Renovation of what will be the Charitable Pharmacy's second location is scheduled to begin in September, with a planned Spring 2021 opening.
The new location will be housed in the former Eagle Market at 1464 Cleveland Avenue.
In addition to providing non-narcotic prescription medicine and pharmacy services at no cost for low-income individuals and families, the new location will share space with a fresh food market run by Community Development for All People.
The collaboration came about when Rev. John Edgar, Community Development's executive director, approached Jennifer Seifert, executive director of the Charitable Pharmacy, with a plan to bring these critical services together under one roof.
"Imagine a place where pharmacists can emphasize the importance of fresh food and refer the patient down the hall to a fresh market with a prescription for food," Seifert said. "Our vision for the new location is a health haven where pharmacists can make sure patients are receiving their prescribed insulin to ensure the apple in their hand provides them with the nutrients it should."
The current healthcare crisis has found even more central Ohio residents vulnerable due to a lack of insurance, insufficient insurance, and/or the inability to pay for basic health services. The consequences are especially critical in the South Linden neighborhood, where poverty coupled with a lack of access to necessary services has resulted in some of the poorest health outcomes in Franklin County.
“As a pharmacist, I know that many chronic health conditions can be better managed – and even avoided – using a better diet as a complement to a well-managed prescription medication regimen,” Seifert said.
An early grant from the Franklin County Commissioners got the ball rolling for the Charitable Pharmacy's involvement. Cardinal Health, American Electric Power, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, the Margaret and Robert Walter Foundation, The Robert Weiler Company, and others have all provided generous capital and operational support for the second pharmacy location.
The City of Columbus has allocated funding for renovation of the site and is partnering with Healthy Families Healthy Neighborhoods, funded by Nationwide Children's Hospital, and Columbus Next Generation Corporation.
"This isn't what we expected our 10th Anniversary year to look like, but this milestone provides an opportunity to dream, and to dream big," Seifert said. "We are excited to put the 'food is medicine' philosophy into action to ensure that all central Ohio residents have access to medication and fresh food regardless of their zip code."