By Travis Sloat
Justin Wedman admits that the closest he’d ever been to Fort Gibson was traveling to Muskogee to buy fireworks during his childhood. But that all changed two years ago when he took over Scott’s ValuMed.
“I was pretty new to the area,” he said. “One of the first things I learned was that this was the home of Teddy Lehman.”
When asked if he had since been turned into a Tiger fan, he replied with no hesitation.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Go Tigers.”
Wedman is part of a trio of business owners out of Oklahoma City who purchased Scott’s Pharmacy in 2010. The name has changed to Scott’s ValuMed Pharmacy since then, and will be changed to ValuMed Pharmacy in October.
Scott’s Pharmacy was started by Scott Atkinson, a Fort Gibson resident who has since stepped down as the proprietor.
The pharmacy has done everything it can to continue to provide local service and competitive pricing. Recently, they employed a new pharmacist, Lauren Deatherage, a Fort Gibson native who is returning to serve her hometown.
Deatherage said most people would probably remember her by her maiden name, which is Harris.
“I was born and raised here,” Deatherage said. “I left to go to Oklahoma University, got my B.S. in Bio-Medicine, then went to their Pharmacy School in Oklahoma City. I was ready to come back. The city has a lot to offer, but Fort Gibson has more. It’ll be great place to raise a family.”
ValuMed Pharmacy is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. They are located in downtown Fort Gibson on Lee Street, but will soon be moving out by the highway in the new shopping center.
Wedman said the move was scheduled to take place Oct. 15, but said it’s dependent on a lot of things.
“TJB Construction is doing all they can to make it happen,” Wedman said. “If it was up to them we’d already be there. The move will take place over a weekend, so there won’t be any time lost.”
Wedman said the new building will be three times bigger and will be home to an expanded over the counter selection as well as a compounding station.
“The best thing about us is our ability to get things for customers in a timely fashion,” he said. “If we don’t have it, 99 times out of 100 we’ll be able to have it here the next day.”
Annette Barnett has worked for both owners and has been employed at the pharmacy for four and a half years. She said she loves to go to work everyday.
“I love the interaction with the boss and other employees,” Barnett said. “We’re very much like a family here. The pharmacy is also in a great town. Fort Gibson is very supportive of its community. Everyone here knows you by your first name.”
When asked what set his pharmacy apart from bigger stores or chain pharmacies, Wedman was quick to mention “value added service.”
“If it takes you fifteen minutes to get in and out of here, something is wrong,” Wedman said. “We take a lot of pride in doing our work accurately, but also in doing it very quickly.”