Anthony “Tony” Fields ’04 is the new owner of Lantz’s Pharmacy & Gifts in Stephens City, Virginia. Fields, who worked at Lantz’s for a decade before buying the business, said he considers the staff and customers of Lantz’s to be like family – in one case, quite literally: one of the staffers became his wife. So, when Keith and Molly Lantz decided to sell the independent pharmacy, Fields said buying it felt like the next logical step.
Another Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy (BJDSOP) alumnus, Jason Foote ’08, serves as a silent partner in the business. Fields and Foote have been friends since high school, and Foote currently serves in the U.S. Coast Guard as a chief pharmacist. He plans to be more actively involved in the business upon retiring from the military.
The Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy prepared Fields well for his profession. Problem-solving is a large part of pharmacy practice, and the hands-on experiences provided by Shenandoah helped him develop his problem-solving skills. He also took an elective in entrepreneurship, which proved very helpful when he decided to work in independent pharmacy and then purchase Lantz’s Pharmacy. SU offers the PharmD/MBA Dual Degree program because business skills are usually essential for pharmacists.
Fields says that independent pharmacies like Lantz’s are special because employees can truly form relationships with customers; so much so, that when patients pass away, Fields will attend the funerals. When a customer has a problem such as not being able to afford or tolerate a certain medication, the pharmacist takes ownership of that problem until it is solved in a way that is best for the patient. Additionally, Lantz’s is an integral part of the local community. It has an extensive gift selection so customers/patients come to the pharmacy both to shop for gifts and get prescriptions filled.
Fields maintains a relationship with his Shenandoah pharmacy family as well, serving as a preceptor for students on experiential rotations. He said he also intends to increase the visibility of independent pharmacy through sponsoring events at the SOP and collaborating with student professional organizations to host community health and wellness events.
Lantz’s Pharmacy & Gifts is located at 5015 Main St., in Stephens City, Virginia.