Owners: Brian Johnson, PharmD, and Nikki Johnson
Location: Brewster, WA
Brian and Nikki Johnson are the third owners of Brewster Drug and True Value Hardware Store in Brewster, Washington. The combination pharmacy and store is a long-standing community pillar that serves the region’s unique community demographics and location. Brewster sits east of the Cascade Mountains on the banks of the Columbia River, close to the mouth of the Okanogan River. Access to water has helped shape agriculture, hydropower, and recreation as the region’s primary industries. The population in the area can double from season to season with agricultural laborers and tourism creating a mobile patient and customer population.
Brewster’s rural location and close relationship to the region’s seasonal changes have a direct impact on how the Johnsons operate their pharmacy and business. Outside of the orchards, massive packing sheds and agriculture cooperatives, Brewster Drug, and True Value Hardware are one of the area’s largest independent businesses and employers.
Brian, along with other staff members, speaks Spanish to better communicate with the pharmacy’s large population of Spanish-speaking patients and customers. Brian said, “I work hard to improve healthcare literacy.” The pharmacy demonstrates the critical need and opportunity pharmacies have to better their patients’ lives and access to healthcare. Being able to communicate, educate, and provide a resource for his patients is improving Brewster’s community health care access.