Kermit Crawford will join the USC School of Pharmacy, where he is a member of the Board of Councilors, as executive in residence and senior adviser to the dean.
Crawford is retiring from Walgreens, where he is president of pharmacy, health and wellness, after 31 years in a variety of advancing roles with the company. He has been a member of the Board of Councilors since 2010.
To me, community pharmacy has long been an unsung hero in our health care system.
“Having an individual of Kermit Crawford’s breadth of experience, expertise, vision for professional practice and stature as one of the most admired and respected executives in the pharmacy industry join the USC School of Pharmacy is an incredible opportunity for the school,” said Dean R. Pete Vanderveen, holder of the John Stauffer Decanal Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the School of Pharmacy.
“Kermit shares the school’s passion for changing the professional role of the pharmacist and will provide our students, as well as the school, with a great new perspective on our profession with real-world vision and application, as well as work with our team of health economists at the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.” Vanderveen added. “We are very excited to have Kermit’s experience, expertise and inspiration at our school.”
Crawford will continue to serve as a senior counselor to Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson, who said, “He has been so much more than a colleague — he has been a mentor, a friend, an inspiration, a guiding light and the architect and driver of Walgreens strategy to advance the role of community pharmacy in America.”
He rose through the ranks
Crawford has led a transformation of the pharmacy experience at Walgreens, moving it from a model focused on product delivery to one where the pharmacist-patient interaction is central. He has been in his current role at Walgreens since 2010 in which he leads all pharmacy, health and wellness services of the nation’s largest drugstore chain. Joining Walgreens in 1983, his ascent in the company has taken him through the ranks of chain drug/community pharmacy operation at a time when health care itself was changing nationwide.
He has been a store pharmacist, a district manager, vice president of store operations and vice president of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services. As corporate vice president of pharmacy benefit management services, he oversaw all aspects of the Walgreens PBM, which covered more than 10 million lives. In each of these roles, Crawford has stressed that the value of medication is in the clinical outcome, which is a result of proper medication use enhanced by interactions with the pharmacist.
“After 31 years with Walgreens, starting as a pharmacy intern in my 20s, the time is right to retire from the company to broaden my horizons and seek new ways to serve,” Crawford said. “I love Walgreens, cherish my years and friends here and the incredibly dedicated people across the company. To me, community pharmacy has long been an unsung hero in our health care system, helping primary caregivers to provide convenient, affordable and essential health and wellness services in neighborhoods across America. I look forward to continuing to advance the role of community pharmacy in health care through my work at USC.”
Chain Drug Review honored Crawford in 2009 as the Pharmacy Executive of the Year. In 2011, the biweekly publication named Walgreens Retailer of the Year and recognized Crawford among the company’s top five executives earning the distinction. In 2012, Savoy Magazine named him one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.” Also in 2012, Black Enterprise Magazine named Crawford one of the “Top 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America.”
Crawford will also broaden his role at the American Diabetes Association, serving as national chair for its Ad Council campaign. He is a member of the board of directors of the Allstate Corp. and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, where he was previously on its Policy Council Committee
Crawford earned a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from Texas Southern University in 1983, where he ranked second in his graduating class.