Courtesy of Chicago Tribune • May 2, 2019
By Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune
Citing a decline in retail pharmacies in Gary, Methodist Hospitals Northlake campus opened its own.
“Over the years, many businesses have left; we’re here for the long haul,” said Raymond Grady, the hospital’s president and chief executive officer during a Wednesday dedication of the out-patient pharmacy.
Housed just up the stairs from the main lobby at 600 Grant St., the pharmacy is targeted at downtown-area residents who’ve seen retail pharmacies close their doors. It’s also aimed at providing a convenient alternative for discharged patients.
Jacquelyn Ivankovic, pharmacy director, said Methodist officials noticed the need for a pharmacy after several retail pharmacies closed in Gary.
She said the hospital pharmacy, which opened in March, offers the same range of pharmaceuticals as major retailers at competitive prices. Since it opened, it’s handled about 1,600 prescriptions for about 600 patients, she said.
Ivankovic said the hospital pharmacy offers a discount plan for patients without insurance and provides immunizations like flu shots and safe disposal methods for drugs such as opioids.
The pharmacy is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Ivankovic said the pharmacy is also convenient for discharged patients to pick up prescriptions before they leave the hospital. It offers a “meds to beds,” program that sends prescriptions to a patient’s room as they’re discharged.
“You don’t always want to make another stop after you’re discharged,” she said. “Patients like the convenience.”
She said hospital pharmacies were becoming a trend in urban areas as retail pharmacies decline.
Carla Henderson, Gary’s director of commerce, said retail outlets were important for the city. “It takes an anchor like Methodist to step up and provide these services.”
Carole Carlson is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.