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Providing an Oasis to Pharmacy Deserts

McKesson's innovative approach aims to tackle pharmacy deserts in an underserved community.

Read Time: 2 minutes

Today, one in four neighborhoods across the U.S. are considered "pharmacy deserts" – urban areas where residents lack convenient access to pharmacy services. In these deserts, communities and their residents are faced with many challenges to acquire necessary medications and healthcare products. The absence of resources in communities can exacerbate existing healthcare inequalities, particularly in underserved and marginalized populations.

To address this issue, McKesson has launched Project Oasis, a collaborative effort led by McKesson's Global Impact Organization and Community Pharmacy & Health, to improve access to care and advance health equity for at-risk populations in underserved communities.

In this article and video above, we explain McKesson's role in bringing a new pharmacy – Altev Community Pharmacy – to Avondale, Ohio, a neighborhood with limited pharmacy access, and introduce owner and lead pharmacist, Dr. Emmanuel "Manny" Ayanjoke.

Altev Pharmacy

How does McKesson help?

McKesson's Project Oasis is an initiative that aims to improve access to essential community care services. We’re doing so by empowering licensed pharmacists to own and operate independent community pharmacies through an expedited path. Altev Community Pharmacy is the first launch of Project Oasis.

To facilitate this, our RxOwnership portfolio provides support to pharmacy professionals who want to sell, purchase, or transfer independent pharmacies. This support covers areas such as location scouting, community engagement, and consulting, enabling a smooth and seamless transition into ownership.

Why Avondale, Ohio?

The journey to establish this pharmacy was meticulous and deliberate. The process began with assessing dozens of communities nationwide by engaging them directly through focus groups to understand their needs for a local pharmacy. After conducting extensive research, Avondale, Ohio, a neighborhood within Cincinnati, was selected as the location for the first installment of Project Oasis.

Avondale is an underserved community that does not have any pharmacies within a one-mile radius. This lack of ease of access to healthcare services can worsen residents' health outcomes, including limited access to consultations, vaccines, screenings, and community resources and programs.

How does having a pharmacy in Avondale benefit the community, and what services will it provide?

In underserved areas such as Avondale, community pharmacies can not only serve as a lifeline to their residents but also help tackle health disparities. Offering more than prescriptions, these pharmacies offer education and health literacy needed to access, afford and adhere to medications. Ultimately, McKesson hopes that Altev Community Pharmacy will bring hope and trust to patients in the Avondale community.

What's next?

McKesson has a longstanding history as an essential advocate and partner for community pharmacies to sustain, grow, and improve their business's economic health and efficiency. We hope to replicate the efforts of this first installment of the Project Oasis initiative in other pharmacy deserts throughout the country.

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