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Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

Coulee Owl Pharmacy to open in hospital


When Fritz McGinnis wanted to buy Russell Drug in Grand Coulee decades ago, he had no way of knowing his ambition to run a community drug store here would eventually be realized by a couple he hadn’t yet met, the eventual owners of the company of small community pharmacies he grew.

That would be Amanda and Paul Goyke, who are working hard to get ready for the opening next week of their latest new pharmacy, inside Coulee Medical Center.

“Everything goes in circles,” Amanda says, reflecting on the intersection of the history of their company and the new venture in Grand Coulee.

Owl Pharmacy opened in Cheney, Washington, in 1882 and is the oldest business in that college town.

Today, the Goykes operate that institution, plus three others – in Medical Lake, Fairfield, and Lidgerwood on Spokane’s north side. Coulee Owl Pharmacy will be their fifth.

“Each store is so different,” Amanda said, explaining that they’ve had to learn what items their customers will want in each community they serve.

Monday afternoon they were engrossed in preparations in a space deep within the local hospital. Paul was stocking shelves, Amanda re-entering items into inventory on the computer system that may be to blame if they’re not open on time next Wednesday.

Some shelves were still bare, some stocked with over-the-counter medications, others with toys. An entire second room will contain clothing, the result of a decision made after The Variety Store closed this fall.

The store will be open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The company has hired two pharmacists and assistants to staff it. And the Goykes plan on filling in during the vacation times; Amanda is a pharmacist, Paul a pharmacy technician.

Although they live in Rosalia with their three children, where Paul also farms with his family, they’re buying a home in Electric City that will serve as their base when here and for at least one of the other pharmacists.

Amanda Goyke went to work for McGinnis in Cheney shortly after she got her pharmacy degree in 2007. In 2015, McGinnis sold her the business but remains a silent partner, she said.

The Goykes said they have spent a lot of time in the area in the past, having come for fishing on Banks and Roosevelt lakes during visits to Paul’s relatives in Okanogan.

Now, they might have a chance to get in a little more fishing.

Ramona Hicks, interim CEO at the hospital, said the decision to make room for a pharmacy was born of patient demand.

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