ACP Announces Thornbury Selected as Commencement Speaker

OAKWOOD, VA (APRIL 7, 2023) — Third  generation pharmacist, Joel Thornbury, of Pikeville, Ky., will be the commencement speaker Saturday, May 6 at the Appalachian College of Pharmacy.

ACP Provost and Dean Susan Mayhew made the announcement this past week, noting Thornbury has more than 30 years of professional pharmacy practice experience in Kentucky and Virginia.

“We are pleased to be welcoming Mr. Thornbury to our campus as our 2023 commencement speaker,” Mayhew said. “The knowledge he has of the profession of pharmacy and his emphasis throughout his career on community health are things I know our graduating class will learn more about as he talks about the profession and the rapid changes occurring in it today. He is heavily involved in community, school and healthcare activities to support and advocate for growth while building and sustaining strong communities, something we encourage our students to pursue as they leave ACP, degree in hand, to pursue their future goals.”

Thornbury holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy where he graduated in 1992; an AAS in Chemistry, Summa Cum Laude, from Southwest Virginia Community College; a certificate from the Utah School of Alcohol and Substance Abuse; as well as a number of Kentucky Board of Pharmacy approved protocols and trainings.

Thornbury owns and operates a chain of independent pharmacies with an older brother in Eastern Kentucky and Southwest Virginia; and has affiliated ownership responsibilities with pharmacies in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. His duties include the practice of pharmacy, information technologist, immunization and wellness programs leader, staffing coordinator, MTM coordinator, practice consultant, political analyst, buying contract management and all other duties required of an independent pharmacy owner.

He has also been involved in advocating for the profession in both the political and regulatory arenas, having led and diligently worked to see state statutes, regulations and policies instituted on behalf of the pharmacy profession and the people of Kentucky where he lives. He led the National Association Boards of Pharmacy’s Committee on Law Enforcement and Legislation in 2015.

He has served as the governor’s appointee on the Kentucky Advisory Council for Recovery Communities, 2021-present; as the governor’s appointee on the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy in a number of capacities, including that as a five-time president and current member of the regulation committee; as a member of the National Association Boards of Pharmacy since 2009; as a chairman and past president of the Kentucky Pharmacists Association to which he has belonged since 1993; as a member of the Kentucky Pharmacists Political Action Committee; and as a past chairman of the Kentucky Pharmacists Education and Research Foundation.

He has also served on the admissions committee at the Appalachian College of Pharmacy since 2006 and as a past member of the ACP curriculum committee; on the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky as a community advisory board member since 2021; as a past member of United States Pharmacopeia; and as community-based faculty for ACP, the Medical College of Virginia and Campbell University and as a University of Kentucky preceptor.

Throughout his career, he has received a number of awards and recognitions, including the Distinguished Service Award in 2022; Best Pharmacist in the Mountains (Appalachian News Express), 2020, 2021, 2022; University of Pikeville Volunteer of the Year, 2019; Proclamation Honor by the City of Pikeville, 2018; Kentucky Pharmacist of the Year, 2016; Southeast Kentucky Chamber Businessperson of the Year, 2011; Merck Award for Pharmacy Leadership, 2004; NCAP Pharmacy Leadership Award, 2020; KPhA Gavel Award for Outstanding Pharmacy Leadership, 2005; and the McKesson Pharmacy Leadership Award, 2004.

In his community, he serves on the City of Pikeville, Ky., zoning and variances committee, the 5K Committee and as race director and on the Ruff-Tuff Race Series. He is also a member of the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Green Meadow Country Club.

Thornbury enjoys marathon running, golf, swimming, cooking, travel and spending time with his family – wife, Sandy and two daughters, Phoebe and Jade — as well as collaborating with other pharmacists to improve their business and patient care capacities.

ABOUT THE APPALACHIAN COLLEGE OF PHARMACY: The Appalachian College of Pharmacy is the only three-year Doctor of Pharmacy program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Founded in 2003, the college accepted its first students in 2005. It is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Its mission is to cultivate a learning community committed to education, community outreach and the professional development of pharmacists. Its graduate pharmacists are now practicing throughout the United States.

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