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Family feel prevails at pharmacy
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Cheryl Striplin stands at her front counter. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

The personal touch is the prescription for pharmacist Cheryl Striplin when it comes to having a successful business.

The owner of Striplin’s Pharmacy, 1114 Norman Drive Suite 103, is affectionately called “mom” at her store.

Her drug store definitely has a “family” feel in the way they treat their customers.

The apothecary is located among numerous doctors’ offices on Norman Drive just off Spreckels Avenue near the new Doctors Hospital Imaging Center and the independent Valley Cancer Center. It was just the Yosemite Medical Arts Center originally, including medical and dental suites, a pharmacy and medical lab.

The mother of six children, Striplin earned her medical degrees and cared for her kids at the same time. They are ages 14 to 35 with the youngest, Bill, attending Tracy High School.   An ice skater in her younger years, she graduated high school with Scott Hamilton who would later become a five-time world champion figure skater. She has since hung up her skates.

Striplin recalled her dad being a dentist at the Bowling Green State University’s Medical Center where he treated the students.  

He served as an important mentor in her life.

Her undergrad degree was earned at Brigham Young University in Utah and her doctorate from the University of the Pacific in Stockton.

Her maiden name is “Hilty.” Her family has ties to the historic medieval Hilty Castle in Werdenberg, Switzerland.  Her family had acquired the 11th century castle and holdings in 1835.

She gave a little history lesson on the castle saying her great grandfather Dr. Johann Ulrich Hilty bought the neglected castle.  He restored the rooms on the first and second floors of the four-story building giving them a more stately splendor.

Carl Hilty, another past member of the family, spent his vacation in the castle as a child.  He is a lawyer who  drafted the Swiss Constitution and crafted many impressive theological and philosophies treatises. The Hilty family was committed to providing basic healthcare to the town and to the district.

The last occupant of the castle was Miss Freida Hilty who lived there in seclusion in 1956.  She gifted the castle to Werenberg and to the Canton of St. Gallen.  The castle is now a museum and is open to the public.

Many refer to Striplin as their creative pharmacist who can take a very expensive prescription that insurance will not cover and search out the components that can be taken together in three separate pills that provides the same results.  The use of coupons also help patients’ cash flow.

The back office of the pharmacy has a memorial wall covered with cards and thank you notes from longtime clients and their appreciative families.  Out front by the counter is a gift shop, a potpourri of special items the customers can purchase.  

One memory she holds dear from pharmacy school had to do with being specific in detail with the labels on pill bottles, needing to have perfectly clear instructions for the patient to read.  Class members chuckled as their instructor presented a simple analogy to the  importance of something so simple as taking a glass of water with a prescription — don’t just say take with water, he stressed.  

Patients have been known to get into their bath tub before going to bed at night — taking the medication “with water.”  Clearly state they should take it with a full glass of water, he quipped — don’t give them an option.

To contact Glenn Kahl email  or call 209.249.3539