October 14, 2021

New Geriatric Pharmacy Fund Honors the Legacy of UWSOP Alum Dean Baxter

For Louise Baxter, M.D., the roots of health care and a commitment to geriatrics truly run deep.

Dean and Sally Baxter

Dean and Sally Baxter

In 2011, Louise established the McPhee Geriatric Nursing Support Fund at the UW to honor her mother Sally, who, along with several relatives, devoted her life to a career in nursing. A few years later, Louise decided that a parallel fund to support geriatric pharmacy would be a perfect complement, so in tribute to her late father, UWSOP alum Dean Baxter ’58, she established the Dean Baxter Endowed Support Fund in Geriatric Pharmacy in 2017. The fund supports professional pharmacy students and practicing pharmacists seeking a Plein Certificate in Geriatric Pharmacy.

The Plein Center for Geriatric Pharmacy, Research, Education and Outreach will announce the fund’s first recipients this fall.

“Medical care for seniors has become complicated and fragmented with multiple specialists prescribing medications,” said Dr. Baxter. “I believe the pharmacist is a ‘safety gatekeeper’ and identifies challenges with compliance, dosing, interactions and access. Supporting ongoing education via the Plein Certificate seems like a great opportunity, and as a community pharmacist for almost 40 years, my dad really enjoyed his senior patients.”

Turning the clock back for a moment to look at Dean’s career timeline, one notices he certainly didn’t waste any time making his mark as a pharmacist. Soon after graduating from UWSOP, Dean founded and operated Eastmont Pharmacy & Drug Store in Everett, beginning a decade-long tenure there serving his community.

For Louise and her siblings, that era is ripe with fond memories growing up amidst the hustle and bustle of a family-owned business.

“As a young professional entrepreneur, my dad worked very, very long days,” she remembers. “My siblings and I were often in bed when he arrived home from work, but every morning we would reach into his coat pocket for a piece of penny candy from his store.”

Another memorable experience from that page in the family’s history involved her father’s mode of door-to-door delivery for customers.

“We had a red VW bug that was very flashy and trimmed with ‘Eastmont Pharmacy’ in big white letters,” she recalls. “My Dad hired a high school kid named Mike and had to convince Mike’s father to let him get his driver’s license to deliver prescriptions via the Beetle! Mike was forever grateful to my dad, and they remained friends for over 55 years.”

After 10 years in Everett, the family returned to Grays Harbor County, Washington, in 1968, where Dean continued his pharmacy career for 44 years, and continued building long-term relationships with his customers.

For over half a century, Dean represented his profession with integrity and served his patients with compassion. Now, that legacy has been entrusted to a new generation of UWSOP students, who will no doubt take that baton and continue to inspire others throughout their own journeys.