Personalized healthcare is nothing new to local pharmacist Pam Layton. Before she fully understood the concept of service, she witnessed it first hand.
Layton spent most of her teenage years visiting her father’s medical clinic after school. Her dad, Dr. Gurmukh Bawa, practiced in a small family clinic on Broad Street in the heart of New Orleans. It was here that she not only saw the exceptional care he provided to his patients, but she also recognized the impact that his time and attention had on his patients. His commitment to medicine, as well as to the patients he served, did not go unnoticed by his only daughter. The same commitment to service—which led Dr. Bawa to become a solo practitioner following his service in the US Army—is what compelled Layton to become an independent pharmacist. Just as her father chose a path that would allow him to spend more time with his patients, Layton pursued a path that would allow her to do the same. That path led to Layton Family Pharmacy.
Whether delivering medicines and sundries to nearby assisted living facilities, supporting local philanthropic activities or holding flu clinics for area businesses, Layton’s has shown it is as dedicated to serving the community as it is to serving its customers. “We are all in this together,” Layton said. “We have taken the ‘shop local’ philosophy one step further by supporting businesses as well as local causes. The feedback, referrals and positive reviews from friends, neighbors and customers confirm we are doing something right…that we really are making a difference in people’s lives.”
After years of working in large chain pharmacies, Layton realized the only way she could truly deliver the personalized service she desired was to venture out on her own. She and her husband Shawn worked with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University to develop a business plan. Upon completion, they located a suitable space and built out the pharmacy according to her own distinct vision.
“I am lucky to have a great husband who has supported me every step of the way. Shawn helped build the pharmacy, not only in the development of the business plan, but in the actual building of displays, painting and installing flooring,” she said. “Shawn handles all of the administration, management and marketing for the pharmacy, which allows me to focus my attention on practicing pharmacology.” Layton also credits her staff with the success the pharmacy has achieved over the years. Ongoing training and team building activities help the team understand and live by the company’s mission of service. “We believe pharmacy should do more than just fill prescriptions. We want to be more than a provider of medications. We want to be an important part of the healing process,” she said.
Layton Family Pharmacy is located on Highway 21 in Covington and offers clients old-fashioned, personalized service in a modern, boutique atmosphere. State-of-the-art equipment, highly trained pharmacists and an experienced support staff enable the pharmacy to serve patients with complicated diseases such as cancer and HIV as well as the special needs population, the elderly and those in hospice care.
In addition to providing specialized medicines for rare, complex and chronic conditions, Layton’s also offers non-sterile compounding services for specifically designed medications as well as “sure packs” for those who struggle to manage multiple prescriptions. Packs are divided into 28-day slots, with slots containing each of the medicines that should be taken daily.
Every aspect of the pharmacy is designed to evoke a sense of calm, both inside the building and outside of it. Drive-through service and a regular delivery schedule are offered as alternatives for patients who cannot or do not wish to physically come into the pharmacy. “We want to give patients who are fighting life-threatening diseases and their caretakers one less thing to worry about,” Layton said. “That’s why we offer free delivery throughout St. Tammany Parish. We help people save time and effort—two things that are better spent toward healing their bodies.”
When it comes to delivery service, Layton said that the only requirement is that someone needs to be home to accept the delivery. “These are highly regulated medicines and we cannot simply leave them on a front porch or in a mailbox. We have a responsibility to make sure medicines are getting to the right patients, and we take that responsibility seriously.” Not only does the pharmacy let customers choose the way they want to receive their medicines, it also lets them choose how they want to communicate. Refills and transfers can be done by phone, online or through their mobile app. Similarly, “available for pick up” notifications can be sent by phone, email or text messaging. Despite all the technology available to them, Layton said one thing she will never have is an automated phone system.
“We are a company made up of talented people on a mission to serve people. It may seem like a small thing, but having a live person answering the phone is an important example of putting the customer first,” she said.
Layton Family Pharmacy is located at 70457 Highway 21 in Covington. Call 985-888-1170 or visit laytonfamilypharmacy.com for more information.