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posted: 8/27/2012 7:23 AM

Wheaton pharmacist recalls changes in profession

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  • Ray Kelly has been a pharmacist with Osco for nearly 40 years.

    Ray Kelly has been a pharmacist with Osco for nearly 40 years.
    Courtesy of Jewel-Osco

  • Ray Kelly, who's helping a customer at the Wheaton Osco, has been a pharmacist with Osco for nearly 40 years.

    Ray Kelly, who's helping a customer at the Wheaton Osco, has been a pharmacist with Osco for nearly 40 years.
    Courtesy of Jewel-Osco

  • Ray Kelly has been a pharmacist with Osco for nearly 40 years.

    Ray Kelly has been a pharmacist with Osco for nearly 40 years.
    Courtesy of Jewel-Osco

  • The Wickstrom family includes, from left, Caleb, Grace, Ella and Josh, and back row from left, Colin, Diane, Tim, Gail, Amy and Richard Wickstrom.

    The Wickstrom family includes, from left, Caleb, Grace, Ella and Josh, and back row from left, Colin, Diane, Tim, Gail, Amy and Richard Wickstrom.
    Courtesy of Wickstrom Auto Group

  • Charulatha Nagar

    Charulatha Nagar

  • Laura Goldstein

    Laura Goldstein

  • Ian Katznelson

    Ian Katznelson

  • KimMarie Trostle

    KimMarie Trostle


Wheaton resident Ray Kelly has seen his profession change radically in his nearly 40 years as a result of advances in technology and medicine. The career-long pharmacist at the Jewel-Osco on Main Street in Wheaton witnessed how his work eventually became more streamlined, and even more complex over the years.

"The changes in technology alone have been mind-boggling," Kelly said.

This year, Osco Drug is marking its 75th anniversary of its pharmacy business while Kelly has been employed there for a majority of that time. He's also seen Osco become a part of the Jewel grocery stores and the changes that have come afterward.

Kelly joined Osco as an intern in 1967 and worked part time in various roles in the store and later in the pharmacy. After graduating with a pharmacy degree from Creighton University in 1971, he joined Osco full time as a pharmacist in Barrington for a year, and then transferred to a new store at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, where he worked for two years. That Woodfield store eventually closed. And by 1973, he moved to the Main Street Osco in Wheaton, where he has been ever since.

"I remember a St. Charles pharmacist who talked up the profession and that encouraged me to become a pharmacist," Kelly said.

When he started full-time, he did everything manually, from using a typewriter for labels on prescription bottles to record keeping. By the 1970s, they started a card system and kept a record of prescriptions. By the mid-1980s, they became computerized with everything in the pharmacy, such as labels, drug interactions, refill information among other data. That's when things changed very quickly, leading to faster service and faster production of filling prescriptions.

While patients initially paid for prescriptions and later got reimbursed from insurance companies, the opposite happened with computerization. Today, virtually every prescription is sent directly via a computer to insurance companies for reimbursement, Kelly said.

And over those years, more drugs came on the market for more diseases. More people came into the pharmacy. The volume kept growing, Kelly said.

"Diabetics had insulin back then, but now there's a ton of medications. We used to have maybe four or five antibiotics, and now there's a lot more," Kelly said.

While things were simpler and slower paced nearly 40 years ago, the rapid pace of new technology and medicine now provide more help for more people, he said.

"The new graduates today are using their educations and will be more hands on," Kelly said.

Wickstrom family celebrates

Wickstrom Auto Group owners and brothers Colin and Richard Wickstrom hosted a grand opening after a multimillion dollar renovation at their Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership, 660 W. Northwest Hwy. in Barrington. About 900 Chrysler executives, family, customers and chamber officials attended. Last year, the auto family started a major renovation of their 25 acres of property and now celebrated the completion of the all new 35,000-square-foot dealership.

No terrible 2s for Rensi

Ed Rensi, president and co-founder of Tom & Eddie's, said his burger restaurant marks its second anniversary today at The Shops on Butterfield, 348 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard. So if you're birthday is today, and you're among the first 15 people to arrive, you could receive a free birthday entree.

Heaven on Seven dad on Cloud 9

Congratulations to James D. Bannos Jr. of Park Ridge and Marianna Shubalis of Oak Brook on their marriage last week. Bannos is the son of Jimmy Bannos, executive chef and owner of Heaven on Seven restaurants in Chicago and Naperville.


Stacey McClenathan, who left her Motorola job shortly after the birth of her third child, started Bee-line Communications Inc., a global marketing communications firm in Libertyville. Inc. Magazine recognized the firm as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the country in its annual 500/5000 report. Bee-line was No. 639 of 5000. ... And CEO and President Andrew Limouris said his Medix Staffing Solutions Inc. in Lombard also made the list at No. 3,118.

Owners Brian and Sonia Walker have opened Nutphree's Cupcakes, which specializes in baking nut-free cupcakes, in Mount Prospect. ... Diane Koehler-Rasmussen and Valerie Koehler from Lynfred Winery in Roselle were honored during the Illinois State Fair's Agri-Tourism Day with a proclamation of their work in the industry. Lynfred Winery opened in 1979 and was founded by Fred Koehler and first wife, Lynn. Lynn passed away and Fred later married Valerie. Valerie now is Fred's widow and Diane is Fred and Lynn's daughter.

Milford, Mich., resident Nick Valenti has been named managing partner of John Hancock Financial Network's Chicago office in Rosemont. He succeeds Deerfield resident Ronald Dickstein, who has retired as managing partner but will continue to serve clients as an advisor. ... Wolf D. Peddinghaus, an internal medicine physician, who is on staff at Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, joined Resurrection Medical Group in Morton Grove. Peddinghaus, who is fluent in German, earned his medical degree from the University of Heidelberg in Germany and completed a residency in internal medicine at Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston.

Kenilworth resident James F. Hemmer will arrive in October at Baird's Investment Banking Financial Services team in Chicago as a managing director. Hemmer will help lead Baird's mergers and acquisitions and equity financing offerings in the sector, expanding the firm's Financial Services practice in the Midwest. ... Batavia-based Tour Edge's sales managers David Drinkwater, Rob Nicholson, Matt Strong, Jeff Eucce, Jim Vincent, and Jim Newton were on hand last week to exhibit the company's new products at the PGA Show in Las Vegas.

Libertyville resident Jaclyn Kling is the new Central Lake YMCA health & wellness coordinator at the Lake County Family YMCA in Vernon Hills. ... Cathy Subber, chair-elect on the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce board, said they're gathering a number of resumes for the chamber's CEO position as the Aug. 31 deadline approaches. ... Kathleen Birsa-Smith and Susan R. Dolan, owners of Angels Grace Hospice in Bolingbrook, said the agency has received the Joint Commission deemed status accreditation, which allows it to provide a full slate of services to patients. ... Darrow Alexander is a new graphic designer at integrated marketing communications firm, David JamesGroup in Oakbrook Terrace.

Neurologists Charulatha Nagar, Laura Goldstein, and Ian Katznelson have joined the staff of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital as part of Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation. ... Christine Golz, firm administrator with Weltman Bernfield LLC in Buffalo Grove, has been awarded the association-certified accredited administrator in accounting practice management by the Association for Accounting Administration. This designation recognizes her knowledge and professional experience in accounting practice management. ... KimMarie Trostle has joined the Lombard office of Coldwell Banker Residential.

Brokerage, expanding the existing sales team to over 40 full-time professionals

Rhea + Kaiser in Naperville has a number of promotions: Jim Myers to creative director, Laura Boynton and Jodi Carreon to senior account supervisors, and Sarah Lenkaitis to account manager. Recent hires include Scott Pettit as creative director, Erin Eckerman as senior account manager, Mark Gaspar as copywriter, Monica Arcaro as assistant account manager, Meghan Mahoney as public relations assistant account executive, Mary Hull as production manager, and Patty Blystone as accountant.

•There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people that make business work. Send news about people in business to Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.

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