For many Blanco residents, Phillip Strickland’s drug store on the historic square has been a medical resource for as long as they can remember. Filled with mementos of Blanco history, it is a destination for tourists as well, who take time to admire the old photos, the antique clock, and the old typewriters. The pharmacy has been on the square since 1900, and Phillip has owned it since 1976 after he sold his pharmacy in Helotes and bought the pharmacy then owned by the Fulchers. For the succeeding eight years he and his family lived in Blanco, then San Antonio and later Canyon Lake, from which he has commuted ever since.
So it should not come as a surprise that Phillip is ready to turn the reins of ownership over to someone else. The opportunity presented itself after he hired a new pharmacist, Siobhan Atchley, last May, and gradually came to realize that they share the same philosophy of what a neighborhood pharmacy should be.
A 1988 graduate of the University of Texas School of Pharmacy, Siobhan has worked as a pharmacist for 24 years. Her love of medicine comes from her father, who was a pediatric cardiologist, and her mother, who was a nurse. She sees the pharmacy as a way of combining her interest in nutrition, medicine. and helping people in the community. Siobhan lives with her husband and children between Wimberley and Dripping Springs. She enjoys running, the out-of-doors, and being with her family. Both Philip and Siobhan are working to make the transition as smooth as possible. Strickland’s, as it will be known for the immediate future, will continue to be a compounding pharmacy and will provide personalized counseling and delivery service. However, Siobhan has plans to expand services, stocking more homeopathic choices and making the pharmacy a Wellness Center for the community. She also hopes to set up a scholarship fund for Blanco High School students who are interested in science and pursuing a career in pharmacy.
As for Phillip, he will continue to work as a pharmacist for two days a week for the next year or so. After that, he says, “We’ll go where the Lord leads us. We don’t want retirement to be about self.” When asked what has been most meaningful about his career as a pharmacist he says without a doubt the interaction with people, especially in the days before all the paperwork, when there was time to truly get to know people. Perhaps the next year or so will provide him with that opportunity again.