New pharmacy creates opportunities to learn in Charleston


Analicia Haynes

Sandi Vanatta, a certified technician at WellCreek Pharmacy, listens to her boss, Tal Rozene, July 3 at the pharmacy. She said she enjoys the customers and the interaction she encounters with them. “This is definitely what I enjoy,” she said. “You get to know people, you get to know the families and when you leave or they leave, it’s personal.”

Analicia Haynes, Editor-in-Chief

Having the opportunity to walk into a place “where everybody knows your name” does not always mean walking into the corner bar down the street. Instead, it could mean walking into the hometown pharmacy.

In an attempt to do more for customers and help take care of them on a personal level, Tal Rozene and several other colleagues decided to open up WellCreek Pharmacy at 1 W. Lincoln Ave. over a month ago.

“We saw a need for people,” Rozene, one of the owners of the pharmacy, said. “(People need someone) to have more time to spend with them, educate them, answer their questions and help them. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Charleston was a community that fostered that potential need, he said.

Rozene said pharmacy employees want to provide customers with the opportunity to learn about things such as medications, immunizations and testing devices, such as blood sugar meters.

Growing up in a small town, Rozene started working in an independent pharmacy where he got his initial interest in the industry.

Rozene said he eventually wants to help Eastern students who want to learn about the pharmacy world.

“At some point in my life somebody took the time to teach me things and so I want to pass that along,” he said. “I’d be more than happy to help anybody.”

Along with the independent pharmacy, Rozene has also worked at a hospital and a corporate pharmacy.

“It just got to the point where me and a couple of colleagues didn’t think the customer was being treated properly (in corporate pharmacies) and we wanted to see more done for the patient and we wanted to help more people,” Rozene said.

Rozene said WellCreek Pharmacy offers a relaxed, hands-on experience with open communication between the patient and staff, instead of an uncomfortable environment where patients feel they cannot ask important questions.

He said the concept behind the pharmacy follows the same logic that comes with visiting a doctor because when someone visits their doctor, they are on a first name basis.

“You see your pharmacy more frequently, so you should be able to have a conversation with the staff and know (the staff) by name,” Rozene said. “When you leave a pharmacy you should know what the medicine is for potential side effects and things to look for.”

To get those questions answered, the pharmacy has a consultation room where patients can have a private conversation with a staff member.

“We can all read the directions off of a testing device but it’s different when somebody sits down with you and shows you,” Rozene said.

When visiting the pharmacy, every customer gets a profile that lists all the types of medications, both prescribed and over-the-counter, they take or have taken.

He said that profile is constantly updated, which is why communication with the patient is important.

“The more you talk to somebody, the more you learn about them and the more you can help them,” Rozene said. “So we try to know everybody by name and learn about them.”

Sandi Vanatta, a certified technician at the pharmacy, said she enjoys the customers and the interactions she encounters with them.

“This is definitely what I enjoy,” she said. “You get to know people, you get to know the families and when you leave or they leave, it’s personal.”

It is easy to get attached to customers and the hardest thing is when people leave or die, Rozene said.

Vanatta said she already thinks the pharmacy employees have made friends in the community since it opened.

“We have a little old gentleman who comes by every night and prays for our pharmacy,” she said. “You know you make that connection and it makes you feel good.”

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].