by Bryson Durst, Student Public Relations Writer
It took one college tour to convince Dr. Justin Coby to switch to pharmacy. And Cedarville’s Cedar Care Pharmacy is glad for it.
Now, after nearly two decades of experience in pharmacies and clinics, Coby will start as director of Cedar Care Village Pharmacy, the teaching pharmacy associated with Cedarville University’s School of Pharmacy. Coby will take over from Dr. Thad Franz, who is vice chair of experiential programs and associate professor of pharmacy practice at Cedarville. He will continue in his teaching role at Cedarville.
Coby will be coming from Health Partners Free Clinic in Troy, Ohio, a clinic that provides free ambulatory care services for local residents unable to afford them. Coby has served there as executive director since 2012 and also has experience in independent and corporate pharmacies.
While serving at Health Partners, Coby began reaching out to local colleges, encouraging their pharmacy students to volunteer at the clinic. Cedarville was one of those schools, and the school’s faith commitment was a major draw for him.
“I love the fact that they lead with their faith, that Christ’s name is proclaimed in everything they do,” Coby said.
By 2021, both Coby and Franz were ready to step down from their respective positions. Coby felt called to give someone else the opportunity to lead Health Partners; Franz wanted more time to focus on his role in the university and reached out to Coby.
Coby looks forward to working with Cedarville students.
“I get better by being around young students because they come with an energy that's different from the rest of us,” Coby said.
Coby also mentioned an entrepreneurial spirit as a motivation for coming to Cedar Care, citing the pharmacy’s profitability after only two years and the unique nature of a university-backed pharmacy.
Coby initially planned to study engineering in college, but faculty at his college encouraged him to consider pharmacy. He was persuaded when he found out that pharmacy involved chemistry, which he enjoyed in high school.
Coby hopes that by working with students who rotate in and out every month, he’ll be regularly reminded of why he got into pharmacy in the first place.
“We have one month with these students,” Coby mentioned. “I and everybody else get to teach them every 30 days to try to get them functional in our space, but that means every 30 days I get to revisit why do I do what I do.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,715 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Doctor of Pharmacy program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.