In 2005, pharmacists Todd Tamplin and Dean Clayton purchased a community pharmacy on Tunnel Road in Asheville, North Carolina, with the intention of creating a customer-service focused community pharmacy for their community. A cozy and intimate space, the pharmacist was the first person customers saw when they walked in the door. Patients appreciated the easy access to this knowledgeable and professional health care resource, to whom they could ask questions and voice concerns without an appointment.
Todd and Dean were inspired by their patients’ stories and wanted to know more about what they wanted from their community pharmacy. After years of listening, they put together a team of experts to build a new model for community pharmacy, with plans for a new building, new service offerings, and a new partnership with a team of primary care providers who shared their philosophy. The team was determined to set a new standard for customer service and patient care, and they wanted to begin with a new name.
The Name and Brand:
They knew that they wanted to move away from the common name Blue Ridge, and set out to find a name that set them apart from the crowd.
The team went through an extensive and thoughtful naming process that began with looking at their values. They worked for weeks defining their mission, their culture, and the feeling they wanted their patients to have.
They experimented with names that spoke to the location in North Carolina, like Longleaf Pharmacy and Fox Tail Pharmacy. There were more abstract names, like Gia and Spark Pharmacies.
But at the end of the day, it remained clear that listening is the foundation of everything they do – listening to their patients about what they need from healthcare, listening to their community about what it needs, and listening to their providers about how they want to interact with patients.
So, they picked the name Sona. It’s evocative of listening, and its more abstract, modern nature exemplifies their fresh, new approach to healthcare.
As for the logo, the team was excited about designing a brand that was innovative and unique, which is a perfect fit for the progressive thinking behind the businesses idea.
The Sona team strives to set a new standard for customer service in a community pharmacy. Their aim is to provide an innovative alternative to chain pharmacies – a place where your health care needs are met with service, quality, and convenience – where patients matter most.
They will do this in two primary ways:
1) Devoting a pharmacist to the health and wellness of our patients by freeing them from the dispensing process to provide direct patient care to customers as soon as they walk in the door.
2) Using a team-based approach: Pharmacists, doctors, and nurses collaborating to serve patients under one roof.
Sona Pharmacy + Clinic is a community pharmacy, primary care clinic, and urgent care clinic in Asheville, North Carolina. Sona Pharmacy + Clinic is scheduled to open May 31st, 2016. The pharmacy will continue to be operated by Brad Melson and the team from Blue Ridge Pharmacy. Dr. David “Gus” Vickery of Vickery Family Medicine will manage the primary care and urgent care services.
The old location at 948 Tunnel Road will close the same day that the new location at opens. Existing patients need not do anything – your prescriptions will transfer over automatically.
The building was designed by George Stowe Architects.