By Philip Case
For Amy Rogers, what began as a need for a part-time job to help with the expenses of a growing family grew into a career in pharmacy, volunteer work at a local free clinic and an annual mission trip to Honduras.
“After our son (Mahlin) was born and with two daughters (Kemper and Alyssa),” said Rogers, “I went to work in the photo lab at Walmart.
“A part-time job came open in the pharmacy, I applied and got it. Six months later I knew I wanted to go to pharmacy school.”
The rest, she says, is history.
Rogers is 42. Her husband, Dan, is an instructional aide at Second Street School and girls soccer coach at Frankfort High School.
As a non-traditional student, she graduated in 2014 from the pharmacy school at Sullivan University in Louisville, 20 years after completing high school at Western Hills.
She then went to work as a full-time pharmacist at Walmart and part time at Frankfort Regional Medical Center until a full-time job became available at the hospital in July 2016.
“Then, I just flipped them,” she said, “going part time at Wal Mart and full time at the hospital.”
Meanwhile, during her years as a student, she volunteered at the Free Mission Clinic, housed in First Baptist Church on St. Clair Street.
“I was doing volunteer work there and now I’m the pharmacist in charge. There are three additional pharmacists who volunteer along with me,” she said. “I would like to get more to volunteer.”
The clinic serves citizens in Franklin and surrounding counties who don’t have medical insurance or who are between jobs and without insurance.
The clinic is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and some Saturdays. Rogers is responsible for scheduling and goes in to help as needed, or to handle refills. The clinic currently serves 275 patients.
While working at the clinic, Rogers met Eddie Gordon, a pharmacist at the hospital who introduced her to the Honduras mission trip, which includes other medical professionals and support staff. The group will travel there in January, the fourth time Rogers has made the trip.
There, the volunteers set up a clinic for underprivileged adults and children, performing all types of medical services.
“We were unable to go in January this year because of political unrest in the country,” she said, “but since everyone had already taken off work, we set up for a local free clinic here.”
Volunteering gives her hands-on contact with the patients, the people she serves, Rogers says.
“In the pharmacy world, we can get caught up in what we’re doing (clinically), and I don’t want to do that to the point where I forget who we are serving,” she said.
The free clinic gives students from Sullivan and the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy the opportunity to see the practice and get a glimpse of what happens in the real world.
Rogers said helping others was ingrained in her from an early age.
“I was raised by a single mom and we depended a lot on others for help. I want to give back as much as I can.”
Know someone with a volunteer spirit? Email email@example.com.