Peter Solomon was 15 years old when he started spending all his free time with his Uncle Anthony at Anthony’s Drug Store in Providence. It was an experience that formed his own passion for a similar career. “I saw firsthand the endless possibilities when you are part of an independent pharmacy, and that inspired me one day work in my own,” Solomon said.
So after high school, he headed off to URI, which he says was inspiring students to think big even back then, graduated with a pharmacy degree 1986, and now co-owns McQuade’s Marketplace Pharmacy in Westerly. His goal has always been to help people feel better and to educate them about the drugs they take. “I want to provide a place where everybody knows your name. I want to offer quality service with a personal touch, to foster trust between pharmacist and customer.
And that’s pretty much what he’s done. From free deliveries and private consultations, to call-backs, follow-ups, and more, he’s established and maintained pharmacy practices that have kept generation after generation of patients coming back. He says that family feeling is the culture of Rhode Island and is further fostered at URI, where “being part of the pharmacy program is like being part of a family.”
And for Solomon, that’s as literal as it is figurative. A total of 23 Solomon family members have attended or are currently attending URI, and 10 of them have been part of URI’s College of Pharmacy. His daughters, Jenna and Chelsea, are pharmacy juniors this year, and their love for pharmacy began very much the way their father’s did — working alongside him in his pharmacy.
But URI 2012, Jenna and Chelsea are discovering a much broader pharmacy field than their father did, with the newest pharmacy facility in New England and a wide range of career options. “There is so much you can do with a pharmacy degree – research, clinical rounds with doctors, hospital pharmacy, retail. I love all the options,” Jenna said. For Chelsea, the appeal was the merger of technology and science in a field that helps other people.
Solomon has put about 20 Rhode Islanders to work in his pharmacy over the years, always looking specifically for URI Pharmacy graduates “because of the quality pharmacists it produces,” he said. When his daughters decided to go into pharmacy, they had many other options for pharmacy schools, but in Solomon’s mind, no other school compared. He hopes more and more URI pharmacy graduates will choose to stay in Rhode Island, build their own companies and create more job opportunities. In a few more years, and with no plans to leave Rhode Island, Jenna and Chelsea will join the many pharmacy grads that URI has sent back out into the Ocean State economy to help fill a critical need.