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Ann Lehan retires from Lehan Drugs after 44 years

DeKALB – After 44 years as a pharmacist, Ann Lehan retired from Lehan Drugs, 1407 S. Fourth St. in DeKalb.

To celebrate her retirement, a drive-thru party was held July 31 behind the store.

Ann Lehan met her husband, Tim, when they both were students at the University of Iowa’s College of Pharmacy. After graduating, they married and moved to DeKalb. Lehan started working as a pharmacist in her husband’s family-owned pharmacy in July 1976.

“Prior to meeting Tim, I hadn’t heard of DeKalb, but I came from Iowa City, another college town,” she said. “I love DeKalb, and I’ve loved all 44 years of my job.”

Lehan said that technology has “changed the job tremendously through the years.”

“We used to handwrite information on bottles and receipts,” she said. “Now, there are computers, and pharmacy benefit managers determine prescription prices.”

She said one thing that has remained constant were her patients.

“We were there to help them with their medications and help them be healthier,” she said. “We were there through the ups and downs of their lives. Because of medications, research and tests, people are not just living, they’re living longer, healthier lives. Longevity is a normal because of health care.”

Jim Lehan, Ann’s son and the chief financial officer of Lehan Drugs, said “patients will miss my mom greatly” after her retirement.

“She considers her patients her friends, and she has been there for them through thick and thin for 44 years,” Lehan said. “She considers them family, not as a customer walking through the door. At Lehan Drugs, we have a family culture. My great-grandfather that started the business, my grandfather, my parents, all of my family knows that there is value in taking care of people. Our underlying core value is taking care of people, not making money or profits. Taking care of people in the community has always been most important.”

Although she has retired, Lehan said she will help out at Lehan Drugs on occasion. Her husband, Tim, will continue to work as a pharmacist and has plans to retire at the end of the year. A reception will be held for their retirements at a later date.

“She was the first person here every day, before 7 a.m.,” Jim Lehan said. “Not seeing her every day will be strange and will take some getting used to. Her retirement will be a big change for her, but I know that she’s excited for it.”

During her retirement, Lehan plans to spend time with her six children and 13 grandchildren, travel to see her family when the pandemic allows it and volunteer with local organizations.

“When the pharmacy needs help, I’ll help as long as I am able,” she said. “The patients there are like my family. I want to thank them for being part of our Lehan Drugs family for the past 44 years.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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