In rural Red Bluff, CA lies one of the oldest pharmacies in the state of California – Elmore Pharmacy. A legacy going on for over 150 years, Elmore Pharmacy continues carrying on their historic culture of friendly customer service and supporting their community. You can see the iconic retro sign welcoming you in as soon as you approach the store. But these days, customers are observing the sign from a safe distance.
Elmore Pharmacy has shifted their operations to curbside, delivery, and mail order. The staff has been adjusting to all the changes in workflow, and learning to use the PioneerRx Delivery App to support their increased demand for deliveries. Through it all, they are still finding ways to proudly serve their patients with a smile and give them the same quality of care they have become accustomed to.
Owner Bianca Bradshaw says the team is staying positive while they quarantined together in their second home – the pharmacy. “It’s been a challenge, but we’re all supporting each other,” she says. “We’re trying to find the lighter side of things when we can.” They just recently had a Pajama Day so they could bring some ‘comforts of home’ into the store. It’s the little things that keep them smiling as they protect their community.
Bradshaw places a high level of importance in taking care of her staff’s mental health in addition to their physical health. “Make sure to thank your staff. Take the time to get them treats, breakfast, lunches, have a PJ day – whatever you got to do to help to decrease the tension. It’s a lot of extra pressure on them. It’s a combination of transitioning workflow and the impact of the virus on our lives right now,” she explains.
But there will still be days that are harder than others. Sometimes it can be easy to get bogged down in day-to-day struggles and lose sight of your positive impact on a greater scale. As customers write and share ‘thank you’ posts on social media to Elmore Pharmacy, Bradshaw is keeping her team inspired with these uplifting reminders. “I’ll read them off in the pharmacy…and make sure that they all know that it’s not just me, it’s the community – everybody appreciates that they are putting their physical and mental health on the line to be here and make this work.”
Independent pharmacies are a tight-knit part of their community and their employees are vital to the success of the pharmacy. Unlike in chain pharmacies, they’re not just a replaceable worker – they’re family. It’s important to remember to take care of your staff the same way you take care of your patients. “We really need to accentuate the value and the importance of the people that support us,” emphasizes Bradshaw.
The Elmore team is committed to providing friendly, safe, and convenient service throughout this time. They’ve created their own disinfecting station and a routine to ensure that anything coming in or out of the pharmacy is as ‘COVID-free’ as possible. “As soon as COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, I really tried to take precautions to figure out what we needed to do or what we could do – not only to protect the staff, but also to protect the public,” Bradshaw notes.
This ongoing situation comes with new surprises and obstacles every day, but independent pharmacies are taking on the challenge in order to protect their communities and come out stronger on the other side.