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Pharmacist is all about community
Story by Jana Eisenberg; photo by Douglas Levere, BA ’89
Pharmacy locations Depew, Lockport, Barker, Middleport, Medina, all in New York State; Crops grown for fun potatoes and tomatoes, plus tulips and hyacinths for the Western New York floral trade and market; What else might he have chosen as a career Most likely, a fireman, like his father, Ralph Moden, a Buffalo city firefighter for 41 years
A theme in Bruce Moden’s life and career is “community.”
Moden, BS ’57, seems hard–wired to foster community within business, philanthropy, family and even leisure. The 74-year-old semi–retired community pharmacist/small business owner helps steward his stores’ next phase, and remains active in his field overall.
Influenced by his grandparents, Moden almost studied agriculture, but wasn’t accepted at Cornell. Following his father’s suggestion, and emulating a former mentor, he chose pharmacy school. “Pharmacists don’t just dispense; they counsel, advise and maintain compliance,” says Moden. “I love my personal customer relationships”; although he admitted he had to overcome his initial fear: “Starting out as a clerk, people scared me to death!”
Co-founder of Legend Pharmacies of Greater New York State, a drug purchasing co-op and advertising group, in 2001 Moden sold his five Western New York-based neighborhood pharmacies to his partner, Stephen Giroux, BS ’81. He now works as a consultant to his former corporation, mentoring Giroux on how to build the business and continue to strengthen client relationships.
“I encourage young pharmacists to start their own business, rather than getting a job at a chain or supermarket. The rewards are greater,” Moden says. His daughter Linda Moden-Andrews, BS ’97, is testament to this, as she, although resisting the profession that kept her father away for long hours, is a pharmacist and co-owner of Larwood Pharmacy in East Aurora, N.Y.
Moden has served in leadership roles for the Erie County Pharmaceutical Association, which later became Pharmacists Association of Western New York, and at a state level with the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York. He also joined the National Community Pharmacists Association in 1964 and, through the group, advocates on industry-level challenges. “Insurance company lobbyists have a lot of money and their ‘truth,’” he laughs. “We tell our truth.”
UB involvement today for Moden encompasses both giving and participating. “When I was on the Pharmacy Dean’s Council, we strove to ensure the pharmacy school curriculum included all aspects of the practice, rather than skewing toward research. My wife and I donated a ‘patient assessment room’ to UB’s new Kapoor Hall. It’s a clinic, to practice counseling and interacting.” In addition, he is a generous annual donor and is a member of the Willis G. Gregory Society.
Whether donating potatoes grown on his 65-acre East Aurora farm, mentoring his ambitious partner Giroux or working on yet another fundraiser, Moden personifies productivity. “I always thought playing golf was a waste of time,” he says. “I wanted to do things.” Moden and his wife of 49 years, Barbara, live part time in Florida, while continuing to make their home in East Aurora.
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