The teamwork of three area pharmacies is not only improving rural healthcare, but that effort also helped to bring a family back to the area.
Heath Faust, a Petersburg native and 2007 graduate of Boone Central, recently started working as a pharmacist at Wanek Pharmacy in Neligh, Wells Pharmacy in Albion and Elgin Pharmacy in Elgin.
“I was very excited to be able to come back to the area. I always wanted to come back. I didn’t mind it when I lived in Wayne, but when I got to Omaha, I found out pretty fast that it wasn’t right for me. I’m not a city kid at all. I like my space,” Faust said.
Faust earned a chemical science degree from Wayne State and then went on to the University of Nebraska Medical Center for the doctor of pharmacy program.
Attracting Faust back to the area means bringing a family back since Faust is planning a July wedding. He and Jessica Bartak, a Pope John Central Catholic graduate, will be married July 23 and plan to live in Albion. Bartak will teach Spanish next year at St. Edward.
“She was teaching in West Point, but she’ll be in St. Ed in August,” Faust said. “Everything came together and happened really fast.”
Wanek Pharmacy owner Danelle Charf said she’s excited to have Faust in Neligh again. He worked a rotation with Wanek Pharmacy and spent about three weeks with business during his first year of pharmacy school.
“Those rotations are nice for students if they are interested in coming back and working. There is shortage for pharmacists in the area and across the state,” she said. “I am really excited to have Heath here with us. He will be a great addition to the pharmacy. He will be a familiar face to some people around here - especially in Albion and Elgin as well.”
Faust said he chose pharmacy because it’s an exciting field to be in and has always been something that has interested him, especially since earning his chemistry degree.
“We get pretty good hours, competitive wage and a chance to interact with the community,” he said. “Just seeing different faces everyday. You might be doing some of the same things everyday at work, but no two days are alike. That always keeps things interesting.”
Faust said he enjoys helping people, especially with the financial aspect of his job. It’s important for pharmacists to not only help find the best medication for patients, but find some less expensive options.
“One of the big things is that it is easy for us to reach out to people in our profession is to save people money and try to do the best we can to make sure people are on the right medications in the most cost-effective plans that they can be in,” he said.
There’s a lot of responsibility with being a pharmacist, Faust said.
“You get a patient that goes to three different doctors for three different things but wind up on duplicate medications, or two medications in the same class that probably don’t need to be on both and pay a lot of money for them,” he said. “We always get to interact with the customers - always get to talk to them. That is probably one of the best things about the job and making sure everyone is on what they need to be on.”
Faust said he hopes to own his own pharmacy in the future, but in the mean time, he’s thrilled to be working with the three pharmacies.