Those of you who feel like you’re in good, capable hands when taking a prescription to the local Rite Aid pharmacy have been proven absolutely correct. And head pharmacist Jerry Robertson has the hardware to prove it.
Robertson was recently awarded the first ever pharmacy of the year award for Rite Aid’s District 10, which spans from northern California to Bakersfield and includes about 30 stores. To put the award into perspective, there are only 10 such districts in the nation.
The award was based on several criteria, including excellence in patient care, staff development and pharmacy growth. Robertson and staff run such a great program that Rite Aid sends other pharmacy techs to Corcoran to train. Currently, there are two employees from Lemoore working at the local pharmacy, while Robertson has two of his own people working in the Lemoore store.
Robertson’s is a well known face behind the pharmacy counters in Corcoran. He came to the community in 1971 to work at R&M Drug, a downtown staple owned and operated by Ray Mustain since the late 1930s. After about 10 years, he opened Jerry’s Drug in the lobby of Corcoran District Hospital, then expanded to include stores in Tulare and Woodlake.
He remained in private business for about 20 years, when he merged with Rite Aid after the store located to Corcoran.
In addition to his own experience, he also brought along trained pharmacy techs when he made the move. Their help has been invaluable in training a new generation of employees, he noted. He never misses a chance to encourage his techs to continue their education.
“I think the thing tht makes me most proud is that I now have four pharmacy techs who have gone back to school and are taking classes to become pharmacists,” noted the Unicersity of the Pacific graduate. “There is such a shortage of pharmacists and we really need them.”
Robertson noted that the techs cannot swap experience for education, “but the classes will be a whole lot easier because of the knowledge they already possess.”
Robertson said he was gratified to be presented the award, and happy to share it with his staff.
“It’s humbling,” he commented. “Rite Aid has some stellar pharmacists in this district, so it’s really nice to be recognized this way.”
The award was presented during Rite Aid’s annual district banquet, held in Visalia in late April.