By MICHELLE MCCONNAHA of the Ravalli Republic | Jan 11, 2017
Family owners Pete and Jeni Seifert have served customers at Bitterroot Drug for 11 years. The Siefert’s are hosting Customer Appreciation Week, Jan. 16 – 20.
Bitterroot Drug just completed a year and a half of remodeling that gives the staff room to better meet customer needs. The expansion includes a compounding area, vaccination room, storage area, staff meeting room, offices and space for medications.
“This has been our third remodel, done in phases,” Pete said. “It has been a work in motion.”
“The expansion is already getting full,” Jeni said.
New federal guidelines and requirements will use some of the space differently than the couple anticipated.
The Seifert’s said the expansion was essential and due to growth of business.
“The growth is a testament to our staff and how they take care of every single person that walks through the door,” Pete said. “It is personalized service.”
Bitterroot Drug has been a family owned business in the community for over 100 years. Currently, there are five pharmacists, seven pharmacy technicians and clerks totaling 25 employees. That is double the number since the Siefert’s purchased the business Feb. 15, 2006.
“We’ve retained almost all of our existing staff,” Pete said. “We just keep adding.”
Every day the staff is busy filling orders, giving vaccinations, compounding medications, delivering orders to someone that is homebound, helping someone figure out their Medicare prescription plan and helping customers in general. They added an asthmatic specialist. They have several different compliance packaging options for patients to help them organize their medications.
Bitterroot Drug participates in a Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital discount program where they can get discounted medications for any person regardless of their income as long as they are a patient of a Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital prescriber.
“For 2016, we saved patients over $800,000,” Pete said. “We really helped patients with respiratory problems and diabetics. We’re starting the same thing with Sapphire Community Health Center. It’s pretty rewarding that we can give someone a $1,000 worth of insulin for $15.”
Bitterroot Drug has a prescription disposal box.
“It’s a big thing,” Pete said. “We are trying to safely dispose of drugs. This allows customers to dispose of old medications in an environmentally conscious way and for patient safety.”
Jeni said the services help retain staff members.
“It’s kind of like doing pharmacy the way it used to be done,” Jeni said. “That’s why our staff stays; they enjoy the reward of working with patients. We have a great staff. People just walk in and tell us how much they appreciate them.”
Pete said Bitterroot Drug is busy but staffed adequately to take care of patient needs and the toy store is a bonus.
“We have older customers come in there and they just love it,” Jeni said.
The recent remodel at Bitterroot Drug took over a year and a half.
“We were never closed a single day,” Pete said. “Jared Dowd of Dowd Construction worked all night when we did the wall. We had a lot of late nights with them and their subcontractors; they really helped us and were amazing.”
Jeni said the remodel was an investment in staff and customers.
“The completed remodel was a big boost in morale,” she said.
Bitterroot Drug and Main Street Toys are hosting Customer Appreciate Week 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, Jan. 16 – 20. The fun includes an old-fashioned coke machine for 10 cents a bottle, gifts and a grand prize. There will be treats Monday, Wednesday and Friday provided by MineShaft Pasty and Red Rooster.
“We value our customers, without all of them we would not exist,” Jeni said.
Pete attributes the longevity and success of Bitterroot Drug to a long-standing history of a dedicated staff and valued relationships with patients.
“We have loyal customers,” Pete said. “Patients value personal service and appreciate that we pay attention to their needs and take time with them. Relationships are important.”
Bitterroot Drug is located at 211 W Main St, Hamilton. For more information call (406)363-3611 or visit online bitterrootdrug.com.