Community Runs Deep

Published on 15 January 2019

As a fourth-generation pharmacist, it is safe to say community pharmacy runs deep in the veins of Daniel Winkelmann III, B.S. '85.

Having been exposed to pharmacy from a young age, Winkelmann knew he wanted to pursue a health care career. After receiving a full-ride scholarship to Creighton University, Winkelmann decided to pursue a degree in medicine, but after three years of undergraduate work, he longed to return home and join the family business.

He chose to transfer to St. Louis College of Pharmacy where his great-grandfather, great-uncle, grandfather and father all attended. Today, Winkelmann serves as the president of Winkelmann Sons Drug, located at the corner of Meramec Street and Virginia Avenue in St. Louis. 

How did you decide to pursue a career in community pharmacy?
I grew up with it. It's something I have done my entire life. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of sweeping the pharmacy floor and delivering medications on foot before I was even allowed to drive. From a young age, I witnessed the impact that my father and grandfather had on their patients, fellow pharmacists and the community. I had some great role models who demonstrated what it truly means to be a community pharmacist.

What does a typical day look like for you? 
There is no such thing as a typical day in community pharmacy. I balance the business side, counsel patients, serve as a preceptor and take care of anything else that comes my way. I enjoy interacting with patients, and I make time to talk with them. I'll come out and wait on patients, run orders and make sure things are running smoothly.

What makes your pharmacy different?
We have been here since 1913. While pharmacy has changed throughout the years, our commitment to our community has been unwavering. When you walk into our store, everybody knows your name. We try to go out of our way to make things easier for our patients. We deliver medications, adapt packaging to fit the physical needs of our patients, and we are always only a phone call away if someone has a question. Over the years, we've seen firsthand how taking time to get to know our patients positively impacts their health outcomes.

What are you passionate about?
At different stages in my life I have been passionate about many different things. I have always been passionate about getting the best health outcomes for my patients, whether that be through counseling them individually, working with their nurses or answering questions from physicians. As I have gotten older and taken on a leadership role, I've had the opportunity to precept students and work with young pharmacists who are opening their own pharmacies. I don't consider myself an expert, but I enjoy being able to give my opinion or share my personal experience with pharmacists who are just starting out.

Why did you become a preceptor?
I'm energized by the students. Their ability to pick things up so fast and their willingness to learn is outstanding. It has been a lot of fun seeing them in action. I have even invited a few students to join me on a medical mission trip to Nepal. It's a great experience for the students. They are actively listening and talking with patients. I'm there to listen and make sure they are saying the correct things to the translator, but for the most part, they function independently. It teaches them how to adapt their counseling styles based on the cultural needs of their patients. It also provides a space where students can learn and explore cultural competency.

Why do you think it is important to give back to the community? 
Giving back is something my family has always done. I give back because I want to better the community around me. Over the years, I have served on a variety of different boards with the goal of raising awareness about a particular cause or learning about new initiatives. I also really enjoy meeting new people, and serving on the Alumni Association board of directors has allowed me to stay connected to the College.

This story was first published in the fall 2018 issue of Script. Visit stlcop.edu/script to read more and access previous issues.