By Jerry Van Pevenage, RPh
Michael “Mike” Douglas is a co-founder of the Tri-State Pharmacy Coalition, now named WSPC. He was also a Good Neighbor Pharmacy National Advisor and the former owner of Mike’s Medical Pharmacy in Newberg, Oregon.
Mike was born and raised in Newberg, where he met his wife LaWauna and raised their four children. Mike was active in high school sports and is an avid hunter. He has always been active in his community.
“Thank you, Mike, for the positive influence you have had on my life and practice. Thank you for the countless hours you have dedicated to our profession and for your vision and support of Good Neighbor Pharmacy and independent pharmacy practice. Thank you for the many years of dedicated service to WSPC and the foundation of leadership you have laid for others to follow.”After graduation in 1965 from the School of Pharmacy at Oregon State University and the ROTC program, Mike entered the military as a Captain. He and LaWauna were stationed in Germany, where their first child, Laurie, was born. Mike began work at Thrifty Drug Store in McMinnville when he returned home to Oregon. During this time, the owners of Thrifty joined a group of stores and learned how to buy in bulk in order to receive rebates from purchases, which had not been done in the past. This is where Mike first learned about the power of collective bargaining.
—Kevin DeMass, Chairman of the Board, WSPC 2019
In 1970, Mike and LaWauna opened Mike’s Medical Pharmacy in Newberg. In the ’90s, they purchased a larger building nearby, where their retail section could be increased. More space also allowed for a closed-door section, in which prescriptions could be filled for local nursing home businesses and for Springbrook, an alcohol and drug treatment center where Mike also lectured regularly. Mike participated in the teaching program of both Oregon State University and Pacific University School of Pharmacy to help students understand the complexity of a pharmacy environment and the relationship between patient and pharmacist. Interns were assigned to Mike’s from both schools on a regular basis.
Mike is a long-time advocate for independent community pharmacies. He served as President of the Oregon State Pharmacy Association and as President of the Newberg Chamber of Commerce. Mike was honored in 2013 as an icon of his profession by Oregon State University’s School of Pharmacy for all his contributions.Mike’s Medical Pharmacy in Newberg was the beginning of WSPC. Bob Dominguez and Mike met to discuss a plan to help independent pharmacies become more profitable. They wanted to combine Bob’s business knowledge and expertise in financial cost of goods of drug companies together with Mike’s knowledge of nonprofit buying groups. In addition, Mike’s connection with other family-owned pharmacies in the region, and as a Good Neighbor Pharmacy National Advisor, provided the opportunity to create an outstanding independent pharmacy cooperative.
Mike paid Bob one dollar to begin the cooperative business model. With some legal guidance and Bob’s expertise, they soon brought in Jay Robinson, CPA, and pharmacy owners Jerry Van Pevenage, Jeff Harder, and Dave Morio. Bob and Mike’s goal was to help family-owned pharmacies be successful.
Through the leadership of Mike Douglas and Bob Dominguez, the Tri-States Pharmacy Coalition has grown from a handful of pharmacies in three states to hundreds of pharmacies and is now known as WSPC.
Mike’s contribution in establishing WSPC and sharing his leadership skills as WSPC Chairman of the Board will always be appreciated.