Hugh Chancy Takes Helm As National NCPA President

In early October of this year, the State of Missouri was invaded by Georgians. Georgia Bulldog fans immediately will conjure up images of the nail-biting 26-22 victory over the Mizzou Tigers. Yet, there also was an army of Georgia pharmacists who came in force to attend the annual National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Why so many Georgia pharmacists? What could be more compelling than the top football team in the nation?

The answer was simple. They wanted to witness one of their own be installed as president of the NCPA. 

Dean Kelly Smith with Tina and Hugh Chancy at the 2022 NCPA Convention

On October 4, Hugh Chancy (BSPH ’88) became president of the organization that is known as the voice for independent pharmacy, representing 19,400 pharmacies that employ more than 215,000 individuals nationwide. That day was not only a proud day for the Chancy family, but for all the Georgians in attendance. Hugh’s story is not only about those who influenced him, but also about a man who has become a mentor and advocate for pharmacists throughout Georgia and beyond. 

The Chancys are a three-generation pharmacist family. Hugh and Tina graduated from the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy in 1988. Born out of a genuine passion to help people, Chancy Drugs was established in 1966 when Hubert (BSPH ‘62) and Sue Chancy opened a single location community pharmacy in Hahira, Georgia. It now operates under the leadership of their two sons, Hugh and Bert. Now, there is a third generation involved, with Hugh and Tina’s son, Patrick (PharmD ’17) assuming leadership responsibilities. Currently comprised of five full-service, community pharmacies, Chancy Drugs has locations in Hahira, Adel, Lake Park, Moultrie, and Valdosta. A sixth pharmacy, also in Hahira, serves as a closed-door site specializing in compliance strip dose packaging. Chancy Drugs currently employs approximately 80 people across South Georgia. 

Hugh’s leadership journey began early in his career. Hugh shared, “My dad taught me early on that it was better to be a part of the solution instead of complaining about the problem. I didn’t set out to become a leader, but definitely wanted to be a part of the solution. As time went on, I was asked to participate in different leadership positions. Some see this as a sacrifice. I have experienced it as an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. I have always received more in return than I have given. Leadership opportunities have been a blessing to my family and me.” 

Hugh has been a member of NCPA since 2000 and has been involved with pharmacy associations on the state and national levels. He currently is serving on the boards of the Academy of Independent Pharmacies and PrescribeWellness. He also is past president of the Georgia Pharmacy Association. With NCPA he has served as chairman of the board and on the National Legislative Steering Committee. 

When asked what he hopes to achieve as president, Hugh had much to share. “The pandemic has been a kick start for pharmacy practice transformation. As a profession, we are finally looking at what we are capable of accomplishing differently. Because of this, payors and patients have greater expectations from us.  Clinical services are a must now in community pharmacy. We will continue to work diligently to change the payment model to decouple our reimbursements from Medicare Part D. Payment for clinical services should be separated from the dispensing of medications.” 

Hugh also is closely attuned to the challenges within communities throughout the nation. “As the aging population in our country continues to grow, the need for medical at-home services is more important than ever. NCPA will continue to advocate for community pharmacies to have a role in these services. Compounding has been an integral part of our family’s business for many years as well. Trying to find pain relief for Tina’s dad when he was suffering from cancer opened our eyes to the need of customizing medications for patients. I feel that it is necessary for us to continue to advocate for this integral part of our practices.”

When asked why being a member of NCPA is so important to a community pharmacist, Hugh poignantly shared, “NCPA is the voice for community pharmacy. There are more than 19,000 pharmacies that depend on this voice being heard. Through NCPA, I enjoy working with like-minded colleagues around the country who want to protect and promote community pharmacy. As seen during the pandemic, community pharmacy is an essential part of healthcare. NCPA is advocating for us to have a seat at the table.” 

“The University of Georgia, the pharmacy profession, and NCPA are fortunate to benefit from the leadership of Hugh,” said Dean Kelly Smith. “Hugh represents the strategic impact the College of Pharmacy aspires to have locally, nationally, and internationally. He is admired, because he is so approachable. He and Tina have been generous to so many whether it is through their patient care, philanthropy, or mentoring. The true measure of a person is how much they care for others.”

And when measuring Hugh Chancy’s concern for his fellow man and his profession, there is no limit.