For Isaac Butler, pharmacist, board member and donor to The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, serving the community is almost second nature—and a part of his guiding philosophy.
“My personal mission is to serve and empower,” he says. “The foundation of that is gratitude.”
This mission led him to use his training as a pharmacist to give back and help multicultural high school students pursue careers in health care and increase the diversity in the workforce. In 2008, he and fellow pharmacist Steven Player created a six-week immersive summer program called BESt Pharmacy Summer Institute. The program pools the resources and talent of the organizations it’s named for: Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Express Scripts, and St. Louis College of Pharmacy.
Through site visits and lectures, the course exposes local underrepresented minority students to opportunities in pharmacy and prepares them to apply for college. Isaac says he benefited from similar programs and mentors as a student and young professional.
“Being able to give back is something I think is a requirement of every person because so many people have helped me,” he says. “I’m a firm believer that to whom much is given, much is required. Nothing can be done alone.”
The program, funded by The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Express Scripts, has exceeded all expectations; all of the program’s participants have been accepted to college, and most are working toward careers in health care and pharmacy.
“I had a lot in common with these students when I was in high school,” Isaac says. “I see myself in them. I see the potential in them. I know each and every time we engage those students, it gives them a little hope and a glimpse of what things could be like for the future.”