September 1, 2021
How many years has your pharmacy been in business?
This July will mark 28 years in business.
What has been the most significant change within your pharmacy over the past five years and how has it helped you serve your patients better?
We have seen many changes over the years. In the last five years, we have added a medication synchronization and adherence program. We also joined the Community Enhanced Services Network (CESN) and committed to expanding the clinical services we offer to our community. These changes allowed us to focus on medication management and on the total wellness of our patients, not just filling their prescriptions.
What is your favorite thing about being a pharmacist?
My favorite thing about being a pharmacist is knowing my patients on a personal level, not just as a customer, but as friends and family. It is celebrating with them over all the years in good times and being there to comfort them in their time of need. It is seeing how our daily work makes a real difference in people’s lives.
What makes your pharmacy unique?
Our store is unique for so many reasons. We go the extra mile each and every day to take the best possible care of our patient’s healthcare needs. From infants to seniors, we treat all of them with kindness, understanding, compassion, and dignity.
Our front end is also unlike anything in the area. In 2020, the Iowa Tourism Division picked us as the Outstanding Retail Experience for the state of Iowa. We are a small rural community and we were included with large city businesses for this award. We have people travel for hours to shop in our store. Some people will spend a day with us. Our gift area changes completely multiple times a year. Our biggest seasonal display is Christmas. It is a magical room filled with 60+ fully decorated trees and beautiful displays. Our store is not merely shopped; it is experienced.
What do you think your patients love most about your pharmacy?
Our patients love that we always go out of our way to help them personally in the aisle or at the pharmacy counter with any questions they have. We will take time to show them how to run their blood pressure or blood sugar meter, or we will do the testing for them. We will sit with them in our consultation room as long as it takes, no matter how busy we are to answer all their questions and address their concerns. They are not just customers to us; they are family. We know them by name. We put the “serve” in personalized service. We treat people how we hope someone would treat our loved ones at a business. They love that we offer free delivery, have an easily accessible drive-thru, will bubble pack their medications, will help them sync their medications, and that we take care of the long-term care facilities in our community. They also love that we are open seven days a week and have plenty of knowledgeable staff available to help them with all of their healthcare needs.
What are your favorite ways to get involved with your community?
We support all of the events and activities in the community that we possibly can. We sponsor youth sports teams, school functions, community events, area fundraisers, and families in need. We host many bake sales throughout the year with 100% of the proceeds going to local groups, including the animal shelter, K9 unit, local school libraries, the kids’ Christmas gift drive, and individuals and families in need. We bake and decorate cookie trays on all major holidays and deliver them to people in the community who may live by themselves or have had a loss in their family. We have the Easter Bunny in our store for three Saturdays before Easter. We give free pictures with the bunny, along with treats and crafts. We host a summer Bark-A-Que and fall Boo-A-Que in our parking lot that is a family event that raises money for our local animal shelter. We take a trailer filled with yard games to many community events. Some of them include summer city band concerts on our square, Christmas in July, elementary school fun day, to name a few. For the last 31 years, we have held a Halloween event in our parking lot, with numerous community businesses participating. We have hot dogs, drinks, and candy.. We have games with prizes, a balloon twister, and a face painter. This is a free and fun family event. We have Santa at our store every Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas for free pictures, treats, and crafts. The last Saturday before Christmas he brings Rudolph to see the kids. Every year, we take Santa, Mrs. Claus, the elves, and Rudolph to all of the nursing homes in town and to the elementary school. We provide holiday meals and Christmas gifts for the local shelter every year. We sponsor horse-drawn wagon rides around our beautiful square each year for Merry Little Downtown Christmas. Supporting our community family is extremely important to all of us at the store.
What excites you most about the future of independent pharmacy?
What excites me about the future of independent pharmacy is how it is evolving to focus on the overall health and wellness of our patients. I have three young pharmacists that will be able to carry Mahaska Drug well into the future. We will continue to be a vital part of our community’s healthcare system for many years to come.
What does Locally Loved mean to you?
Locally Loved means serving our community and customers like family. It means always going above and beyond to show them how much we care about them as people, and supporting our community’s needs like a good neighbor. In return, our community and our customers show us how much they love us by expressing their gratitude and by always supporting our business. They have many places to shop at, so it is a huge honor when they choose us. We do our very best to take care of them and let each and every one of them know how much we appreciate that they chose us to be their pharmacy. We have a wonderful supportive community and they show how much they love us on a daily basis by putting their confidence and support in our business.