Kristin Glezman, PharmD, owner and pharmacist in charge of the independent pharmacy in Denison, Texas, takes pride in caring for the local community.
After graduating in 2014 from the Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Kristin Glezman, PharmD, worked in various settings, including community pharmacy and hospital pharmacy, but her ultimate goal was to work at an independent pharmacy. So naturally she was thrilled when a staff pharmacist position opened in 2015 at The Medicine Shoppe in Denison, Texas.
“I had heard that independent pharmacies were hard to get into, so I was very excited that this opportunity had come so early in my career,” she said.
After learning the ropes, Glezman was ready to run the pharmacy when the opportunity for ownership arose several years later.
She purchased the store, which was originally established in 1978, with her husband, Joe, in 2019. As the pharmacist in charge, she runs the pharmacy, and he manages the books. Glezman said that her son was just 3 months old when she first became a pharmacy owner and that balancing new motherhood and pharmacy ownership was “quite the adventure.” Thanks to Glezman and her husband’s hard work, the pharmacy has been a success, and they recently purchased The Medicine Shoppe in nearby Sherman, Texas.
At the Denison location, they’re across the street from a major chain pharmacy, which Glezman said, ironically, helps their business. When patients get frustrated with wait times or other challenges at the chain pharmacy, they often drive across the street to The Medicine Shoppe.
The pharmacy offers COVID-19 vaccines and testing, high-end vitamins and supplements, nonsterile compounding, and free delivery. Early in the pandemic, Glezman said the staff made copious amounts of hand sanitizer, sourcing alcohol from a local distillery when it was otherwise unavailable.
Glezman said she takes pride in the pharmacy’s excellent customer service. “My love has always been for independent pharmacy,” she said.
“I have always loved the concept of knowing my patients on a personal level and them knowing me and truly making a difference in our community. I feel that independent pharmacies are special in the way that they have more opportunities to customize care for patients and do not have to follow corporate rules and regulations.”
Glezman added that she also takes pride in the pharmacy’s compounding services.
“One part of my job that I love is being able to help prescribers come up with alternate medications for patients if the medication is on back order or too expensive for a patient, and sometimes the solution is to compound a medication or just to make a simple medication change, which can help provide the medication to the patient,” Glezman said. “I feel that [by] being at an independent pharmacy, I have more of an opportunity to use creativity along with my pharmacy knowledge to provide solutions for patients. And that’s what everyone wants at the end of the day: solutions to problems.”
Glezman attributes much of the pharmacy’s success to the staff’s personal relationships with patients and the resulting trust, allowing them to have honest conversations about challenges and how to improve their patients’ health.
“Our best quality that truly makes our patients feel welcome is getting to know them,” she said. “By getting to know them, they feel like we’re friends. This opens up conversations about their medications and health that allow us to provide the best care possible for our patients.”
Glezman noted that their customer service is also boosted by pharmacy employees keeping detailed notes. This includes things like OTC items that patients like to purchase, family members’ names, preferred manufacturers, and how they want their prescription delivered (eg, knocking on the back door rather than the front).
“By remembering these details, our patients truly feel special and cared for. We provide customized care for our patients,” Glezman said.
Going above and beyond—even surprising patients with a little treat, when she can—is another way that Glezman helps patients feel special and valued. In addition to delivering after-hours or in the middle of an ice storm, she recalled a summer day when a delivery patient mentioned that he was craving ice cream, so they surprised him with it.
Another time, a young male patient who was alone on a road trip came down with food poisoning and was staying in a hotel in Denison to recover. Because the rural area doesn’t have services like Uber Eats, the patient’s mother was trying to get medicines, food, and hydration drinks to his hotel from a distance. Glezman and her staff made a care package with soup, crackers, water, Gatorade, medications, and a get-well card and promptly delivered the package to his hotel.
“The mother was so grateful [that] she sent us flowers and a thank-you card,” Glezman said.
In her spare time, Glezman enjoys spending time outside with her family. In 2022, she and her husband purchased several acres of land with many trees and 2 ponds, and since then, they have undertaken various projects.
“My favorite project is gardening,” Glezman said. “I have planted several fruit trees and a vegetable garden. I am an amateur gardener, but I am very passionate about it and love taking care of the garden and enjoying the fruits of my labor.”
About the Author
Karen Berger, PharmD, is a pharmacist at an independent pharmacy in northern New Jersey.