Talk about dependable and steady, last month marked 30 years in the
same career and location for Tim Yantis, as pharmacist to owner of
Chetco Pharmacy and Gifts.
"It's been a nice ride," Yantis said recently, adding, "Maybe one of these days I'll retire."
In addition to the growing business in Brookings, Yantis purchased
Gold Beach Pharmacy in December 2009. "I'd been going by it for years
and years, and I just thought, 'Let's get that store,'" he said.
Yantis applied for a job at Chetco Pharmacy March 31, 1980, almost immediately after earning his pharmacy degree from Oregon State University and passing the state boards. "I applied, and I was hired that day," Yantis said.
When Frenchy Arrel and Doug Peterson, then owners of Chetco Pharmacy, hired Yantis, it's doubtful that any of them foresaw that the new young pharmacist would still be there 30 years later.
Yantis said he never considered any other career. "I was inspired by my brother-in-law, Bill Wells, who was a pharmacist, and I enjoy it very much," he said.
Over the years Yantis has continued to modernize and expand. Both the pharmacy and the gift business have grown. New computerized equipment for filling prescriptions, modernized fixtures, and conscientious sales personnel, plus additional gift items, some in response to customers' requests, have all contributed to the customer loyalty Yantis and his co-workers enjoy.
One customer said, "And they wrap the packages beautifully."
"Probably the best thing is the customer service implemented by everyone in the store, and that also has to do with technology," Yantis said.
Being realistic, Yantis added, "Health care is gonna' get tougher and tougher in more and more ways." He explained that, with the insurance companies limiting the drugs they will pay for, the pharmacist's job is more difficult. "Some people get downright mean," he lamented.
He added, "It's going to get worse. It's not going to be a great thing for any health care provider as the insurance companies dictate what drugs can be covered."
Yantis suggested "a little more kindness" for the pharmacist who has no control over which drugs are approved. He added that it is just getting more complicated. "(The customers) can help by calling the doctor or insurance company themselves," he said.
Yantis noted that, while earning his degree took five years, "It's getting harder to get in now and is an eight-year program."
In spite of all the difficulties arising, Yantis is still happy about his career choice and still enjoys it as the years go by.
"It's a full-time job, working from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Brookings and then going back to Gold Beach where I live," he said.
His loyal and devoted customers will, no doubt, be happy to know that he is taking care of himself. He indicated he is determined to keep in shape in spite of his demanding schedule. "I'm trying to get healthier, and I'm exercising," he said.
Although he has no plans for retirement, he did say, "Maybe retirement would be nice, to go traveling. I do have some goals to travel."
But, for the time being, Yantis and his growing staff of about 20 employees, including three other pharmacists, will continue to provide customer service.