A Star at CVS
Touro College of Pharmacy Alumnus Leads a Dozen Stores Across New York
As a CVS District Leader, Svetlana Sholomova, a graduate of Touro College of Pharmacy (TCOP), ensures that a dozen pharmacies in one of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains are running smoothly.
“Pharmacists are all about helping the patients,” explained Sholomova, a member of the class of 2016. “We are their frontline. If they have a question, they’re not going to wait to see a doctor. They are going to see us—pharmacists—and we need to be there for them and help patients with whatever they need.”
Sholomova said that her interest in pharmacy and medicine began when her grandfather’s health took a turn for the worse. He had been diagnosed with diabetes but was not adhering properly to his medications.
“I didn’t know anything about medications, so I decided to take matter into my own hands,” explained Sholomova, “I was going to make sure he took his medications properly, but the only way to do that was to learn more about them.”
In her last year of high school, Sholomova took a job as a pharmacy tech with her local CVS and her newfound medical knowledge enabled her to better monitor her grandfather’s condition. After graduating, Sholomova attended LIU where she studied biology and chemistry before applying to TCOP.
“I had already been working full-time at CVS, so I knew the pharmacy system,” said Sholomova. “I loved learning about the diseases and how to manage them from a pharmaceutical standpoint. TCOP was great. I met amazing people and made solid connections. The relationships I’ve built with my professors and colleagues are incredible and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity.”
Sholomova was promoted to Pharmacy Manger at CVS after passing her licensing exam.
“The role of a pharmacy manager is keeping your customers and patients healthy through adoption and management of patient care programs. Additionally, pharmacy managers lead with heart—they display empathy and compassion for patients, customers, caregivers, and colleagues on their team.”
“Pharmacy managers need to motivate, inspire and develop their pharmacy support staff,” continued Sholomova. “We find a balance between maximizing the strength of our colleagues while also keeping in mind their development and knowledge gaps.”
CVS saw Sholomova’s potential and promoted her a year later to a regional support pharmacist where she managed five stores. Sholomova took advantage of the leadership classes CVS offered and, two years later, Sholomova was promoted again to her current position. As a District Leader, she maintains 12 CVS stores on Long Island.
“I love a challenge,” said Sholomova. “It’s part of my personality. I feel like why stop when you can do much more? I never imagined that I would be talking about front-store sales—something that has nothing to do with my pharmacy training, but I always want to challenge myself. It’s always a good experience to learn something new.”
Sholomova said that the main challenge in running a pharmacy or any business is developing talent and building a strong team.
“It’s all on what you bring to the table,” she said. “People have many different competencies and you have to build a high-performance team. You have to use your leadership skills to make an impact and engage and inspire them. You need to work together to get to the end-goal.”
“Retail pharmacy is not for everyone, but I love it,” continued Sholomova. “CVS is a great company and there is opportunity for so much growth within the company.”
As for advice for future pharmacists, Sholomova gave the following recommendation:
“Don’t limit yourself. As long as you are passionate about what you do and have the drive to continue to grow then the sky is the limit.”