Joe Forno Jr. - behind the counter

Nekos has a prescription for longevity

Family, friends run Red Hook's local drug store

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Like a cornerstone, a pharmacy has anchored the northwest corner of the main intersection in Red Hook for at least six decades. This July, the Nekos family celebrated their 11th year there as “Red Hook’s local drug store.”

Peter Nekos has been a pharmacist for 40 years and now works much of the time at the original Nekos Boiceville Pharmacy in Boiceville, which has been in operation for 22 years. His wife, Nadine, manages operations at Nekos Red Hook and is enthusiastic about the many reasons to “support local.”

“Anyone who comes in, we treat them like family,” she says. “We deliver to the homebound, and anything we might not have on hand, we can order for the next day. We work with Bard College when students encounter insurance complications.”

Entering the store, you get the impression that the stock is complete for all needs: in addition to the pharmaceutical inventory and medical equipment, there are gifts, greeting cards, jewelry, and even chocolates available.

Cindy Bristol is the supervising pharmacist who came to Nekos after working for six years at a “chain” pharmacy because she preferred to work in a local environment.

“Cindy is an awesome asset to our team,” Nadine says. “We would be lost without her.”

In June, the Nekos “family” – staff and customers – welcomed pharmacist Joe Forno, Jr. to the team. He brings a passion to the work he has been doing for 38 years, beginning with working with his dad in their local “drug store” in Woodstock.

“It has become clear to me that independent pharmacies are the best way to treat patients. My goal has always been to get out from behind the counter and talk to them about their medical histories. I believe in patient education,” Joe says.

Joe has been educating far beyond the counter: teaching at Ulster County Community College, Onteora High School, and Columbia Hospital; writing for Pharmacy Times and the Kingston Daily Freeman; and making a film for the Narcotics Guidance Council. In 1981, he was awarded The Bowl of Hygeia award for outstanding community service from the American Pharmacists’ Association.

The Forno and Nekos families have known each other a long time. “My dad knew Pete’s dad,” Joe says. “It is an honor for me to work with such a well-known pharmacy family. Independent pharmacies are in my blood. I can go home at night and say, ‘I really helped a lot of people today.’”

Nekos Red Hook Drug Store, at 7501 North Broadway, is open Mon.–Fri. 9-6 and on Saturdays from 9-4. Their phone number is 845-758-5057.

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