A unique partnership among county government, the local health department and a healthcare company was celebrated Tuesday, Aug. 19. Last year the Calvert County Commissioners granted the county health department’s request to forge a deal with Genoa Healthcare Company to install and operate a pharmacy at the department’s building off northbound Route 2/4 in Prince Frederick.

According to a memo from Department of Community Resources Director Maureen Hoffman, the “in-house pharmacy is there “to serve the specialized needs of clients of the Mental Health Clinic.”

The Aug. 19 event was attended by the county commissioners and State Senator Roy Dyson [D]. Former Maryland Veterans Affairs secretary and state delegate George W. Owings III was also in attendance.

Genoa’s Director of Operations Jason Kan praised Dr. Allen Reynolds, director of the Calvert County Health Department’s Mental Health Clinic for his efforts to have the pharmacy location in the building. “Dr. Reynolds has been a true champion for Genoa,” said Kan.

In her memo, Hoffman pointed out that the pharmacy “is the first of its kind in the State of Maryland. It represents a model of coordination of care, improved medication compliance and the overall benefits of what’s called a ‘behavioral healthcare home’ model. The pharmacy specializes in helping clients apply for patient pharmacy assistance programs, manages the dispensing and inventory of samples, facilitates required insurance authorizations and coordinates refills on behalf of the clients.”

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony in  front of the pharmacy, Commissioner Susan Shaw [R] declared, “we are very thrilled to that it [the pharmacy] is here. This is a really good thing for the taxpayers.” Shaw indicated that if individuals needing medications are able to get the proper dosage they are less likely to run afoul of the law with erratic behavior. “It will keep people out of jail,” she said.

“It keeps them out of the hospital,” Kan added.

Genoa’s Director of Government Affairs Dale Masten said health and behavioral issues often develop if a patient misses even one day of medication.

“We’ve got a real problem here,” said Dyson regarding the misuse of medications, which has even created issues in local schools. “And now we’re doing the right thing.”

Kan said the pharmacy will be run by a staff of two, including on-site pharmacist Rachel Johnson. He added the pharmacy expects to help as many as 500 patients and will track that number, including the “high subscribers. He promised communication with the area’s other pharmacies.

For more information on Genoa Healthcare visit www.genoahealthcare.com

For more information on the Calvert County Health Department visit www.calverthealth.org

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com