By Brianna Swisher & Paige Lavender | 12/10/09
Before the Family Life Pharmacy opened in February of 2008, families in Comfort, W.Va. had to drive up to 35 minutes away to get their prescriptions filled. The Little family, whose daughter Madyson has multiple health issues, had to drive an hour and a half a couple times a month to St. Albans to get her medicine.
“We opened the pharmacy to be a blessing to the community,” said Bart Elkins, co-owner of Family Life Pharmacy located in Comfort, W.Va.
“Our whole basis for running this pharmacy and what we are trying to provide is superior customer service,” Elkins said. “They know when they come in here, they are going to be taken care of.”
Many of the pharmacy’s customers visit the store two to three times a week. Because of the frequent visits, Elkins wanted a familiar face around to help customers feel more at ease.
That’s why he called Stephanie Massey, a lifelong friend and registered nurse he knew would be willing to help out her community.
“I have known Stephanie Massey since grade school,” Elkins said. “Her personality, intelligence, knowledge of the community and background in the medical field is why we chose her to be the pharmacy manager. She seemed like a perfect fit.”
Massey worked as a nurse for 18 years, 15 of which were spent on the same unit at Charleston Area Medical Center.
“My background as a nurse has given me a nice platform for what I do now,” Massey said, noting that her knowledge from nursing has helped her take over the home medical side of the pharmacy.
Massey was intrigued by Elkins’ offer to return to her home and help out those in the community she grew up around.
“The house that I live in now is my home that I grew up in as a child,” Massey said. “The people who once knew you as a child now can rely on me…that’s very rewarding.”
Many Boone County residents have moved their business to Family Life Pharmacy not only because it’s nearby, but also because it offers benefits like home medical and prescription delivery.
The pharmacy offers home delivery and assistance for any of their home medical customers and prescription delivery on a need basis. No other pharmacy in the area provides this type of service.
“You win your customers by customer service. Time and time again people tell us that they come to us because we treat them nice, we speak to them, we remember them, and we aren’t “bothered” by them,” sad Massey.
Helen Webb is one of Family Life’s customers who receive prescription home deliveries.
“I’m real pleased with the pharmacy,” she said. “It’s been a big help to me since I don’t drive.”
Another customer who receives deliveries is Micki Little, a wife and mother of two children. Little’s daughter Madyson, 3, has experienced extreme health problems since birth.
When Madyson was born, she had heart problems, cardiomyopathy, and 20 tumors on her heart. When she was two months old her kidneys shut down and she was placed on dialysis. She started having seizures at 10 months old, and she had a kidney transplant when she was 16 months old.
Before Family Life Pharmacy opened, Little had to drive an hour and a half a couple times a month to St. Albans to get her daughter’s medicine. Now that Family Life delivers the prescriptions, she has more time to spend caring for her daughter at home.
“Everybody has been really friendly to us,” she said. “They make things 20 times easier. I don’t have to leave the house. All I have to do is call them and they bring it over when they get it ready.”
She said that it makes her life a whole lot easier because the pharmacy delivers and she doesn’t have to take Madyson anywhere.
Massey said that it’s very valuable to be serving the Littles. “Nobody else will do that.”
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