Ken Glover Drug recently opened a fourth location to meet the needs of its rural community

Thursday, March 25, 2010

DORA, Ala. - Ken Glover Drug did something last year that many independent community pharmacies would find radical.

It became accredited, reactivated its Medicare billing number and re-entered the HME market.

"Our goal is to become the No. 1 community resource for healthcare needs," said Jennifer Weathers, DMEPOS coordinator. "When people need something related to health care we want them to know they can turn to us and their needs will be meet in a caring, professional manner."

That philosophy is paying off. The provider recently opened a fourth location in Jasper and moved its flagship store into a new 6,000-square-foot location--quadruple the size of its old one.

"We were outgrowing our old space at a rapid pace," said Weathers. "It was a constant battle to show customers how we could meet their needs and not have products sitting outside."

The new location also features a retail gift shop and play area for kids.

Ken Glover Drug offers a full line of HME and respiratory services along with prescription and compounding pharmacy. HME currently comprises 10% of its overall product mix, and the provider plans to grow that number, along with its patient base. To do that, the company has embraced social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

"We are trying to be cutting edge with technology, as well as maintain that down-home, small-town pharmacy kind of thing," she said.

It doesn't hurt that the store's namesake, owner Ken Glover, is a local.

"Ken grew up in the area and he's great with the customers," said Weathers. "They are going to come see him. Pharmacists are one of the most trusted professionals."

The provider also makes its presence known via more low-tech methods. It has sponsored fundraisers for local high school teams, participated in events like Relay for Life, which raises money for the American Cancer Society, and allowed local students to participate in a job shadowing program.

"We just try to stay as involved as we can," said Weathers. "You have to."

Weathers, a nurse by training, plans to ramp up health education efforts as well, such as having respiratory therapists lead CPAP programs.

"We're excited," she said. "If someone needs a prescription or HME or compounding, they know exactly where to go." hme