Pharmacy of the Year Finalist Roden-Smith Pharmacy: Serving the Military and a Diverse Community

Roden-Smith Pharmacy and its top-of-license practice offers needed care to its eastern New Mexico town

He may not have started Roden-Smith Pharmacy in Clovis, New Mexico, but Micah Lansford, PharmD—and his parents before him—have ensured that the pharmacy plays an important role in the community’s health. According to Lansford, the pharmacy serves a diverse population because of the proximity of Cannon Air Force Base and the many people working in the agricultural, railroad, and dairy industries.

"Roden-Smith Pharmacy has been around for almost 75 years; I just happen to be the current owner,” Lansford said. “I started working in the pharmacy when I was very young—probably at an illegal age—and I got to observe not only my parents, but our entire staff engage with patients. I felt like I really had a front-row seat to see how to really take care of people.”

Roden-Smith’s foundation of care centers around medication synchronization, according to Lansford. Using this strategy, and often pairing it with multidose pill packaging, ensures a consistently convenient experience for the patient. The pharmacy also offers key services such as nonsterile compounding, travel health, and even consulting with facilities to review patients’ medication records. It is this work, in part, that has led to Roden-Smith’s nomination as a Pharmacy of the Year finalist, an annual award given by Good Neighbor Pharmacy at ThoughtSpot, an annual conference and trade show celebrating independent community pharmacy.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Roden-Smith Pharmacy found another chance to shine. Many people in Clovis expected to get their vaccine at the pharmacy; Lansford and his team were able make that happen, which he credits to the medication synchronization program that allowed him to stay organized. The pharmacy received 200 doses of the vaccine, which they administered to a list of patients they had predetermined were eligible for immediate access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

That success allowed Lansford to expand Roden-Smith’s COVID-19 vaccine offerings—and quickly.

“I called the general in charge of [the New Mexico vaccine effort] at the time and said, ‘You know, I’m really the only one here doing it. I could give a lot more if you could promise me more vaccine.’”

To Lansford’s surprise, his suggestion of 2,000 vaccine doses a week was immediately approved, setting off a chain of events that saw the Roden-Smith team securing a location, internet access, and support of Clovis city officials in the form of emergency medical services and on-site coordination.

Roden-Smith’s Good Neighbor Pharmacy business coach Justin Baker has been working with the pharmacy for 4 years. This time, Baker said, has been filled with change, from Lansford taking control of the business in 2019 to the impact of the pandemic on Roden Smith’s operations and service offerings.

“Roden-Smith Pharmacy has been a health care destination for a long time, thanks to their dedication to operating at the top of their license and getting involved with clinical pharmacy as soon as possible,” Baker explained. “It really prepared them for the unforeseen circumstances of COVID-19.”

The wider Clovis community is also full of support for Roden-Smith. Jelayne Curtis, who worked with Clovis Schools since 1995, spoke about the vaccine programs that the pharmacy developed—initially just for influenza—which have helped ensure that school system staff are able to get necessary vaccines at convenient times. On a more personal note, she credits the pharmacy with helping her care for a loved one.

Anthony Michael Jones joined the Clovis community when he was stationed at Cannon Air Force Base nearly 50 years ago and has been a customer at Roden-Smith since Lansford’s father was the owner in 1996. According to Jones, the synchronization program is one of the best things about the pharmacy; the program allows him to receive all of his medications in 1 visit.

Lansford knows there are still some challenges ahead, especially when it comes to juggling state and federal regulations, requirements from PBMs, and the chance to engage with patients. These issues have been known to keep Lansford up at night, but he’s hopeful that community pharmacy, regulatory bodies, PBMs, and insurers can find a way to work together so everyone can win.

“I hope…that we can evolve our relationship at the pharmacy back to being less about explaining insurance benefits and deductibles and copays and prior authorizations, and more back to medication therapy for patients and being able to prioritize that,” he said. “That would be my hope for the future, and I’m hoping to be a part of that change in whatever way I can.”

Tune in to the latest episode of Over the Counter for more from pharmacist Micah Lansford.