Local pharmacists help fill needs of community during pandemic

National pharmacist day recognizes pharmacists everywhere.
Amanda Wilson, Pharmacist At Prater's Pharmacy In Webb City

JASPER COUNTY, Mo. – Over the last several months, Stone’s Corner Pharmacy has had to make a lot of quick adjustments to adapt to the pandemic.

“We knocked out walls, enlarged our lobby, remodeled our second location as well,” says Chad Isaacs, Pharmacist and owner of Stone’s Corner Pharmacy.

During stay-at-home orders last spring, the pharmacy had to convert to drive thru only and ramp up their delivery service to make sure residents got the medications they couldn’t go without. They also started making hand sanitizer on site for residents and first responders.

“In the begging it was just kind of handle the basic things,” says Isaacs.

Since all that happened, Isaacs has noticed another change.

“People are much more aware of their health. They do ask more questions. They want to stay healthy in any way they can,” explains Isaacs. “People got flu shots this year who have never got a flu shot in their life.”

“What’s a clinical trial and what are side effects? How does a vaccine work?” says Pharmacist Amanda Wilson, going over questions Prater’s Pharmacy in Webb City receives from residents.

Wilson explains that as pharmacists, they do a lot more than just fill prescriptions. That’s never been more true then now, when they’ve had several people come to them for healthcare advise when patients aren’t comfortable visiting a clinic or hospital for something relatively minor.

“Whether it’s just I kind of need some extra counseling or advise on something that maybe before I would have went to the ER for, but now maybe there’s a more appropriate use for the ER,” says Wilson. “A lot more questions about, ‘Do I need to be referred for this? Or is it something that maybe we could figure out a treatment for over the counter?’”

In the coming weeks and months, both pharmacies will play a big roll in administering coronavirus vaccines. And until then, they’ll keep doing what they can to help their communities.

“If we could have gone without a pandemic, that would have been great. But it has made, I think, our jobs seem more important and the work that we do more relevant,” Wilson says.