Hunt Howell joins pharmacy team at Mettesave Discount Drugs
Hunt Howell, Doctor of Pharmacy, has returned to his hometown after being hired as a pharmacist at Mettesave Discount Drugs in Batesville. Howell graduated from the University of Mississippi’s School of Pharmacy in May of this year.
Howell this month joined pharmacists Susan Sullivan, Erik Broome and relief pharmacist Amy Phillips as part of the team that serves Mettesave customers. After 27 years of service at Mettesave, Broome plans to retire from full-time service at the end of the year but plans to continue to serve part-time at Mettesave.
Howell said it was his prayer and his goal to work at an independent pharmacy, and that he is excited to be able to serve the people of Panola County and surrounding counties through the position at Mettesave.
“It is a true honor to be able to come back to my hometown and serve the members of my community as a pharmacist,” Howell said. “I’m looking forward to playing an important role to build upon the legacy this store and family have been able to create.”
Susan Sullivan’s father, Batesville pharmacist Randell Sullivan, began serving the Batesville area in the 1950s. In 1955, Randell started working at Burnley Drug Store when he was still in pharmacy school.
He purchased that store in 1957, and it became Sullivans Drug Store, located on Van Voris St. in Batesville. Randell’s son, Randy, was also a pharmacist at Sullivans, and he served customers there with expertise and his trademark smile until his untimely death in 2002. following a struggle with cancer.
Sullivans closed its operations on Van Voris St. in 2013 when that pharmacy merged with Sullivans-owned Mettesave Discount Drugs.
According to Susan Sullivan, Howell’s arrival comes at the perfect time due to Broome’s retirement from full-time service at the end of the year.
“I appreciate all the years of hard work and service that Erik has dedicated to Mettesave Drugs and am happy that he will finally be able to spend lots more well-deserved time with his grandchildren in the coming year,” Sullivan said. “We are all also really glad that he will still be putting in some time as a relief pharmacist with his Mettesave family.”
Howell worked and gained insight as a pharmacy technician during his school years, with experience at three large pharmacy chains and also working early in his college journey at Mettesave.
Though there was much he learned about the business of pharmacy while working in the big companies, Howell said he also learned that he preferred providing the level of service to patients that can be offered at independent pharmacies, such as Mettesave.
“Smaller stores mean most independents are able to develop a personal relationship with their patients which results in better patient care, especially in those with chronic conditions,” Susan Sullivan said.
Due to these relationships, patients are often more comfortable asking when they need extra help. Randell Sullivan, now retired, became known and beloved for meeting patients after-hours and on holidays when they needed emergency prescriptions, such as when patients were released from the hospital after business hours. “We have gone to patients’ homes to help straighten out their medications when they have gotten them mixed up,” she said.
Broome, reflecting on his planned transition from full to part time, said he has been blessed to work as an independent pharmacist in Batesville.
“I’ve had the pleasure and responsibility of serving this community as a pharmacist at Mettesave Drugs for the past 27 years. I consider myself blessed to be associated with the people of my hometown,” he said.
“Fortunately, Hunt Howell has joined our staff and will fill my position. I have known Hunt for some time and I have no doubt of his capabilities. He has the competence and compassion to deliver the high level of health care our clients deserve and expect.”
Susan said she is excited to see the legacy of service and commitment to community continue. “I’m excited that Hunt is coming on board to work as a full-time pharmacist. The Howells and the Sullivans have been friends for many years, so I feel that Hunt is the perfect fit at the perfect time for this position.”
Hunt and his wife, the former Mary Lynn Lewis, are making their home near Sardis. Both are graduates of North Delta School in Batesville and the University of Mississippi. Mary Lynn works as an administrative assistant at Batesville Tooling and Design.