Lisa Kaiser Reer grew up dusting the shelves of her grandfather’s pharmacy in Norwalk. By the time she was 16, she was working there part time. After graduating from college in 1995, she joined the family business as a staff pharmacist. “I feel like I was born in the pharmacy,” she says with a laugh.
Reer and her family have always prided themselves on treating customers like family. So the question is, what changes will customers see at Kaiser Community Pharmacy since it became part of the Fisher-Titus Health System in November?
“They can still expect the same great personalized service that they've always come to know,” she says. “We always tell patients we will do anything in our power to take care of them, to help satisfy them, to make sure they can still come to their hometown pharmacy where they're all a part of our family as well.”
There are, however, a few details that are changing. The pharmacy’s new name is Kaiser Community Pharmacy and Home Medical Equipment. Its home—now on Benedict Avenue in Norwalk—will be upgraded with a new look and new technology.
But perhaps the best change is that customers will be able to pick up their prescriptions at a convenient location right across the street from Fisher-Titus Medical Center. “It’s not always convenient to stop at the pharmacy,” Lisa notes.
Kaiser Wells Pharmacy was launched in 1941 when John Kaiser Sr. partnered with Franklin Wells to open a store and pharmacy at 1 West Main Street in Norwalk. It remained there until 1973 when Kaiser Sr. purchased property at 251 Benedict Avenue where the pharmacy is still located. Lisa’s dad, John Kaiser Jr., took over the business in 1972. After losing her father in 2014, Lisa found herself at the helm of the family business.
Although she had considered becoming a veterinarian, she found the business drawing her in. “I was getting to know people at the pharmacy,” she says. “And just seeing their faces when you help them out or just take care of their family. ... That's when I decided that this is what I wanted to do.”
There is one question that Lisa’s customers have asked more than any other: Will she still be working at the pharmacy?
“They think maybe I'm selling the business and leaving, but that is absolutely not it at all,” says Lisa, whose new title is Director, Retail Pharmacy Services. “They are stuck with me—and all the faces that they have come to know. The whole point of this was to strengthen the awesome healthcare system that Fisher-Titus has been working to build. To be a part of it is just exciting. It's such rewarding work—looking to the future, planning and trying to see what can we do to better our services for the community.”
No matter what the pharmacy is named, the bottom line is always the same. “We try to treat people like we want to be treated,” Lisa says. “We try to treat people like family.”