"While you should plan ahead in life ... you should always be prepared for a detour."
Posted on: September 18, 2020
University of South Carolina alumnus Gene Reeder insists his "blood runneth garnet." With a bachelor's degree in pharmacy (1973), master's degree in pharmaceutical sciences (1977), and doctorate in business administration (1983) from UofSC, it's no surprise he returned to teach and conduct research at his beloved alma mater.
Reeder currently serves as the Director of Outcomes Research for the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center and Professor at the College of Pharmacy. He received the College of Pharmacy's Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2015.
Tell us about what you do:
My work experience spans community pharmacy, long-term care, managed care pharmacy, health care consulting and academia. My research and teaching interests include the economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals and medical interventions, drug benefit design, formulary management, and health care policy.
Most of my service has largely been through involvement in professional and scientific associations. I have been an active member of APhA, SCPhA, AMCP and ISPOR for much of my professional career and served in a variety of offices for these organizations. For APhA, I served as President of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science; I also served a President and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.
I am an active member of Trenholm Road United Methodist Church where I serve on the Staff Parish Relations Committee and as an usher. I have been an active member of the Rotary Club in Five Points and involved in many of its activities and fundraisers. I have previously served on the Board of Directors for the Lourie Center.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I was the first member of my family to attend college, so graduating with my pharmacy degree would be my greatest achievement. Everything else that I may have accomplished since has been built on that foundation. Attaining the rank of Tenured Full Professor is certainly the capstone of my professional career journey.
How did you originally get interested in your field?
My first job was a delivery boy riding a bike to deliver prescriptions in our community and then sweeping the floors at the end of the day. During those early days, I watched the owner, Cyril Abrams, care for the people in our small community with compassion and equity. So, I suppose I always wanted to be a pharmacist. While I am in an academic position, I still consider myself to be a pharmacist first.
I have always enjoyed the business aspects of pharmacy practice so my decision to pursue graduate studies in business and economics was a natural evolution of that interest. I did not discover the joy of teaching until I started my post-graduate training. In fact, teaching was not on my radar screen until my pharmacy dean, Dr. Julian Fincher, gave me the opportunity to teach as an instructor in the pharmacy practice lab.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
“While you should plan ahead in life, work and play, you should always be prepared for a detour."
What do you do to relax?
I enjoy walks with my wife Nancy, fly fishing in pristine areas, the occasional round of golf with friends and a good Dan Brown or John Grisham novel.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Assuming I may invite the departed: Mark Twain, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, J.K. Rowling, Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, Paul McCartney, Neil Armstrong, Francis Collins, and Leonardo da Vinci
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
The Roaring 20’s for the great music and dance
What is top of your bucket list?
To visit as many of our National Parks as possible
What is your advice for current students / future pharmacy professionals?
The future is what you choose to make it. Find something you love, and you will never “work” another day in your life.
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