closed the pharmacy for the day and treated his employees to a day trip to New Orleans for the award ceremony, along with a meal at one of the city’s most famous restaurants.
That kind of generosity is what earned Cottrell the recognition in the first place. In February, he gave each of his employees a bonus in $2 bills — $300 for part-time employees and $700 for full-time workers. Their only instructions were to spend 15 percent on charity and the rest on local businesses.
Local media coverage of his “one man stimulus plan” soon gave way to national attention, with Cottrell appearing in USA Today and on NBC News and Fox News, among other outlets.
Cottrell, a former Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award recipient and longtime Kiwanis Club volunteer, has been working to help all residents get the best medical treatment for years, Moore said.
For example, Moore said, Cottrell has patiently worked to explain the Medicare Part D rules to patients — even those who do not patronize his pharmacy.
The independent pharmacist of the year award is named in honor of Willard B. Simmons, a former NCPA (then the National Association of Retail Druggists) executive secretary and long-time NCPA Foundation trustee, who exemplified these qualities.
Cottrell, who bought Medical Center Pharmacy in 1984 and is part owner of 10 other stores, is a longtime member of the NCPA, serving on the group’s PAC and Legislative committees.
He is also a member of the Alabama Pharmacy Association, Alabama Medicaid Pharmacy Advisory Committee, the Kiwanis Club and the Brewton Development Authority.
Cottrell has previously been honored for his work on numerous occasions, including the NCPA leadership Award, Drug Travelers Association King Courtesy Award, Wayne Staggs Distinguished Service Award, President’s Award, and Lester White Good Government Award.
The National Community Pharmacists Association represents the nation’s community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 pharmacies.

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