2019 Bell Tower of Fame honors entrepreneur and philanthropist

Charlie Porter, 2019 Bell Tower of Fame honoree

When you see the Medicap logo on the pharmacy storefront in Jefferson, Charlie Porter, a former Jeffersonian, gets the credit for building the franchise that has spanned the nation.

A 1965 graduate of Jefferson High School, Porter will be honored as the 2019 Bell Tower of Fame Award recipient during opening ceremonies of the Bell Tower Festival Friday, June 7, at 6:30 pm on the tower plaza stage.

The Bell Tower of Fame Award recognizes people whose personal or professional accomplishments internationally, nationally or statewide, bring great pride to Greene County. They must have resided in Greene County for a period during their lifetimes.

Porter, a 1970 graduate of Drake University’s Pharmacy and Health Sciences College, was a budding entrepreneur when he and two pharmacist partners developed a pharmacy franchise program called The Medicine Chest, later called The Medicine Store, and finally called Medicap Pharmacies.

Medicap was the first national pharmacy organization to install drive-thru windows and private consultation rooms, positioning the organization as a national leader in personalized care for families in their communities.

By 2003, Medicap Pharmacies had 200 pharmacies in 38 states, doing more than $400 million in sales. As president and chief operating officer, Porter oversaw Medicap Pharmacies’ sale to Cardinal Health that same year.

In 2005 Porter received the Drake College of Pharmacy Alumni Achievement Award. He is a past member of the Drake College of Pharmacy National Alumni Board.

In 2007, Porter and his wife Pat, (the former Pat Day) and also a Jefferson High School and Drake graduate, created the Porter Clinical Skills Center at Drake University to enhance the ability of pharmacy college’s students from across the nation and internationally to acquire a diverse set of clinical skills that are required of today’s pharmacists.

The dean of the college called the Porters’ gift “transformative.”

At the Porter Clinical Skills Center at Drake University

Porter said the new center follows Medicap’s founding principles and his vision, “It’s all about providing better patient care, not just filling prescriptions.”

Porter, now retired, and Pat live in Ellston, Iowa. They have two children and five grandchildren.

The public is invited to the award presentation and then, immediately following opening ceremonies, to a public reception for him in the courthouse rotunda following the ceremony until 8:30 p.m.

He will be grand marshal of the Bell Tower Festival parade on Saturday, June 9.

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