Adams Family Cares for Patients in Rural Georgia

Pharmacy Times, August 2020, Volume 88, Issue 8

Two pharmacies and a family medicine practice serve many who lack transportation, offering free delivery in 9 counties.

Third-generation business owner Nikki Bryant, PharmD, owns Adams Family Pharmacy in Preston, Adams Family Pharmacy, Too in Cuthbert, and a rural primary care clinic, Preston Family Medicine, all based in Georgia.

A graduate of Mercer University College of Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, she opened her first pharmacy in 2014. “I recognized a need in my community for a pharmacy,” Bryant said. At the time, she was working for a large chain and traveling 30 miles each way to and from work.

Like many chain pharmacists, “I always gave my very best, and it never seemed to be enough. My store’s growth and sales were always in the top percentages for my district, but I was never exempt from calls on improvement and giving more. Exhausted from never measuring up, I decided to invest my all into my community,” Bryant said.

Her father owned a grocery store in Preston that had been there for 35 years. “We added a pharmacy and began to provide pharmacy services to a community that had gone without them for over 60 years,” she said.

Webster County was one of 9 in Georgia without a provider. Partnering with her high school classmate Brent Hixon, Bryant opened Adams Family Pharmacy, Too, followed by Preston Family Medicine, a primary care health clinic. The clinic also offers telehealth services to patients who have had kidney transplants and plans to expand this service to neurology, pediatrics, and psychiatry.

Because many patients lack transportation, the pharmacies offer free delivery within the county and also in the 8 surrounding ones. They also offer free medication packaging to increase adherence.

“Our services are tailored to enable my staff and me to manage medication therapies and care for the patient as a whole. We work closely with other health care providers to ensure care is coordinated between primary care and specialists, hospital staff to aid in smooth transitions, and families to aid in supportive care for loved ones,” Bryant said.

“Personal relationships with patients and providers are what my pharmacy is known for on a regional level,” she continued.

The staff provides individual attention to each patient, helping them overcome obstacles and solve problems. Employees focus on building relationships with health care providers and patients, delivery and packaging, and emergency prescription needs.

“We greet all of our patients by name. Having a pharmacy in a small town provides a family atmosphere, and that’s what we love about it,” Bryant said.

Her team stands apart, because “we’re not a pill dispensary. Anybody can do that. My staff and I are medication managers. We know what our patients are taking, if it’s appropriate for their disease states, and if they are compliant with their medication therapies. This shouldn’t be the exception; it should be the standard,” Bryant stated.

During the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, Bryant let the community know that her pharmacists would not let patients down. She told a local newspaper, “We’re just here to keep [patients] calm and let them know we are going to be there for them.”1 Recently, Bryant attended a local festival in a nearby town. She saw the daughter of a pharmacy patient who had died several years ago.

“As I stood and talked with her, she began to cry as she thanked me for helping care for her father,” Bryant said. “She said she’d never forget the time we spent and the extra efforts we made on making sure her father had everything he needed.”

Knowing the importance of giving back, in 2014, Bryant founded the Stewart Webster Cancer Fund, to benefit cancer patients in the county. The fund aims to alleviate any type of strain that cancer puts on the patient or family members, helping to pay for flowers, groceries, home cleaning, medical and travel expenses, and medicine.

Bryant also serves as medical director for the Webster County Health Department board and is the Webster County representative to the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.

She lives with her husband, Robert Bryant, and 2 children, Skyler, aged 14 years, and Lex, aged 10 years, in Preston. In her very little spare time, Bryant enjoys spending time with family and friends, who all live close by.

Karen Berger, PharmD, is a pharmacist at an independent pharmacy in northern New Jersey.

REFERENCE

Bunch R. ‘We’ll get you what you need’: pharmacists calm panicked patients. Valdosta Daily Times. April 5, 2020. Accessed July 29, 2020. https://www.valdostadailytimes. com/news/ga_fl_news/well-get-you-what-you-need-pharmacists-calm-panicked-patients/ article_a4698ace-7514-11ea-88f3-4b03e93282de.html