Auburn Pharmacist Spotlight: Chris and Kami Borden

Chris and Kami Borden with their children Carter, Kinslee and Taylor at Jordan-Hare Stadium

March 26, 2015

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Periodically, the Harrison School of Pharmacy will highlight one of its students, faculty members, staff members or alums. For March, we will get to know alums Chris and Kami Borden.

Chris and Kami Borden have a growing Auburn Pharmacy Family. The pair met on The Plains while pursuing their pharmacy degrees. Kami earned her B.S. in Pharmacy in 1997 while Chris following with his degree in 1998. He stuck around to earn his Pharm.D., as well in 1999. Kami now works for Rite Aid while Chris runs the Borden Family Pharmacy in Cullman, Alabama. The couple also has three children, Carter, Kinslee and Taylor.

Chris, after getting your degrees from Auburn, you wasted very little time in purchasing and establishing Borden Family Pharmacy. How important was it for you to get out and open an independent family-owned pharmacy in the Cullman community?
“It was a matter of events as much as my passions. The store that we purchased had been a poor performer; the owner had kept it open just long enough for me to purchase it from him. Otherwise, I would have still pursued ownership, albeit at a less hurried pace. With the benefit of time, we can look back and see it was the perfect time.”

I’m sure you guys get the question a lot, being a husband-wife duo in the pharmacy business, how did you guys meet and what is it like living with another pharmacist?
Chris:
“We meet in school. My group of friends and I sat in the row ahead of her and her friends. For a while, I was stuck at flirting and passing looks.  When our class went to Gatlinburg for MLK weekend, we ‘hit it off’ and kind of started from there. In terms of being married to a pharmacist, it is interesting. Probably the thing that would  surprise most folks is how rarely we agree with each other. Our kids love to ask us drug questions, only to see mom and dad battle it out on who is right!”
Kami:
“It is pretty much like having a regular husband, but he understands the pressures I have in my job. He understands my good days and bad without a lot of explanation.

What do you enjoy about being a community pharmacist and how have you seen that role change over the last 15 or so years?
Chris:
“For me, it has always been about relationships. The resilience of community pharmacy is quite amazing. Most other industries, like a hardware store or other retail, have not been able to withstand national chains targeting their business. Community pharmacy has, but I think we have been more adaptive and more relationship oriented.”
Kami: “I also believe it is about relationships. I really enjoy MTM's and the opportunities they give. I am concerned about over-regulation and how that effects both providers and patients.”

What advice would you give to upcoming and recent HSOP graduates who are interested in working in community pharmacy?
Chris:
“I would tell them to learn every skill you can, you never know when you will have a chance to use it to improve someone's life!  Also, be careful who you sit next to, you might just end up marrying them.”
Kami: “I would say to learn as much as you can, especially on rotations. Expose yourself to as many different clinical environments as possible.”

What are some of your favorite memories of being at Auburn?
Chris:
“How long do you have? Definitely starting pharmacy school, pledging Kappa Psi, and making quick friends are great memories. I realized at the time that I was living my dream. As time passed, and Kami and I started a relationship, I greatly remember going to our first games together and hanging out. It is no coincidence that one of our favorite places to go to now is Auburn. Watching Chris Davis return the kick wasn't bad.”
Kami: “My favorite memories are pledging Alpha Chi Omega, making lifelong friends, and meeting my husband!  Now I really enjoy watching my kids forming their own memories of Auburn.”

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About the Harrison School of Pharmacy
Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 20 percent of all pharmacy schools in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the School offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master’s in pharmaceutical sciences. In 2014, the school adopted the slogan, “Making Medications Work Through Innovative Research, Education and Patient Care.” For more information about the School, please call 334.844.8348 or visit http://pharmacy.auburn.edu.

Last Updated: March 26, 2015