Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS) graduate Martez Prince, PharmD, is basking in the afterglow of Oprah’s seal of approval.
The media mogul paid a surprise visit to Prince’s Charlotte, N.C., pharmacy, Premier Pharmacy and Wellness Center, as part of her tour her “2020 Vision Tour: Your Life in Focus,” which is presented in partnership with WW (formerly Weight Watchers).
“It’s definitely one of those moments,” said Prince, who grew up in Fort Pierce, Fla. The 2010 graduate of the COPPS Institute of Public Health said it has taken a week for the impact of his Oprah encounter to sink in. “It’s an amazing experience. To have that moment is surreal and very powerful,” he said.
The occasion was Prince’s 6th Wellness Fair and Celebration. The pharmacy usually hosts the fair in September; however, Oprah’s attendance was a special occasion. The fair featured local dentists, chiropractors, and more. The goal is to help the community establish the habit of regular checkups.
Prince’s work got Oprah’s attention because he is a minority-owned business that demonstrates a significant impact on the community in the area of health and wellness.
Prince said Oprah’s visit confirms he is doing the right thing. He said the wellness fair attendees were excited and empowered,
“The fact that Oprah dropped in on the event and talked about health and wellness was a big deal,” Prince said. “She demonstrated wellness could be a celebration.”
Oprah said she was impressed by Prince’s courage and determination to leave a corporate pharmacy and open his own business to improve the health of his community.
“Premier Pharmacy is not just an advantage and a great offering for this community. It’s a model for the country,” Oprah said at the event.
Dean Johnnie Early, Ph.D., said Prince is a fine example of what FAMU alumni can accomplish.
“We are inspired to see one of our COPPS, IPH graduates showing vision and entrepreneurship in the area of health and wellness,” said Early. “In providing community focused pharmacy care, Dr. Prince has set a standard for others to follow. And to be highlighted by Oprah is a testament to what he has accomplished in just a decade since graduation.”
On October 3, 2015, Prince established Premier Pharmacy and Wellness Center, which is solely focused on the holistic wellbeing of its community. He started the business to give people from underserved communities a deeper understanding of their medication and healthcare. Staffed by 10 employees, Premier Pharmacy also houses a walk-in clinic run by a family nurse practitioner who can provide health screenings, vaccines, and acute care services like allergy treatments.
In the week since Oprah’s visit and the show aired, Prince has seen a flurry of media coverage, social media buzz and new business.
“We’ve gotten people who have transferred their prescriptions to us and using our services,” he said.