Sept 10, 2022

Joe Ochoa, Chairman

American Pharmacies is governed by a seven-member board of your peers -- all elected stockholders who are independent pharmacy owners just like you.

The Board of Directors meets quarterly to make decisions about the cooperative's strategic direction, operating expenses and budget. The Board strives to deliver maximum economic value to APRx shareholders while taking assertive action on political, legislative and economic challenges that affect your business model.

This is the first in a series of profiles of our Board members, starting with Chairman Joe Ochoa, RPh,who took the reins at the Board's June 2022 meeting. The owner of Ochoa's Pharmacy and Ochoa's Pharmacy South in Edinburg, TX, Joe Ochoa has served on the Board since July 2011. Joe's daughter -- Alessandra Ochoa, PharmD -- is PIC at Ochoa's Pharmacy South. 

Top Priority as Chairman

"I want to improve the Board’s relations and connectivity with the members of our organization. All our members should know how hard the organization works for them and that starts with keeping everyone informed and engaged -- not only through our staff but with the Board’s direct engagement with members. I want to support the administration and professional staff by providing them the tools and resources they need to improve the members' return on what they invest in our organization."

The Board's Biggest Challenge

"Our biggest challenge is to effectively manage the tremendous growth of our organization while being financially sound and providing quality resources to our members."

Your Hope for the Future of Independent Pharmacy

"I believe that our patients deserve someone they can trust, talk to, and rely on -- someone who will provide them correct information and quality care. They should have the confidence that they will be treated with dignity and empathy. Independent pharmacies are in the best position to provide all of this. I see more pharmacists supporting each other and fighting for our patients’ concerns. We know our challenges and we will face them with courage and continue our battles with PBMs, DIRs, and increased regulations, and we will stand up for our patients’ rights."

Advocacy Engagement Critical

"Even if you’ve never personally engaged your legislators, you need to know that we have the strongest political resource there is: our patients. If we educate our patients about their rights, then we improve our relationship with them, and they will become our biggest advocates to the community and to our lawmakers."

"But we can’t just rely on patients to advocate for our profession. We pharmacists must educate, share our experiences and befriend our elected officials. Legislators are people just like us and those that are truly look out for their communities will listen to you so they can make better decisions."

Photo: Joe with U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (L) in his Washington office.

How Do You Feel About Your Daughter Following In Your Footsteps?

"I couldn’t feel prouder than to have my daughter work side-by-side with me. We learn from each other -- professionally and through life’s ups and downs."

What are Your Favorite Things to Do Outside Work?

"Spending time with my family. Barbecuing on weekends, going to other family gatherings, watching movies together, Texas Longhorns football games, and just plain hanging out. I have two sons and one daughter, a daughter-in-law and a soon-to-be daughter in law, and three beautiful grandchildren: two boys and one diva!"

What's Interesting About You That Most Pharmacists Wouldn’t Know?

"In my 30s, I developed this crazy idea that I could make a difference in my community. So, I ran for School Board in a district with 25,000 students spread out over a 900 square-mile area. I served three terms -- 9 years --and was Vice-President and President during that time."

"After that adventure, I was recruited to run for Mayor of my community: Edinburg, Texas, population 80,000. I had the privilege of serving as Mayor for the City of Edinburg for five terms -- 13 years. Today, I serve on the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission and have been its Chairman for four years. I take a lot of pride in our community and love to serve it."

Alessandra and Joe Ochoa with Texas State Rep. Sergio Munoz (Center) at APEX.

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