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Guntersville pharmacy named Health Mart Pharmacy of the Year

GUNTERSVILLE — A Guntersville pharmacy was recently named the 2022 Health Mart Pharmacy of the Year in Washington, D.C.

Bunch Pharmacy was announced as the winner after a weekend of presentations at the McKesson 2022 ideaShare, followed by a vote from trade show attendees. The award was presented to owner Buddy Bunch during a ceremony July 9.

To be chosen as the Best Health Mart Pharmacy in America out of 5,000 Health Mart stores was awesome,” Bunch said, in part, on his Facebook page. “An award like this is never about one person. Without our loyal customers, patients and my family of employees, past and present, and of course God, this would have never happened.”

According to Pharmacy Times, Health Mart has been awarding a Pharmacy of the Year for more than 20 years. The award celebrates a top performing Health Mart pharmacy with staff who are passionate about patient care, innovation, and remaining active in their communities.

“We certainly received a wonderful award last week,”  Bunch said. “But the real award was the outpouring of congratulations and love we received from so many in Guntersville and the other communities we serve in person and on social media.

“Thank you so much.”

Bunch has been in the pharmacy business for 25 years, starting his career at Harco Drugs in Guntersville in 1980. When Harco was bought by Rite-Aid 17 years later, Bunch decided it time to venture out on his own, opening the Bunch Pharmacy doors in 1997. Nearly all of his patients followed him to the new business, a testament to the following he had already built in his community and neighboring communities.

We took good care of them and they remembered,” he said. “I have a lot of loyal patients. I was amazed when I opened up over here, it was very humbling.”

In 2016, Bunch was awarded the Bowl of Hygeia, which honors one outstanding pharmacist from each state and is a top award in the industry.

“My philosophy has always been to take care of the customer and the rest will fall into place,” he said. “It’s a service thing and the biggest takeaway of my career.”

Bunch has been an active member in the Alabama Pharmacy Association over the years and is a former president. Additionally, he served a five-year term on the Alabama State Board and has been nominated to qualify for a second term.

Still, he said his success comes back to the dedication to his patients.

“I’ve loved pharmacy from when I first started,” he said. “I’ve told people many times and it’s still true today: I’ve never dreaded going to work. I tell kids who have worked for me over the years, ‘If you can find an occupation you enjoy doing and you’re decent at it and can make a living at it, you’re very fortunate.’”

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