Community Feature Local Pharmacies Vital to Rural Kansans During Pandemic
Pharmacies play a vital role in our communities. As trusted health advisors, pharmacists not only meet medication needs, but promote safe use, help improve outcomes, and are able to recommend over-the-counter treatments, when appropriate. As such, pharmacists may interact with patients more often than their prescribing medical professionals!
SKT is pleased to serve two local, independent pharmacies – Batson’s Drug Store and Clearwater Pharmacy – by providing their internet, business phone, and/or security services. We checked in with them to see how their health and well-being is, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Have they seen their business change in any way? Have they added new services? Are they anticipating future changes?
Community Feature: Pharmacies Batson's Drug Store
The only pharmacy in Elk County, Batson’s Drug Store in Howard, Kan., has an old-fashioned soda fountain where limeades are crafted, and ice cream is hand-dipped. That’s quite a treat! Pharmacist and owner, Julie Perkins, has been serving the region since 1995. A graduate of Howard’s West Elk High School, she returned to her community after graduating from the University of Kansas College of Pharmacy and bought the pharmacy. Her husband, Patrick Perkins, added the adjoining Family Market in 2006. Julie and her family are extremely committed to and love living in this small community in the Flint Hills. Julie says, “We know all of our customers by name and enjoy knowing their kids and grandkids!”
Batson’s employees are wearing masks, but they are not currently required for customers. They have added curbside service, allowing customers to call ahead and have their prescriptions brought out to them. They also mail prescriptions and are doing more deliveries now than before the pandemic began.
Community Features: Pharmacies Clearwater Pharmacy
Nancy Bradfield purchased the Clearwater Pharmacy in August of 2019 – a little over three years after it first opened in the heart of downtown Clearwater, Kan. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy, Nancy didn’t actually intend to become a pharmacy owner (especially in these challenging healthcare times) but she did choose pharmacy to HELP patients and that is the core of her being and her business. She exclaims, “I can’t be happier or feel more blessed.” The Clearwater Pharmacy has a resident therapy rabbit named Rosie – a 13-lb. Flemish Giant. In March, much to the delight of customers, Rosie gave birth to eight kits! It was a nice diversion from the COVID-19 situation …
Nancy says the pharmacy business has needed to be very fluid in continuing to provide services to their patients in a safe manner, adding, “Naturally, the pharmacy is a likely place to find patients who are sick or have symptoms setting in. We want to protect ourselves (so that we can continue uninterrupted service to the community) while also protecting ALL our patients from exposure.” Currently, they request that anyone who enters the pharmacy wear a mask, and they try to be so efficient that not more than four patients are in the lobby at any point. At the start of COVID-19 cases, they began curbside delivery in addition to their already-existing home delivery and mail options. Nancy is excited about introducing a new wellness program aimed at supplying the body with the nutrients and supplements in order to be the healthiest it can be. She adds, “What a great time to boost your immune system and be at optimal functioning capacity to fight off illness and such!”