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2010 Health Care Champion Honoree: Gary Grove

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Some might call pharmacist Gary Grove a survivor.

In a time when many independent pharmacies have been gobbled up by chain stores, Grove Pharmacy has remained family-owned for nearly 60 years.

Grove’s parents, Don and Lucille, opened their first pharmacy in 1952 in the Woodruff building in downtown Springfield. Don Grove passed the reins of the business to his son in 1975 after Gary
Grove earned his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Now known as Grove Pharmacy South, the store was moved to the Ferrell-Duncan Clinic at 1001 E. Primrose St. in 1986. Grove added a second location in the 1970s at 1522 E. Sunshine St. and opened Grove Spa at the same location in 1995.

Grove seems most proud of his third pharmacy, which includes a sterile compounding lab that opened in 2008 at 3050 S. National Ave.

“We’ve been doing compounding since we opened,” says Grove, who is president of Grove Pharmacy. “It grew, and we needed a special-built facility just for that.”

The compounding lab enables Grove Pharmacy to make customized medications for patients.

“He really took a step forward in the compounding world, which was good for the Springfield community,” says Tim Gardner, a pharmacist at the compounding facility.

Gardner says Grove’s concern about patient outcomes also fuels growth.

“We care about the patient who is low-income as well as the one (with) high income,” Grove adds. “They get the same treatment and attention.”

Grove is quick to point to his 55 employees for their roles in Grove Pharmacy’s growth.

“The way we’ve been able to stay competitive and progressive is (because of) our staff,” he says. Even after hours, a pharmacist will answer customers’ questions by phone.

Grove plans to keep the business in the family. His oldest son, Whitney, is operations manager for Grove Pharmacies Inc. and Grove Spa. Middle son, Nicholas, works as a pharmacy technician and is a Drury University student with plans to begin pharmacy school next year, while his youngest son, Colby, is a Drury graduate now attending Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy in Erie, Pa.

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