July 1, 2020
How many years has McDowell’s Pharmacy been in business?
McDowell’s Pharmacy has been continually operating in the same building on Main Street in Scotland Neck, NC since 1901. The business was originally called E.T. Whitehead Drug Company, but in 1922 my great-grandfather purchased the business after graduating from pharmacy school at UNC-Chapel Hill and serving in World War I as an ambulance driver – then it became McDowell’s Pharmacy. My grandfather returned home from UNC Pharmacy School and Navy service in World War II to help run the business in 1944. My father also graduated from UNC Pharmacy School in 1981 and took over the family business thereafter. Most recently, I returned from UNC Pharmacy School in 2016 to continue the family legacy and become a 4th generation pharmacist at McDowell’s Pharmacy.
What has been the most significant change within your pharmacy over the past 5 years?
We have become more and more focused on taking a broader approach to caring for our patients. We strive to be an integral part of the healthcare team and have implemented many enhanced clinical services such as adherence packaging, medication synchronization, immunizations and flu and strep testing. We want to go beyond just dispensing and show the value that pharmacists can provide in caring for patients and lowering overall healthcare spending. We are highly accessible and we often see patients up to 8 times more than their primary doctor, which puts us in a critical position to provide preventative services and helps keep patients out of the emergency room and/or hospital.
How do your patients and community shape your offerings? What keeps your patients coming back?
We serve many patients with multiple chronic conditions and some of them take several medications. This can be a huge burden for the patient and their family so we want to help make the process as smooth as possible. We offer medication synchronization to reduce the number of trips a patient has to make to the pharmacy. We also offer medication packaging. We go the extra mile when a patient is discharged from a hospital or a nursing home and help them transition back home and resolve their medication issues. We believe that our patients keep coming back because they know we care for them like they are our own family. We have their best interests at heart and we strive to make them feel like they are more than just a number.
What do you think your patients love most about your pharmacy?
We think that our patients enjoy coming into a historic, small-town pharmacy where they are treated like family. Everyone is greeted with a smile and a warm welcome at McDowell’s. We have maintained our old-school drug store charm, while keeping up with the latest advances in pharmacy technology.
What does Locally Loved mean to you?
Locally Loved means that our community knows that we are here to help not only with their medications, but with their overall health and quality of life. The community knows they can come to us for advice on many different topics and that they can trust us to help them. They love the care that we provide and our willingness to go above and beyond. We are a small-town pharmacy with a big heart.