Eastside Family Pharmacy and Apothecare...tradition meets the future
By Beth Volpert-Johansen
A mainstay in the Gwinnett County medical community is moving into a new building. Bill Thompson and Tom Jones have been behind the counter at the Apothecare Pharmacy in the Eastside Physicians Building location for 20 years.
They have served their community as pharmacists for more than 35 years. Over that time, the pair have enjoyed a loyal business patronage who have become much more than clients. Those who have had their prescriptions filled at Apothecare over the years have become cherished friends. Friends take excellent care of one another.
Right: Pharmacists Tom Jones (left) and Bill Thompson (right), will continue to care for the needs of their customers at their new location with Eastside Family Pharmacy.
When faced with changes to the building, Bill and Tom were tasked with finding a home for patients who came to depend on them to fill their prescriptions with the attention and counseling necessary for excellent healthcare. The pair soon found themselves, and their client base welcome at Eastside Family Pharmacy. “We chose Eastside Family Pharmacy because they are an independent pharmacy,” says Bill. “We will be able to continue catering to the specific needs of our customers and give them individualized counseling and care.”
The ability to provide individualized care is one of the most important features of an independent pharmacy. “With the addition of the Apothecare clients, we now have a real community pharmacy with the same goals,” says co-owner, Michele Dalton. “We are honored to be able to treat their patients with the same dignity and familiarity that they have been accustomed to at Apothecare.” Pharmacist and co-owner Esther M. Truitt agrees that it is a great opportunity, but one with a huge responsibility. “Change is not easy for anyone,” says Esther. “Having Bill and Tom’s familiar faces here will be a benefit and a comfort.”
One Apothecare regular, “Ms. Janet”, who was one of the last patients seen before the doors closed could not say enough wonderful things about the many years of service from Bill and Tom. “They will help you in any situation,” said Ms. Janet. “There is nothing they won’t do to help people-truly.” As she left, she waved to Bill and told him she would see him “over there at the new place.”
Just like Ms. Janet, there are hundreds of patients who have come to depend on the independent, service-oriented pharmacy to make certain that they are taking their medications correctly and without complication. “The first time someone shows up here, they are a customer; the second time they come, they are an acquaintance; by the third visit, they are a friend and a neighbor,” says Bill. “People who use our pharmacy have come to expect the kind of treatment you would provide a friend, not just a customer.”
Recalling the merging of patients from their Mountain Park pharmacy last year, Pharmacist Tom Jones says the process is not easy or without challenges, but it is well worth the time and energy. “I can’t wait until my head isn’t busy with getting computer programs merged and I can get back to really enjoying my people,” says Tom. “I enjoy playing with my people and they like to play with me-we have a good time with that.”
Co-owners Michele Dalton, Store Manager, and Dr. Esther Truitt, Pharmacy Manager, have welcomed the many patients from Apothecare with open arms and happy smiles. The pair opened their business knowing that they wanted to be different than the chain stores. “We wanted to be able to take care of our patients,” says Esther. “We are delighted that we have this opportunity to continue the quality of care that Apothecare patients have come to expect.” That level of care extends well beyond the smiling faces at the door. It is heartfelt and the reason the two women decided to open Eastside Family Pharmacy with all the benefits of an independent pharmacy.
Eastside Family Pharmacy offers an interactive website and Smartphone App for refills and transfers from other pharmacies. They also offer compounding which is one of the biggest features of an independent pharmacy. Esther loves having the ability to combine art and science to the preparation of a specific medication which benefits the many unique situations that a patient may encounter. From adjusting dosages for children to providing bio-identical hormone therapies, the pharmacists at Eastside Family Pharmacy have the resources at their disposal to offer patient-tailored medications, along with counseling for a wide variety of situations.
The store also offers drive-thru service and home delivery of both prescription and over-the-counter medications. “We understand that when people are sick and returning from a doctor’s visit, they would really like to just go home,” says Michele. “We offer them the ability to drop off their prescription and have the medication delivered to them at home.” The business model takes into consideration the role of the independent pharmacy in the community. “We want to run a pharmacy based on people,” says Esther. “Not one that is based on a report.” To the pharmacists and staff at Eastside Family Pharmacy, patients are not a number, they are people who deserve personal care when it comes to the very important aspect of medication.
With a clientele who are used to personal interactions and a truly interested staff, it is a certainty that when the computer bugs are worked out, the joint efforts of all the pharmacists at Eastside Family Pharmacy will create a welcome buzz of small town business energy. A prescription carefully measured with a little old-fashioned care and concern, a dash of familiarity, and a huge dose of pharmaceutical knowledge compounded into a personalized formulary provides a pharmacy that is just what the doctor ordered.
For more information visit: www.EastsideFamilyPharmacy.com or call 770-807-0137.