The world might moving toward a corporate economy, but Pole Mountain Pharmacy owner Brett Kvenild said small businesses can still play a key role in communities.

With 20 years experience as a pharmacist, Kvenild said he’s worked for big and small companies, and while both have benefits, he opened his own business so he could build relationships with his customers and give back to the community.

“I’m really excited to be a better local partner,” he said. “In the past, there would be events I would want to support, but moving it up the layers of leadership was prohibitive.”

A University of Wyoming alumnus, Kvenild opened Pole Mountain, 319 Harney St., on April 12. After graduation, Kvenild said he followed his wife to Seattle where he worked at a small, independent pharmacy, before returning to Laramie and working for Walgreens.

“I graduated high school in Laramie, and I have family here,” he said. “I love it here, and I think the outdoor culture embodies a sense of wellness.”

Kvenild said he drew inspiration for the pharmacy’s name from his passion for hiking, biking and skiing.

“Pole Mountain is my happy place,” he said. “(The name) captures what I love about Laramie. It’s a great town, and within 10 minutes I can be out doing all the things I love.”

Although Kvenild kicked the idea of owning his own pharmacy around for some time, he said he didn’t really dive into the project until a couple years ago.

“I think I was always intrigued by the idea,” Kvenild said. “But recently, I finally felt like I was ready to go it on my own.”

A misconception most people have about independent pharmacies is they are more expensive than their corporate counterparts, he said.

“I’m contracted with most of the insurance plans out there, and typically, it’s the insurance companies setting the co-pay price,” Kvenild said. “Also, there’s a lot of niches a small pharmacy can provide like free delivery and (medication synchronization).”

Medication synchronization allows patients to pick up their ongoing prescription refills at the pharmacy on a single day of the customer’s choosing each month, which helps them work closely with the pharmacist on sticking to their medication regimen, the National Community Pharmacists Association states.

In addition, the once a month appointment day facilitates increased pharmacist-patient dialogue and allows time for additional patient care services.

In addition to providing extra services and competitive prices, he said an independent pharmacist can take the time with customers to build a relationship, which could help prevent problems with medication reactions or allow him to notice patterns that might lead to prescription abuse.

“I see my role as a partner with the patients and physicians (as a way) to ultimately focus on their health,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s the patient’s well-being that is my priority.”

Pole Mountain Pharmacy is open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. Call 460-4080 for more information.

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