John Wirges of Cornerstone Pharmacy wants to offer his customers a small-town pharmacy experience, where they are known by name when they walk in the door.
Located on Hogan Lane near Prince Street, the pharmacy is the most recently opened in an interconnected group of independently owned pharmacies.
Wirges has a history as a pharmacist for USA Drug, but when the company was bought out by Walgreens, he decided it was time to explore other options. He entered into a partnership with Kenny and Tracy Harrison, who had been handpicking pharmacists to open Cornerstone Pharmacies since 2002. Wirges and a partner, Dave Rainbolt, opened their first Cornerstone Pharmacy in North Little Rock a couple of years ago. However, Wirges is a Conway resident.
“I thought if I could find a place here, it would be a great opportunity. It’s been a dream come true, really,” he said.
Now he and his wife, Cheri, a registered pharmacy technician, work together in their hometown each day. Wirges said he wants to be the pharmacist who knows everyone’s name.
“We hang our hat on customer service. We try to do whatever it takes to take care of that person,” he said.
Cornerstone Pharmacy will offer compounding, delivery and vaccinations and has a drive-through window. The business also has a selection of gifts.
Wirges said, “We feel we provide a really good service. Customer service is our bread and butter. We’re able to match the same copays as the big guys, but we want to be reachable. We want people to feel like you have a teammate. Maybe older people already know, but we want younger people to know what it’s like to have a pharmacist on your team.”
He said pharmacists are the most accessible form of health care because you don’t need an appointment, you can walk in and ask the pharmacist a question and get a good answer.
The most rewarding thing about the profession is that whatever his customers are going through, he gets to go through it with them.
“It’s more than just drugs. It’s the whole person. The rewarding things are when you get someone through something. It could be as minor as changing to a cheaper drug, or as major as catching a drug interaction. It’s all about people.”
He added, “It’s a huge blessing to be able to do this in the town we’re living and raising our kids. We think it’s a great service. We’re proponents of pharmacy. We try to provide that small town, independent pharmacy feel, call you by name when you come in.”
(Staff writer Rachel Parker Dickerson can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)