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Spurgin returns to Estherville

ELC alum is new pharmacist at Estherville Drug

June 19, 2018
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

The timing of Denny White's retirement at Estherville Drug proved fortuitous to Estherville native Andy Spurgin.

The 2004 graduate of Estherville Lincoln Central High School returned to town this past month to fill the open pharmacist position.

After high school, Spurgin received his bachelor's degree at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. When he decided that a career in pharmacy was his path, he returned to Estherville and took some necessary courses at Iowa Lakes Community College. He was accepted to the University of Iowa in 2009 and wrapped up his school in 2013.

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A college professor at Iowa encouraged Spurgin to come help him with for the next three years on a research fellowship, studying drug-impaired driving.

"We tested for pharmaceutical companies, studying the effects of cannabis and alcohol," Spurgin said. "We dosed paid volunteers and put on a simulator and see how they reacted. Then we do drug draws along the way. It was very different work with just two other pharmacists in the country working on these type of simulations."

After three years of research, he spent time at the Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City at the Research Medical Center.

Spurgin said that entailed ER and ICU work. That wasn't for him.

He decided to come home when the Estherville position opened up and it was a match for Spurgin, who's enjoyed being back in town.

"It's the people, that's what I miss," said Spurgin. "I know half of those that come in the door."



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