By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
An independent community pharmacy is celebrating a decade serving a loyal – and growing – Yukon-area client base.
West Pointe Pharmacy opened in February 2010 inside the Mercy Health Canadian County facility, 520 S Mustang Road in Yukon.
Marking 10 years in business is owner/pharmacist Chad Heston, who has found his niche owning and operating his own pharmacy. That can be a challenge, especially with today’s economic climate and prescription drug reimbursement issues.
“Making a ‘go of it’ for 10 years is quite an accomplishment,” Heston said.
Many of West Pointe Pharmacy’s customers are patients of the urgent care clinic and primary care physicians at Mercy Health Canadian County.
“But we’re open to anyone,” Heston said. “We have steadily grown our client base over the past decade and have dedicated clientele. We have many loyal customers who’ve been with us for years.”
Heston is ably assisted by two pharmacy techs. Erin Williams has been with him 10 years and Lori Cowling for two years. While Heston is there at his pharmacy most of the time, he does have part-time pharmacists who help when needed.
He and his staff pride themselves on their fast, friendly and personal service.
At some large, chain pharmacies, customers are often frustrated when they must wait several hours after calling in a prescription. Not so at a smaller, independent pharmacy like West Pointe.
“We get people in and out quickly – at lot of times in just 10 minutes,” Heston said. “We make sure our clients are taken care of in an appropriate manner and in a timely fashion.”
West Pointe Pharmacy offers prescription compounding, free local delivery and a pick-up service in front of the clinic.
“We offer delivery for folks who can’t get out and have had curbside for the last three months (due to COVID-19) since we don’t have a drive-thru,” Heston said.
To reduce the risk of virus spread, West Pointe has installed a barrier at the front counter for the safety of patients and staff.
GETTING HIS START
Heston grew up in the far southwest Kansas community of Liberal before crossing the border and coming to Oklahoma.
He came to attend pharmacy school at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. Ironically, Heston had done a “rotation” at the pharmacy inside Mercy Health Canadian County while completing his studies at SWOSU.
After graduating from pharmacy school in 2005, Heston worked five years for Wal-Mart before learning about an opportunity to join an ownership group that was starting a new independent pharmacy in the Yukon area.
The location? Inside Mercy Health Canadian County.
Mercy Health hadn’t operated the clinic pharmacy for several years, and the space was then being used for storage.
Heston negotiated with Mercy on a lease for the pharmacy, which was called West Pointe after the name of the development at the southeast corner of Mustang Road and Reno.
“I saw the sign that said ‘Westpointe’ in front of Mid-First Bank,” he said. “It was something that identified the area and I thought it sounded catchy.”
Heston – who bought out the pharmacy from his partners four years ago and is now 100% owner – has great respect for other well-established independent pharmacies inside Yukon city limits. He specifically mentioned Conrad-Marr Drug and United Pharmacy.
West Pointe Pharmacy, which is between Yukon and Mustang in west Oklahoma City, draws customers from surrounding areas.
A BRIGHT FUTURE
Heston truly enjoys being the owner and pharmacist of his own store.
“We don’t have a board with shareholders,” he said. “Our corporate structure is me. I do like to bounce ideas off my wife.”
Wife Cory is a speech pathologist with Yukon Public Schools. They have a seven-year-old son, Cooper; and three-year-old daughter, Claire.
Heston may eventually want to have his own building if he finds the right site. But for now, he and his team are happy to be inside the Mercy Health Canadian County clinic – with a convenient space right inside the main front entrance.
“I appreciate all of our customers, especially the long-term ones,” Heston said. “I hope to be part of this community – and a provider in the Yukon/Mustang area – for many years to come.”
Hours at West Pointe Pharmacy are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
For more information, call West Pointe Pharmacy at (405) 256-6653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org