Lori and Forrest Mitchell have grown their professional lives—and their personal lives—in parallel.
Lori is the pharmacy manager at Store 4065 in Wilmington, North Carolina, while Forrest is the pharmacy manager at Store 7243 in Burgaw, North Carolina, about 30 miles outside Wilmington.
Walmart World recently talked with the couple to learn more about their jobs at Walmart and how they take care of their patients and each other.
Here’s what the couple had to say about:
How they met….
You might guess that married pharmacists met on the job. But Lori and Forrest actually met as undergraduates at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Lori says she “knew that I wanted to be a pharmacist when I was in high school.” But Forrest was still undecided on his career path. He considered dentistry and other medical fields before deciding to pursue pharmacy as well.
Their early careers and joining Walmart….
After getting their degrees, Lori and Forrest both went to work for the same national pharmacy chain a few years apart. They’d been there for about 16 years when a former coworker, now a market manager at Walmart, reached out and told them they should think about switching companies.
“The way she presented it, it definitely sounded like a better company,” Lori recalls. “There's more staffing, more help and the company seems to care about you more.”
Eight years later, they’re both happy they made the jump to Walmart.
“I'm really enjoying Walmart,” Forrest says. “I feel like the company really cares about you. They provide enough help for us to focus on being pharmacists.”
Leaning on their teams….
That support means they can meet the new demand for immunizations without falling behind on filling prescriptions, for example. They can spend time to make sure patients are taking their medications as prescribed.
Learning to delegate is key for a pharmacy manager, Lori explains. “There's a lot of responsibilities, and if you don't learn how to delegate and get your whole staff on board, it's almost impossible to complete it.”
Leaning on each other….
That spirit of teamwork exists not just between Lori and her team and Forrest and his team, but between the couple as well.
They say they try to keep the work talk at home to a minimum—especially on weekends, when they’re busy with their three girls, ages 9, 12 and 13—but they’ll review work emails on weekday mornings to see what issues are coming up and text or call each other during the day.
“We call each other almost daily at work,” Lori says. “If we have a question, or if we can't figure something out, we do help each other a lot.”
Taking care of their communities….
Both Lori and Forrest say that caring for their patients is what they like the most about their jobs.
“There's a lot of days where you're not having the best day but then something will happen and you'll make a change in somebody’s life and then you have some fulfillment from that,” Lori says.
Part of taking care of the community means helping patients find a way to afford their medications.
“We work with a lot of people to help reduce their costs,” Lori explains. ”That is a big part of our job. Sometimes we can get the medication changed to something they can afford or find a different program or something to help them afford it.”
Forrest says he feels like he’s built a good relationship with the Burgaw community, and people know they can come to see him at Walmart when they have a problem.
“I feel like kind of a go-to person in the area,” he says. “I feel like I've established a rapport out here. And at the end of the day, it makes you feel good.”
Sam’s Club and Walmart pharmacists play an important role in helping our communities stay healthy. We’re celebrating each and every one of them for Pharmacy Appreciation Month 2022. Check out more stories from the pharmacy on WalmartWorld.com.