Terry Gatlin has fulfilled a dream of getting a pharmacy back in downtown Pratt with the opening of Gatlin Pharmacy on Oct. 2.

Opening a new business is always exciting and challenging. For Terry Gatlin, that opening came Monday, Sept. 2 with Gatlin Pharmacy in the 100 block of North Main in Pratt.

It's been many years since there was a pharmacy in downtown Pratt and Gatlin is excited to be able to offer pharmacy services in the downtown area again.

The news of the new pharmacy has generated a lot of comments on their Facebook page. They don't know how many people will come through the door he has faith people will come.

"It's fun to be downtown," Gatlin said.

Gatlin decided he wanted to be able to provide more personal service. His faith is a big part of his life and he wants to put those values in his service to his customers. Gatlin worked at Dillions Pharmacy and they were so busy, Gatlin didn't feel he had enough time to provide the personal service he wanted to offer.

Gatlin Pharmacy is in business to offer personal service, family values and a qualified staff, Gatlin said.

Besides providing prescription services, the pharmacy will offer diabetes training, mobility aids, provide flu shots and even offer a cup of coffee. He also so wants to be able to provide a more decorated atmosphere on the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"It adds to the quality of life in the community," Gatlin said.

Part of the pharmacy focus is with diabetes and making people aware of the importance of a good diet. For too many people, they have three food groups: a cheeseburger, fries and a soft drink, Gatlin said. Gatlin wants to show people, especially for those with diabetes or at risk for diabetes, how a good diet can help keep them healthy.

"We're here to help encourage a better diet," Gatlin said.

Starting in the spring, the pharmacy will be offering diabetes counseling. The store shelves are all on wheels and can be moved to set up chairs and present diabetes information in a group setting.

"We have the tools to look at diabetes and improve people's quality of life," Gatlin said.

He wants to work with Pratt Regional Medical Center and their doctors to provide an extension of what the hospital can do.

Gatlin is also working on another pharmacy degree and this will allow him to offer stronger medicines than other pharmacies. He should be finished with this training in six months. This new training will allow him to apply what he knows in a way he could never do at a chain pharmacy.

For those who don't have time to get to the pharmacy or aren't physically able to get there, a free delivery service is available in town. There is also a curb side service where customers can remain in their vehicles and a staff member will bring out the prescription and handle the transaction with credit card and signature logs on an iPad. There is also a handicapped accessible area in front.

At this time, there is no drive through service but there is a possibility to expand and have drive through service in the future.

Gatlin chose the store location because it was available, affordable and it had the potential to expand to include a drive-through service.

Gatlin is working with the Western States Pharmacy Coalition. This partnership allows Gatlin to keep prices down and be competitive with other pharmacy's in Pratt. Gatlin said because of this partnership, his is considered a Good Neighbor Pharmacy.

A service is available at the pharmacy where customers can enroll with their e-mail address and be able to print their prescription profile on a pocket card and present it to a doctor.

Gatlin will have links to other pharmacies so they can get prescription information from other locations if necessary.

A future addition to the pharmacy will be mixing compounds on-site for animals. Gatlin is taking training right now to get his license so he can provide that service.

Gatlin Pharmacy is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. They are located at 112 North Main and their business phone is 620-770-8008. Their on-line address is gatlinpharmacy.com and they have a Facebook page.

Gatlin has been a pharmacist for 27 years. He has been at the pharmacy in the Pratt Dillons Store for 17 years and was at a pharmacy in a Hays hospital before that.