Pharmacy Staffing 

When the newly formed AccuStat Healthcare Staffing in Edmond acquired Houston-based PharmStat Staffing LLC in May of last year, the staffing company for pharmacies operated in Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico. Fourteen months later, AHS PharmStat conducts business in 27 states with annual revenues of $4 million.

“Our focus is to be a world-class service provider serving the entire United States, and I think we can do it, right here in Edmond, Oklahoma,” said Jerick (pronounced Yerick) Henley, AHS PharmStat president. “We've done it before.”

Henley and partner Mark Smith each owned former firms, which they built and then sold. Backed by a few other business and individual investors, they plan similar success for AHS PharmStat.

The market is ripe, Henley said. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are the fastest growing jobs nationwide, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Moreover, a 100,000 pharmacist shortfall is predicted by 2020.

AHS PharmStat employs seven at its headquarters — two recruiters who help Henley and Smith sign up pharmacists and retail, hospital and long-term care pharmacies, and three schedulers who contract temporary and permanent workers via text, email or voice mail.

“Pharmacists can work when they want and where they want,” Henley said. Many hospital-based pharmacists, for example, work seven days on and seven days off, he said, and his company allows those workers to earn extra money during their week off. The company offers health benefits and the opportunity to earn intravenous and other advanced certifications.

From his offices at 2801 Coltrane Place, Henley, 41, sat down with The Oklahoman to talk about his professional and personal life. This is an edited transcript:

Q: Can you tell us about your childhood?
A: I have a half-brother by my mother and stepbrother by my father, who both are 12 years younger than I am. But I grew up in Moore as an only child. My mother and father split up when I was 8. Just before I turned 14, my mom moved to Colorado and I decided to stay and live with my dad in Yukon. The decision was fateful, because my dad is a serial entrepreneur (then, he ran a company that made arthroscopic cameras for knee surgery) and that's how I caught the bug. As a teenager, I worked for him, building circuit boards in our garage.
I also found my wife in Yukon. We met during our senior year in high school; I played on the football team and she was a cheerleader but for the wrestling team. Our class only numbered 400 something, so I knew her. But we officially met when my math teacher told me to change her flat tire in the rain. We broke up for several years in college, but I won her heart again after graduation.

Q: Any college highlights?
A: I had the opportunity to travel internationally, studying at the Imperial College in London and backpacking one summer for seven weeks across Europe. The highlight had to be eight days in Czechoslovakia, less than 18 months after the fall of Communism. I saw the joy of freedom in people's faces and stark contrast between buildings still covered by the dark, dingy facade of expression-squelching Communism and ornate ones whose frontages already had been stripped to expose their beauty.

Q: And after graduation?
A: I graduated, after four and a half years, on Dec. 19, 1992, and on Jan. 1 started a video surveillance/commercial security business with my dad as a partner. Initially, it was a small, two-man operation, and I did selling, installing, you name it. We added numerous customers through the late '90s, including banks and hospitals. But casinos are what got us ahead of the curve with our competitors nationwide; they didn't realize how fast the market was growing.
In 2002, I partnered with two other investors to buy out my dad and expand our offering. And in 2007, with 52 employees and offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Phoenix, we sold to a Houston-based venture capital firm that owned a security company. Today, they're securing the new Devon Energy building and, ironically because our brand was stronger than theirs, are operating under our Dowley name.

Q: How'd you meet your partner?
A: We met 10 years ago in a monthly Bible study for businessmen — Christian Businessmen's Connection — in which we both remain active. I owned the security company, and he owned a nurse staffing firm. We eventually sold our respective companies and subsequently stayed on for a time with each. Mark and I have a lot in common; we're about the same age, and our kids go to school together at Oklahoma Christian School in Edmond.

Q: What led you to start your current company?
A: Once my two-year contract was up as chief executive for the new company, I quit. For two years, I'd spent four nights of every week in Houston. So June 15, 2009, I rented a house in Montana and spent seven weeks getting to know my family again. I also began running and cycling, dropping from 280 pounds to 205 pounds in 90 days.
Both Mark and I were released from our respective non-competes and up for a new challenge. Before, I wasn't at the top of my game. But since, I've learned to balance my family, my career and my health.

Q: You mentioned something happened in 1998 that defines your life. Can you tell us about it?
A: I began volunteering for the hunting and fishing aspect of a Christian camp that serves kids with special needs and their parents. Then, three years after I became involved in the ministry, my wife and I had a child with special needs: Rett Syndrome, a very rare chromosomal disorder in which victims, mostly females, have no verbal or cognitive skills. About half of Rett victims are confined to wheelchairs, but we're blessed because our daughter Gabby is mobile.

Still, it's tough. She'll always be in diapers, and our older daughters have more responsibility than most 14- and 12-year-olds. But, Gabby has taught us to live one day at a time, and we thank God he gave her to us because we have the means, family structure, love and faith to take care of a special-needs child. My wife, as her mother, embodies selflessness extraordinaire. When I look at her, or mothers of other kids with special needs, I see the face of God.

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