WVVA Hometown Hero: Hickman honored for a lifetime of customer service

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 8:35 PM EDT
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Princeton, WV - (WVVA)  A Mercer County pharmacist is being recognized by a client for longevity and service above and beyond dispensing medicines.  Roger Hickman is a 2nd generation pharmacist who started work at Hickman’s Pharmacy under his father’s wing in the 1960′s.  Hickman says his dad started the pharmacy in 1947 and 75 years later, they continue to serve people in Princeton.  Customer Kurt Rice nominated Hickman, saying he goes above and beyond his patient’s needs, offering kind words and an ear for listening.  But Hickman says his selection as a WVVA Hometown Hero catches him off guard because he’d never heard of the award prior to his selection, “I was surprised.  I shouldn’t say it, but you don’t like to hear this stuff, but I didn’t even know there was such a program you see.” Hickman said with a chuckle, continuing, “The girls, though, they recognized it this morning when the phone call came in, but, they were aware of it, this hometown hero thing, " said Hickman.

But Hickman is aware of the important role pharmacists play in people’s lives.  He’s very humble about his personal role in helping them on their roads to recovery, “It’s a good feeling that they have gotten well, but we, we are just the in between guy,” Hickman said.    The 74-year-old says he’s witnessed a number of changes in his profession over the years, but the biggest is the loss of confidence from the public, " Back in 1947 if you took a survey, or in ‘57, ‘67, if you took a survey of the highest ranked professions, you got doctors, preachers, that kind of guy, we were number one above all those other guys. Number one!  When they got into the insurances and we have to fool with peoples’ insurance, we ain’t number one anymore. Can you believe that?  The negative part is all the insurance,” said Hickman.

But Hickman smiles broadly when he talks about the positives.  He says it’s been a constant throughout his career:  the customers he and his staff serve, “We appreciate the customer because if it hadn’t been for the customers themselves, we wouldn’t have been here for this, 75 years, you know., With taking care of people.” said Hickman.  Now, Hickman’s own son works with him as he did with his own father and there’s a 3rd generation at work in Hickman’s Pharmacy.  It’s his care for their customers and longevity in the community that makes Roger Hickman a WVVA Hometown Hero.