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Pharmacist: Stacey Swartz, PharmD

Pharmacy: The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray

City, State: Alexandria, VA

How many years have you been practicing as a pharmacist?
I earned my Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Duquesne University. I was selected as the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) executive resident in 2009. I continued to serve as a voice for community pharmacists at NCPA until deciding to open my own practice in 2009.

What makes your pharmacy standout from the competition?
The pharmacy offers a diverse array of services including medication therapy reviews, skin care consultations, and vitamin consultations. The pharmacy also provides basic compounding services. The Neighborhood Pharmacy is pet friendly and offers veterinary medications, food and treats for furry family members. My partner and co-owner Barbara Hayward also creates her own aromatherapy oils, salts, and candles. As an alternative holistic treatment, those looking for allergy relief or help falling asleep can purchase aromatherapy oils to relieve symptoms.

What are your biggest challenges?
Some of my long term customers have explained that they must now receive their medication via mail order, or from a preferred pharmacy as defined by their insurance company. Losing customers to other pharmacies is difficult, but the key to staying in business is to offer a variety of products and outstanding customer service. We offer a wide variety of vitamins and skin care products.

Describe a recent rewarding experience with a patient?
A rewarding experience I've had is when a patient came into the store to apologize that her insurance company would no longer allow her to fill medication here. Although it's a fairly common issue, it's touching that the customer values the relationship we've established enough to support my business.

How has NCPA helped your business?
Having worked for NCPA prior to opening my own store, I was well aware of the impact that NCPA has on the growth and future of independent ownership. It was a fellow co-worker, and now co-owner Barbara Hayward, at NCPA that encouraged me to open my own pharmacy practice.