Equitas Health Moving King-Lincoln Pharmacy to Ground Floor, Adding Retail

Susan Post Susan Post Equitas Health Moving King-Lincoln Pharmacy to Ground Floor, Adding RetailPhoto provided by Equitas Health.
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Equitas Health’s King-Lincoln District pharmacy will move from the third floor of its building to a ground floor spot come early 2019. The move will not only expand the square footage from 770 to 3,200 square feet, but deploy the organization’s first retail pharmacy model.

The King-Lincoln Medical Center opened at 750 E. Long St. Ste. 3000, in May of 2017 offering primary care, specialized LGBTQ care, HIV/STI testing, behavioral health services, dentistry services and its third community and specialty accredited pharmacy.

With its move to the first floor, Equitas Health looks to become a more visible part of the community, a long-held goal for the KLD location.

“Our focus is to be community-focused and provide a forward-facing image of Equitas Health to the community, and be able to give back to the community,” says Chief Pharmacy Officer Aaron Clark, PharmD, RPh, AAHIVP.

The pharmacy and expanded retail component brings a much-needed amenity to the neighborhood that lacks many other pharmacy and convenience store options. Equitas Health turned to area residents to see what they are looking for in such a space.

“We really tried to tailor what we’re going to have in our over the counter section to what we heard in the feedback from the focus groups that we met with,” says Director of Pharmacy Services Nick Saltsman, Pharm D. “We’re really trying to look at what the community needs and what we can provide for them.”

The pharmacy will offer over the counter medications, small electronic items like phone cords and plugs, gift items like greeting cards, gift wrap and small presents, as well as other sympathy items that can be a resource for the funeral home across the street. The pharmacy is also paving the way to offer food products, select dairy items and groceries.

Clark expects shifting to a community location with retail will drive a new type of clientele to the pharmacy. While the number of patients has continued to grow, Clark estimates that about 85 percent are clients of Equitas Health in some way and around 15 percent are the general public. At their more visible pharmacy location in Short North, the split is closer to 60 to 70 percent Equitas Health clients, 30 to 40 percent general public. He expects that over the next few years the split in the KLD location could be closer to 50-50.

A more community-facing pharmacy will help introduce residents to Equitas Health’s approach to pharmacy and its robust range of services. Clark says they normally staff two to three times more pharmacists that a typical big box pharmacy, meaning more time to have in-depth discussions and answers questions about medications for clients. Equitas Health’s pharmacists are also more knowledgeable in regards to LGBTQ issues.

Equitas Health’s successful social enterprise model will continue with the new pharmacy. Profits from their three pharmacies – KLD, Short North and Dayton – are reinvested back into the organization. The pharmacy model has helped Equitas Health expand its services and is a major driver of business.

“People walk in that maybe don’t use our other services or know about what we do, and I think that that really drives a lot of the general public business because they know that 100 percent of those profits really get invested back into their community,” Clark says.

The expanded pharmacy will be located at 736 E. Long St. and is expected to open in February 2019.

For more information, visit equitashealth.com

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