2017 Pharmacy of the Year grows patient service, business at same time
McKesson has awarded its 2017 Pharmacy of the Year Award to second-generation pharmacist Nicole Winnen’s Mac Prescription Shop, a Health Mart pharmacy. Winnen has brought new ways to better serve her patients at the 47-year-old pharmacy, which serves the community of McMinnville, Ore.
Winnen was 24 years old when she purchased Mac Prescription Shop from her father and his partner in 2000, and since then, her focus has simultaneously been on providing vital services to the McMinnville community and continuing to grow the business — two goals that have gone hand-in-hand.
“A lot of people appreciate being able to shop locally with a pharmacy that has deep ties to the community,” Winnen said. “As an independent pharmacy, we have the ability to offer extra services for our customers, and they really enjoy the fact that they can walk in and talk with a pharmacist and ask questions regarding their medications and their care.”
Since Winnen implemented a medication synchronization program, the pharmacy has registered 250 patients, and the pharmacy staff calls patients on a monthly basis to check adherence. Working off of an appointment-based model has brought a more personalized level of care to patients, to whom the pharmacy also offers medication therapy management services.
“Nicole Winnen of Mac Prescription Shop Health Mart is a shining example of how community pharmacies can thrive in today’s environment and why McKesson and Health Mart continue to invest in progressive strategies, innovative solutions and clinical services to support independent pharmacies,” McKesson president U.S. pharmaceutical Mark Walchirk said.
While Mac Prescription Shop Health Mart is performing in the top 20% of all adherence measures, Winnen also has been working to expand the store’s offerings beyond patients’ monthly appointments. For example, pharmacy staff travel to nursing homes in the community to bring them diabetes education sessions, and in addition to offering immunizations in-store, Mac Prescription Shop Health Mart works with employers to provide flu shots.
“We don’t wait for patients to come into the pharmacy. We are willing to go to them, to be there at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. during shift changes to give vaccines,” Winnen said. “Not only do we earn their trust through relationships, it’s also been a great way to acquire new business.”
“I think Nicole is very innovative in how she continues to look at the marketplace in this community,” Health Mart president Steve Courtman said. “She sees opportunities with other employers in the county, but she’s also very nimble to competitive threats from others to take her business.”
Across the street from her Mac Prescription Shop Health Mart location, Winnen operates a durable medical equipment business with a showroom for DME products to give patients a visual of the choices they have when buying rolling walkers and other mobility aids. As she has grown her business, Winnen credits McKesson and Health Mart with being vital partners.
“Being part of Health Mart has helped us by giving us brand recognition and by providing some tools and training resources that we wouldn’t have had otherwise,” she said. “It’s nice that Health Mart respects the individuality of independent pharmacies and encourages each pharmacy to run its business the way it wants based on the unique needs of its community and patient base — that’s also appreciated.”