New pharmacy to open in Hope next year

HOPE – Another pharmacy is planning to open in Hope early next year within the same building Hope Wellness operated at 645 Harrison St.

Hope Wellness, which was in operation for about four years was purchased by CVS last April and then closed.

The upcoming opening of WindRose Rx Hope has been confirmed by Scott Rollett, CEO of WindRose Health Network. His company has operated a medical clinic on Hope’s south side at 163 Butner Drive since 2006.

Statewide, the company employs 175 healthcare professionals, including 36 providers on staff, and serves more than 20,000 patients in six communities that include Hope and Edinburgh.

Last April, WindRose was in the process of opening a pharmacy on the south side of Indianapolis when their administrators learned that Hope Wellness was closing permanently, Rollett said.

“When I brought this up to our board of directors during the summer, there was almost no question we wanted to open the pharmacy,” Rollett said. “Two of our board members are senior citizens living in Hope. After being told their Hope Wellness prescriptions had been handed over to the CVS in Taylorsville, they both said they didn’t want to drive to Taylorsville.”

Town leaders have said Hope has several fixed-income homebound residents unable to either drive to another community, and without a relative or friend with a vehicle to take them to an out-of-town pharmacy to fill their prescriptions.

“The demographics of our patients show a median income of about $32,000,” Rollett said. “(WindRose) exists as an entity to bring healthcare services to the underserved, and Hope is definitely an underserved area. We came to town simply because Hope had not had a physician’s office since 1986.”

He described the pending opening of WindRose Rx Hope pharmacy as a good opportunity for his company to better serve the town of 2,200 residents.

Since WindRose already has a full-service drug store in Indianapolis, their Hope facility can be operated in a cost-effective manner by offering a telepharmacy service – just as Hope Wellness did with their Bloomington parent pharmacy.

“I know we can also do mail-order prescriptions, but whether we will have a person who can actually deliver to homebound people is still being considered,” Rollett said. “It is certainly something I hope we will be able to do.”

It’s still going to be a number of months before the new drug store can open because there are still a number of hoops the WindRose organization must jump through to carry out their plans.

At this time, WindRose is in the process of submitting all paperwork to received a license to operate. Next will be a number of systematic actions required to receive approval by the Indiana Board of Pharmacy. After that hurdle is crossed, the new pharmacy must received a Drug Enforcement Agency registration number, which will allow them to write prescriptions for controlled substances.

“One thing has to happen before the next can occur, so I don’t have an exact date (when we will open), the WindRose CEO said. “We’re thinking it may be around March 1. Possibly sooner.”