It’s been almost two years since the COVID-19 pandemic took center stage for many in Arkansas, and that has brought about new experiences for almost all of us. There are new forms of working, going to school, and general social engagement.
For Jon Martin, owner of Bryant Family Pharmacy, he and his team adapted to these ways of living and working with new practices to serve their patients.
“We’ve adjusted the way we protect our customers, protect ourselves, and how we approach our patients,” he said. “For a while, we had the lobby closed, but have since reopened. Obviously, COVID-19 has increased our delivery service requirements, and a lot of our patients are still using it today. We try to be sensitive to how many of our patients are still concerned to leave their homes.”
And Martin and his team of almost 30 employees soldier on, doing their best to provide top-level care for those most vulnerable.
“This has really forced our hand into seeing just what we could do for public safety,” he said. “I’m not just talking about Bryant Family—it’s amazing to see how all of the pharmacies in Saline County have been able to pull together, work together and accomplish so much for the betterment of these residents.”
It has all been a unique experience, but for Martin and his team, many of whom spend their time together away from work, it has allowed them to form a new word describing what they’ve become: Pharmily.
“It’s a term they came up with, and I think it sticks,” he said. “One of the big things we do is to hold a full staff meeting each month, giving everyone a chance to share parts of our lives.
“It’s proven to be a real opportunity to hear about some of the interesting and enjoyable experiences we’ve been having away from the pharmacy. I think it’s a great testament to our staff, and shows a way that keeps us all connected.”
Martin says it’s that connection among his team that allows them to maintain a patient-focused practice where customers know they are welcome and are cared for. “The personal touch is our biggest strength,” he said. “We try to make sure that our patients are taken care of and are satisfied every time they come through the door.
“One of the simplest things we can do—and I really believe this—is greeting our patients by name,” he added. “Letting them know we recognize them when they come through the door, not just their face, but also their name, lets them know that they’re not just a number or just a prescription we’re trying to get through the door.”
It’s a philosophy that comes easily to Martin, 36. A Bryant native, he grew up just a mile from where Bryant Family Pharmacy now stands. He also married his high school sweetheart and went on to earn his degree from Arkansas Tech University.
After completing his doctorate in Pharmacy from UAMS, Martin returned to Saline County where he worked for the USA Drug chain on Highway 5. Little did he know a decision involving that job would set into motion a series of events bringing him to where he and his family are today.
“When Walgreens bought out that chain, closing the stores, I decided it was time for me to step up and do something,” he said. “I believed that the people in our community, the patients here in Bryant and Saline County, deserved local, homegrown service from people they knew and saw every day.”
So in April 2013, Martin opened Bryant Family Pharmacy. “The way I looked at it was, ‘Somebody’s got to do it, and why can’t it be me?’” he said.
Since then, he and his fellow pharmacists have grown the business and its place within the community. Now, as they get set to start their ninth year, the pharmacy is preparing for a new home.
“About five years ago, I invested in some land along Highway 5, and we’re proud to say that we’ll be expanding to a new facility,” Martin said. “It’s a spot where I think we’ll be better equipped to serve our patients, and it’s something currently underway. In fact, within the past few weeks, they began erecting the building. So, we’re obviously very excited about that.”
When he’s away from the pharmacy, Martin enjoys time with his wife, Bricin, and their children, Lainey and Tanner. He also enjoys giving back to his community through organizations benefitting Bryant and Saline County.
Asked what we could all do to start the New Year off well, Martin said, “Find a balance of health and happiness. Exercise will become monotonous if it’s not also enjoyable. Diets will become torture if you don’t ever allow yourself the things you enjoy.
“Balance is key to being healthy and happy.”
After your first visit to Bryant Family Pharmacy, you will leave feeling like part of their family and trusting them to take care of yours! They are located at 3801 Highway 5 North. You can visit them at https://bryantfamilyrx.com or by calling 501.847.2880.