Every day continues to be an adventure for Port Macquarie's Judy Plunkett after 40 years as a pharmacist and business owner.
Customers are invited to an instore celebration at Plunkett's TerryWhite Chemmart Port Macquarie on Wednesday, November 30 to mark Ms Plunkett's 40-year milestone in business.
Ms Plunkett developed and operated the business ventures with her former husband Mark until taking over in her own right in 2006.
It all started with the Plaza Pharmacy in 1982 at the Plaza Shopping Centre. The clients were mainly elderly folk at the Port Macquarie CBD location near Flemings supermarket.
Plunkett's Health Food Shop at the newly opened Settlement City was added to the mix in 1985.
There have been various pharmacy locations over the four decades including Port Macquarie's first seven-day 8am to 8pm pharmacy in Gordon Street.
The vision included a medical centre next door, and so, Eight to Eight Medical Centre opened in conjunction with Dr David Gregory and Dr Jeremy Crawford.
"That was the beginning of the concept of seven days a week access for the community to health care at that time in Port Macquarie," Ms Plunkett said.
The pharmacy moved to a nearby former car yard site in Gordon Street in 1988. The redevelopment of the precinct came a decade later after the third tenant Dr Rick Alterator came on board.
Ms Plunkett opened a pharmacy in Wauchope in 2012. Plunkett's TerryWhite Chemmart Wauchope has since relocated to a larger site.
Ms Plunkett's focus has remained constant.
"I love my job and it's about the people," she said.
"I am now looking after third generation of families and the fourth generation of some families."
Changes over the years include the introduction of computerisation. New medications have led to better health outcomes.
Pharmacy automation has been added with a robot in each store managing the dispensary stock, along with medication packing robots.
The role of a pharmacist has expanded to include vaccinations, weight management, blood glucose testing, medication management and sleep apnea services.
"The design of pharmacies and the emphasis on providing health care has evolved over 40 years," Ms Plunkett said.
"It has been an evolution and we continue to grow all the time."
Ms Plunkett thanked her "amazing staff" over the years and all the patients she has looked after.
The two pharmacies employ a total of 45 people.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.