In the Laurel Ramirez family the blend of family and pharmacy is tightly woven. It is no wonder then, that Anita’s sister Yolanda was indirectly responsible for placing her younger sister on a path that not only led her to a successful career in pharmacy but also sent her down the road to a happy marriage.
“We met during my last semester of pharmacy school,” remembers Anita, B.S. 78, as she recalls her transfer to the UT Health Science Center San Antonio campus to complete her last year of pharmacy school. Her sister Yolanda Laurel was the UT clinical coordinator for San Antonio and assigned Anita to Santa Rosa Hospital under preceptor David Wilson.
“Joe (Ramirez, B.S. ’72) was the procurement supervisor at the hospital and as a student, I had no interaction with him. An offsite farewell party was planned for a pharmacist and Jerry Jackson, who was an outpatient supervisor and my neighbor, offered to give me a ride to the party. After he picked me up he informed me that we had to pick up Ramirez. My response: ‘Who is Ramirez?’. His response: ‘You know, the guy that works in the back making sure we have the meds we need.”
Jerry drafted me to be Ramirez’ partner in bridge that evening. I had never played and it showed. At the end of the evening Ramirez offered to teach me to play”.
At the end of the Santa Rosa rotation, Anita was offered me a job after passing her Board exam.
The bridge lessons continued. Joe and Anita married on December 12, 1981 in Laredo, her hometown. Joe accepted an offer as director of pharmacy at McAllen General Hospital and started in January 1982.
Joe and Anita have two daughters – Debbie, a pharmacist (Pharm.D. ’11) practicing at University Hospital in San Antonio; and Sandy, an occupational therapist, practicing at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.
Joe retired from Cardinal Health in October 2012 after 30 years. He now teaches and plays bridge. Anita is director of pharmacy at LifeCare Hospitals of South Texas in McAllen.
“Thirty-four years later, Joe is still trying to teach me to play bridge,” laughs Anita.