A landmark celebrating the early history of the Florida Pharmacy Association, or FPA, has been restored thanks to the efforts of Assistant Dean Carol Motycka, Pharm.D., and the UF College of Pharmacy’s Jacksonville campus. The plaque commemorates FPA’s first 100 years (1887-1987) and stood at the corner of Main Street and Adams Street in downtown Jacksonville for more than three decades.
After years of weathering, the plaque was removed from the site a couple years ago. Motycka, along with the Duval County Pharmacy Association and FPA, helped lead the restoration efforts and secured its new home in the Special Collections area of the Jacksonville Public Library. In the late 19th century, FPA and the library occupied the same building, until the Great Fire of 1901 destroyed downtown Jacksonville. The new home honors the shared history of the two organizations.
“This plaque is the birth certificate of the Florida Pharmacy Association,” said Michael Jackson, B.Pharm., executive vice president and chief executive officer of FPA. “It explains who we are and our purpose and tells the story of how a group of pharmacists got together and advocated for better public health.”
The centennial plaque notes the first meeting of the Florida Pharmacy Association on June 8, 1887. Dr. Henry Robinson, a civic leader in Jacksonville who served as mayor and chairman of the board of county commissioners, was elected FPA’s first president. The initial membership featured more than 100 pharmacists, as the organization strived to elevate the pharmacy profession and improve the health care of Floridians.
FPA was instrumental in advocating for Florida’s first pharmacy college and made a financial contribution toward establishing the UF College of Pharmacy in the 1920s.
“FPA has a lot of historical connections to the University of Florida,” Motycka said. “It means a lot to me, as an FPA member and assistant dean of the UF College of Pharmacy, to lead this restoration effort. To have the plaque displayed again provides the community and our UF pharmacy students an opportunity to learn the early history of pharmacy in Florida.”
A ceremony to formally donate the plaque was held Oct. 29, at the Jacksonville Public Library.