Pharmacist Garry Baker Retires
In December 2008, Pratt Regional Medical Center pharmacist Garry Baker retired from a life long career in pharmacy. Baker was born on January 26, 1942 at his family’s home in Pratt, Kansas. He is the youngest of five siblings.
Growing up, he idolized his oldest brother, the late Everett Baker, who was almost 18 years older than Garry. “My oldest brother inspired me to become a pharmacist,” Baker said. Everett was part owner at Pratt’s well known Baker-Messer Drugstore. Everett was a pharmacist himself.
After graduating from Pratt High School, Baker attended Pratt Community College and then the University of Kansas where he graduated from the KU School of Pharmacy in 1965.
After graduation, Baker worked for a retail pharmacy in Ottawa, KS, “I only worked there for about a year before coming back to Pratt. I always knew I wanted to be in Pratt, and it did not take me long to get back here,” Baker said.
While he was in Pratt for a visit, his brother Everett informed him of a pharmacist job that would be opening up at Pratt County Hospital. Baker applied, and was hired. He began working on October 1, 1966.
At that time, being a pharmacist at the hospital was a one person job. “I was in charge of ordering the supplies for surgery, supplying medication for patients, and stocking the Brewer System (an automated medication dispensing system), which was placed at each of the nursing stations,” Baker explained. “During the weekends and when I needed time off, a registered pharmacist Nunn from the Sisters of St. Joseph would cover the pharmacy duties for me.”
Prior to 1988, Pratt Regional Medical Center was known as the Pratt County Hospital and it was run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Wichita, KS.
“I have seen a lot of changes take place at the hospital, and my time there has been gratifying,” Baker said. “Pratt Regional Medical Center has been my home away from home. I have done my best to support our ‘Simply the Best’ culture, and I always will. PRMC is top-notch, and it was fun to work with everyone. That part I am going to miss.”
Baker’s co-workers will miss having him around. “Garry has always been to me, a symbol of the trusting and compassionate pharmacist America has grown to know and respect,” PRMC Pharmacy Director Doug Meyer said. “He and I have already talked about continuing to share books and have spirited Christian discussions after his retirement.”
The community is welcome to attend a reception for Baker on Tuesday, January 13th from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. in the PRMC Stanion Conference Center.