LTC customer spotlight: Liberty Drug
Long-term care (LTC) pharmacies have not only been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they're also finding ways to thrive. Liberty Drug in Murray, Utah, is just one example. Owner Jenna Merchant shares how the store opened in the midst of the pandemic and has managed to grow faster than they ever expected.
Q: What history or background can you share about the origin of your pharmacy?
Jenna Merchant: My sister and I grew up around long-term care pharmacy. Our dad owned and ran a successful LTC pharmacy for twenty years, and we watched and learned from him as we grew up. We learned the importance of valuing relationships with every nurse and administrator as well as those forged with employees. Our dad was an amazing pharmacist in charge, and we are just hoping to follow in his footsteps.
Q: What makes your pharmacy one of a kind?
JM: The best part of our pharmacy is that we are family-oriented. As sisters, we have been best friends all our lives, but we also treat our staff and our customers like part of our family. All our customers have our cell numbers, and it does not matter what they need or when they need it: we work hard to make it happen. Our staff is extremely tight-knit, and we listen to their concerns and their ideas to make Liberty Drug a great place to work.
Q: How have you had to adjust your business to continue to provide resources to your customers in response to COVID-19?
JM: I think the hardest part of COVID-19 is helping our homes deal with the challenges of the illness. We have updated emergency kits, contracted with a local distillery for hand sanitizer, and made friends with local janitorial supply companies to try to get our homes the cleaning products they need. The worst part is not being able to help our customers enough. We are extremely close to our nurses, and listening to their stories without being able to do much but send them supplies is the hardest part of the pandemic.
Q: What have you learned about your pharmacy and staff during the pandemic?
JM: We have learned the value of an honest and trustworthy staff. Our staff has truly been incredible during this time. When someone believes they have been exposed, they stop coming to work and get tested. In Utah, this often means at least three days go by before we have a positive or negative test result. They have all willingly quarantined and stayed home from work in order to avoid spreading this illness to our other staff members and our nursing homes. We are so grateful for our amazing employees.
Our AmerisourceBergen representative, Carla Morris, has taught us so much, and been with us from the beginning. She has been invaluable, and we are so lucky to have her as part of our team.