KAUKAUNA — Brian Vandenberg’s father Lyle, longtime owner of Kaukauna’s Look Drug Stores, had a profound impact on both his young son growing up and the community as well.
To honor his late father’s commitment to health care and the community, Vandenberg has established a scholarship to help students pursuing careers in pharmacy, medicine and nursing.
Brian Vandenberg, a 1980 graducate of Kaukauna High School, currently is general council for Homeward, a tech company that partners with health plans to serve areas that have lacked access to quality health care, particularly in rural America.
A lifelong resident of Kaukauna, Brian’s father Lyle Vandenberg returned home in 1960 after graduting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and serving in the United States Army.
He began his career as a registered pharmacist at Look Drug Stores, which he eventually purchased and then expanded to bring pharmacy services to long-term care facilities in Kaukauna and neighboring rural communities and intravenous therapies to patients in their homes.
“Working in the drugstore as a kid — price tagging inventory, stocking shelves, mopping floors — I had the opportunity to watch my dad interact with the community,” Brian Vandenberg told Kaukauna Community News.
“I watched how he cared for their health and well-being, in close coordination with physicians and nurses. And I witnessed firsthand the trust patients placed in him, as a pharmacist and often as a friend and neighbor. Those experiences were invaluable in shaping my own career and priorities,” he said.
The Lyle L. Vandenberg Rural Health Scholarship will be awarded annually to students in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, School of Nursing, or School of Pharmacy who demonstrate a commitment to improving healthcare access and reducing disparities in small towns and rural communities.
The inaugural scholarship recipient is UW-Madison School of Pharmacy student Kara Graves, a native of Bruce, Wisconsin.
Read more in the news release HERE.