The Medicine Man Stores covers North Idaho like a security blanket
By Mike Maltais
If any competitor has plans to out-market The Medicine Man Pharmacy Group, they had better be a very early riser and prepared to miss dinner. This ten-store group of Good Neighbor Pharmacy stores covering northern Idaho has its fingers on the pulse of its communities and customers like few others do. Medicine Man is continually finding innovative ways to be a valuable conduit of information and advice to its followers.
A common thread of being actively involved and supporting worthy causes runs throughout The Medicine Man ethic, tying each store to its community and patients.It’s no easy assignment to catch up with Medicine Man founder and mentor Brian Jorgenson. He is always somewhere, giving a hand to various causes from hospice facilities to veteran’s groups.
Brian walked away from a chain store career to start his first pharmacy—known as Medicine Man Ironwood in Coeur d’Alene– in 1983. Since that time, he has mentored a half-dozen entrepreneurs who now own and operate Medicine Man pharmacies of their own.
Barry Feely signed on with Jorgenson’s first store and now owns Medicine Man North in Coeur d’Alene, two in Hayden and one in Athol.
Don Smith interned at Medicine Man after graduating University of Montana and now owns Medicine Man West and Southwest in Post Falls and another in Rathdrum.
Michelle Duhon has the Medicine Man in Sand Point, and Shane and Aimee Stuermer, both University of Montana pharmacy grads, opened Medicine Man Bonners Ferry in 2012.
Brian, Barry, and Don formed The Medicine Man Group to keep the store on point for purposes of name recognition and marketing.
Don’s employee, Bridget Hanna rides herd on Medicine Man’s marketing program, a “community-based and client-driven strategy,” says Bridget, “to simply better understand and support our community.”
The campaign hits all the local hot buttons through a combination of social media savvy and down-home appeal designed to keep clients interested as well as informed. A recent boat giveaway rewarded a Hayden couple with a 14-foot boat, EZ load trailer, and a 2.3hp motor.
As a guest speaker, Barry discussed The Medicine Man’s marketing at the Good Neighbor Pharmacy ThoughtSpot 2019 Conference in Las Vegas last July.
A common thread of being actively involved and supporting worthy causes runs throughout The Medicine Man ethic, tying each store to its community and patients.
A few examples of The Medicine Man community outreach:
- Barry sponsors 16 wash stations at August North Idaho State Fair.
- Brian hosts Wounded Warrior Project camps.
- Don sponsors a “Wine, Stein & Dine” fundraiser benefiting the Post Fall Education Foundation.
- Shane and Aimee Stuermer support the Fry Healthcare Foundation Festival of Heart benefitting Boundary Community Hospital.
The Medicine Man stores also support the non-profit Hospice of North Idaho and Kootenai Humane Society. Medicine Man staff wear RED T-shirts every Friday from Memorial Day through Veterans Day to Remember Everyone Deployed. T-shirt sales proceeds are donated to the VFW.
The Medicine Man has a drug take-back program for unused or expired medications and provide animal compounding for veterinarians at medman4pets.com.
Visitors to Medicine Man’s website—medmanpharmacy.com—or main Facebook page will find a wealth of quick info spots and videos by store pharmacists and staff discussing a range of topics including:
- Medicare Part D
- MedPAX medication management
- Brown bag Services
- Diabetes clinics
Don is excited about a new point-of-care opportunity that was just approved by the Idaho Board of Pharmacy. The new rule, effective July 1, allows pharmacists to prescribe 20 different categories of medications to treat minor conditions. “It allows pharmacies with protocols in place to diagnose and prescribe treatment,” said Don. “So far we can help with urinary tract infections, strep throat, flu—it’s cutting edge.”
The Medicine Man is now in seven Super 1 Foods with an agreement to add sites to future stores. “We’re holding our own with the big chains,” Don said.
The Medicine Man Stores have their patients covered like a security blanket throughout northern Idaho.