The first thing new patients at ProxsysRx’s Pharmacy in Ocean Springs notice about Mae Durkin are the good manners. While she greets them by their first names, it’s always preceded by the title: “Mister” John, “Miss” Jane. It’s more than a habit. It’s an hereditary trait. (“My mother didn’t get mad much, but one of her biggest pet peeves was a child of hers forgetting their manners”). It’s also a sign of respect that’s genuinely appreciated in this coastal Mississippi town of 18,622, where people still talk like they were raised somewhere besides Television and TikTok.

In short, Mae is one Pharmacist In Charge who understands the importance of first impressions. It’s a principal reason why she’s with us.

The road to ProxsysRx
After five years at a large chain pharmacy, Mae was burned-out. Not just on work, but on life as a pharmacist. She was putting-in 15-hour days, and driving 55 minutes to and from work. She had a single Pharmacy Tech helping her manage more prescriptions than she and her staff of five now fill, even on their busiest days. Worse still, the two of them also had to serve as cashiers for all purchases at the pharmacy counter — prescription or otherwise — while, at the same time, answering a constantly-ringing phone and administering as many as 50 or more vaccinations a day.

With a strong inclination to change career direction, she considered taking a break from work altogether. “I had enough money saved-up to take some time and think about what I really wanted to do next.” That’s when she found ProxsysRx’s ad seeking to fill the Pharmacist In Charge position at Ocean Springs, located inside Singing River Hospital.

About that first impression – –
After a promising conversation with ProxsysRx Talent Acquisition Specialist Bre Lemons, Mae scheduled an interview with Pharmacy Operations Director Drew Holleman. “I did not expect Drew’s first line of questions. He wanted to know all about me, from my current situation to why I was considering a career change. It made me feel almost like a member of the team from the minute we started talking.” It also opened her eyes to a world she didn’t realize even existed. “I’d honestly come to think that working in pharmacy was all bad.”

Given their shared backgrounds, Mae and Drew bonded quickly. “We’d both graduated from Ole Miss, and we’d both worked for the same company straight out of school.” But Mae still had doubts about her qualifications. “The PIC position is a managerial role, and I just wasn’t entirely confident that I had the management experience.”

Drew disagreed. “She may not have had the title attached to her job, but she’d been doing pretty much everything a manager does. Well actually, more like a manager, two staff pharmacists, and a Front-End Coordinator.” It wasn’t just Mae’s work experience that gave Drew confidence in her potential. “What impressed me was the way she presented herself. It was clear she had the attitude, the perspective, and the personality to lead a team.”

All Aboard
Mae’s initial encounter with the PIC she replaced was all the confirmation she needed to know that she was in the right place. “Nicole had accepted an opportunity with a pharmacy who’d asked if she could start immediately, but she insisted on working-out her full two weeks. She genuinely loved ProxsysRx, her staff and her patients, and she wanted to make sure she had enough time to train me — and then move-on, knowing she’d left the pharmacy in good hands.” Mae was equally encouraged by the staff she’d be leading. “I’d gone from working alone with a single technician to three techs (two full-time and one part-time), two RCAs and a front-end coordinator. That told me I was with a company that really cares about quality patient care, and about their employees’ work-life balance.”

Good Vibrations
“Honestly, I’ve been lucky with everyone I’ve worked-with at ProxsysRx — here and in the corporate office. Nicole did a great job training me, but I still wanted feedback after she left — so for a while, I called Drew almost every day. Mainly because I wanted to be sure I was doing a good job. He’s such a great resource for me — even now, after nearly two years.

“Since I joined ProxsysRx, I’ve always had the resources I need to manage a successful pharmacy, and keep my staff happy and engaged. There are so many people in the corporate office who are there for advice and support,” she continues. “Miss Becky [Clark, Corporate Trainer], Richard [Thomas, Director of Managed Accounts], Eric [Teer, Director of Facilities & Implementation]. And, of course, Drew. They’re all very busy people, but they’ve always been just a phone call or email away for me.

“Here’s another thing: I can’t say enough about the people they’ve sent me since I started. From finding and vetting through onboarding, they’ve helped me build a great team.” A team that’s expanded right along with the significant growth in prescription and retail-sale volume they’ve enjoyed.

One of the first people Mae interviewed was “Miss Stacy” (Lovett), the pharmacy’s FEC. “I asked her the typical interview questions: Past work experience, family life, work goals and personal goals for her future. Honestly, she made me feel so good that, when our interview was over, I couldn’t stop myself — I just had to hug her! We still laugh about that. Miss Stacy has such amazing customer service skills, a lot of people come to this pharmacy because of her. She knows them by name. She even remembers things like the snacks they buy.”

Mae’s also done some recruiting herself. “I’d worked with Donnie Boucher, one of our techs, at my last job — and it didn’t take much convincing to get him over here. I’m so excited for Donnie,” she says. “He just learned he’s been accepted at pharmacy school.”

As Mae’s team has expanded, so has its fan club — both in the hospital and the community. “After they’ve been served by the RCAs handling our Meds To Beds program, patients routinely move their business from their old pharmacies to ours. We actually have easy-access parking, we can hand-deliver prescriptions to patients in their cars — and we also offer free home-delivery service by mail.

“Whenever we’ve hired new people,” she continues, “we’ll introduce them all over the hospital — and we always bring-along some kind of treat.” For their last New Employee road show, they took a variety of offerings from Tato-Nut — the donut shop — which, Mae says, is as revered locally as Krispy Kreme is in many cities.

One Ocean Springs tradition the pharmacy celebrates annually is Mardi Gras. Last year, the staff set-up a Mardi Gras-themed backdrop and offered complimentary photos, with masks and beads, to anyone visiting the store. And while that’s yet another way the staff has endeared itself to patients and customers alike, what’s engendered the fiercest loyalty is the pharmacy’s proactive patient support. “Whenever we give a patient Meds To Beds service, we follow-up with them — in case they need any help with their prescriptions.” And on the rare occasion when a scheduled refill medication isn’t in stock, Mae will call a patient to let them know.

“We don’t want anyone wasting a trip,” she says “while we’re working to get that prescription back in stock.” You might call that a product of Mae’s upbringing. After all, there’s no reason that even bad news — however temporary — can’t be delivered with good manners.


Unlock your career potential in pharmacy with ProxsysRx

At ProxsysRx, we’re intent on preserving the reputation we’ve earned as an employer of choice. It’s why our company culture is centered around guiding principles we call “ProxsysRx Cares.”

We understand that our employees are people with lives and needs outside of work. From our generous paid-time off, to no late-night hours, it’s our goal to be a place where you’ll feel valued and supported. A place where you’ll genuinely enjoy working. It’s an approach that’s good for our people, and in turn, for the patients and health systems we serve.

Here’s hoping that, someday soon, we’ll unlock your potential together!