Opening an independent pharmacy is making a statement. It’s a call to take the pharmacy industry and turn it into an even better place. It’s a way of saying you’re ready to innovate in the name of patient care.

Such is the case with The Pharmacy at Wellington. Founded by Brittany Sanders and Nick Dziurkowski in November 2015, the pharmacy sets out to be a flexible and adaptable healthcare destination.
(Left to right) Nick Dziurkowski and Brittany Sanders

By setting its own path for success, the Arkansas-based Pharmacy at Wellington is an independent pharmacy that proudly wears its heart on its sleeve.

The Pursuit of Patient Care

While working at a chain, Brittany realized she wanted more out of pharmacy work. A graduate of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, she decided to take the plunge into the independent scene.

Brittany, along with co-founder Nick Dziurkowski, envisioned a pharmacy that truly took care of its patients.

They were tired of cutting through all the corporate red tape to simply do what they do best: help those who need it.

As pharmacist-in-charge and partner at The Pharmacy at Wellington, Brittany can take the best of both worlds to make a pharmacy stand out from the rest.

“We try to combine the best of the best of the chains and the best of independent pharmacies so we can take care of the patients to the best of our ability,” she says.

As an independent pharmacist, Brittany gets to do pharmacy work her way. It’s beyond meeting a quota or adhering to corporate expectations.

“[Brittany and Nick]  wanted the flexibility to be responsive to patient needs and to be able to adapt quickly to changes, without being restricted by corporate policies,” according to the Pharmacy at Wellington’s website.

Brittany’s contributions to the pharmacy industry speak for themselves. She won the 2020 Pharmacist of the Year Award from the Arkansas Pharmacists Association (APhA).

Since joining the  APhA Board in 2021, Brittany has worked towards advancing and innovating the pharmacy profession. Her approach to patient care is helping them live life to the fullest.

“We want to help get our patients to a place where they’re healthy and able to focus on life rather than having to focus on being taken care of,” Brittany explains.

It Takes a Village (and a Teacher)

The Pharmacy at Wellington is more than just one pharmacist. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The staff ensures a quality workflow, whether it be clerks, technicians, or fellow pharmacists.

That’s where Dr. Megan Smith comes in.

Having worked in an independent pharmacy since her high school days, this staff pharmacist has been passionate about patient care for nearly her whole life.

Megan Smith, PharmD, BCACP (middle), presented award by Scott Pace, PharmD, JD (left); and Mark Riley, PD (right)

After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy in 2013, Megan completed a community residency and research fellowship at UNC.

She is currently a faculty member of the UAMS College of Pharmacy with a focus on community pharmacy.

I love how I can do a lot of different things with a pharmacy degree,” Megan says. “I got to learn a little bit of everything about the pharmacy industry.”

Megan’s role as a pharmacist and teacher puts her in a unique place. She’s shaping the next generation of independent pharmacists while ensuring the current state of it is strong.

In other words, she’s talking the talk while always walking the walk.

“The teaching side of things lets me show students what community pharmacies can do.” She continues, “I can show my students how community pharmacies do these great things like screenings, testings, and vaccines. We can show them what it means to treat the whole patient.”

Megan’s contributions to the industry go beyond the classroom or even the pharmacy itself. Megan received the NCPA 2022 National Preceptor of the Year Award for her work toward educating future pharmacists.

The award recognizes those who are “elevating community pharmacy practice through teaching and research.” Megan perfectly exemplifies this idea.

Her work in academia helps elevate pharmacy work. She knows that life as a pharmacist is a lifelong education. Whether she’s teaching students or helping patients, she knows there is always something new to learn.

To learn more about this year’s NCPA Annual Convention, check out our “Meet This Year’s NCPA Award Winners” blog.

Promoting Health and Well(ington)ness

The Pharmacy at Wellington is going through an expansion, which should be complete by the time of publication. By the end of it, the pharmacy will have several clinic rooms to push its clinical services further.

Appointment-based services are in high demand, and the expansion will put the Pharmacy at Wellington at the forefront of clinical excellence in the community.

For Brittany Sanders, expansion is the next logical step in providing quality healthcare.

“We want to be seen as a destination for health and not just prescription services. We want to make sure that we’re positioned to offer the services that our patients need.”

The expansion turns the Pharmacy Wellington at Wellington into the bonafide healthcare destination Brittany has long envisioned. An expansion of services means they can help the whole patient and not neglect a single aspect of their health.

To further your quality of patient care, you need people who are eager to innovate. The Pharmacy at Wellington has that in spades with Megan Smith.

Not only is it her job to teach pharmacy students, but she ensures that today’s pharmacy industry is in good hands.

The future is bright for the Pharmacy at Wellington, which hopes that the power of independent pharmacy is heard the world over.

“I want to be able to take all this work we’ve done and service it on a statewide or national level,” Megan says. "I want to help bring more attention to what community pharmacies are doing because it’s amazing.”
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