news scaled down rite aid opens in craigsville to provide care to underserved community
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Scaled-down Rite Aid opens in Craigsville to provide care to underserved community

rite aid craigsville
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Rural counties without a pharmacy are often home to a high proportion of populations considered vulnerable including the elderly, uninsured, unemployed and those with income below the federal poverty level.

Because these locations are generally small, people who live there often have to go to larger areas to get basic services including going to a doctor or getting a prescription filled.

Rite Aid opened a micro store location today in Craigsville and has two more locations planned to open by early next year. The company hopes to improve access for pharmacy services in underserved communities with these new locations. Additional stores are planned in Greenville and Scottsville.

The location is approximately 3,000 square feet, which is significantly smaller than the average 11,000 to 15,000 square-foot standard location.

The smaller format stores will feature a full-service pharmacy and a retail assortment of health and wellness products.

“With these new smaller format pharmacy locations, we are bringing critical pharmacy services to underserved communities,” said Andre Persaud, Rite Aid’s chief retail officer. “We look forward to becoming a vital member of this community and learning from this new store model as we explore expansion to additional markets across the U.S.”

One in 10 Americans live more than five miles from the nearest pharmacy, and studies show that connection and interaction with a pharmacist is a leading factor in medication adherence, which, in turn, has a dramatic effect on health outcomes, according to a news release sent by Rite Aid. Underutilization of medications drives $500 billion-plus each year in avoidable medical costs.

The Rite Aid Pharmacy in Craigsville, situated in the heart of the community next to the library, post office and town hall, will serve a critical need for the town of less than 1,000.

Until now, residents have had to drive to neighboring communities for pharmacy services. The Rite Aid Pharmacy will employ a full-time pharmacist and a full-time pharmacy technician. Additional part-time pharmacy technicians will float between two area Rite Aid pharmacy locations.

“Pharmacists play a critical role in healthcare – providing education and counseling, screening for interactions between medications, encouraging prescription adherence and offering important preventive care like immunizations and health screenings. As a modern pharmacy, Rite Aid is committed to improving access and convenience to these important services and fostering relationships between community members and their local pharmacist,” Persaud said.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.