April 22 of 2010 was a historic day when Duquesne University officials announced that its Mylan School of Pharmacy had plans to open a pharmacy in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. The plans became a reality Dec. 20 when the Duquesne University’s Center for Pharmacy Services officially opened its doors to the community in the Triangle Shops complex at 1860 Centre Avenue.

Excited that it’s in full operation and ready to service the community, Terri Kroh, director of the pharmacy says that she and the staff are prepared to focus on the patient and to provide pharmaceutical care that is most appropriate. “Patients will be at the heart of our pharmacy services which include patient counseling, health screenings, drug therapy review and disease management, among others.” The facility will be staffed by Kroh, a licensed pharmacists, Duquesne pharmacy faculty and student pharmacists.

FILLING PRESCRIPTION—Pharmacy Tech Vanessa Bridges  of Swissvale is pouring pills into a bottle to fill a prescription.  (Photo by J.L. Martello)

In addition to providing affordable access to prescription medication, the pharmacy will offer private patient consultations, health and wellness education, medication therapy management services and health risk assessments.

Dedicated to improving medication access, affordability and patient adherence, improving health outcomes and patient safety as well as reducing the health expenditures of the region’s population, Dr. J. Douglas Bricker, dean of the Mylan School of Pharmacy, says the state of the art pharmacy is in place to help the community. “Through combined efforts of our pharmacy health care team, we aim to help community residents receive the maximum benefit from their medication therapy and achieve their health care goals in a confidential, convenient environment.” Our goal is to provide affordable medications, medication safety and medication compliance.” he said.

The pharmacy is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Prescriptions can be dropped off or mailed by patients, and the pharmacy offers on-site pick-up, mail and delivery options. Working in conjunction with other pharmacies, a 24 hour service is also offered for emergencies.

At age 54 Tonya Woods, a pharmacy technician says she has seen the best and worst of the Hill District. A former resident and Fifth Avenue High School graduate she remembers when the Centre Avenue corridor was lined with businesses including Hills Pharmacy. With the Center for Pharmacy Services the first pharmacy in the Hill District in more than 10 years she says, Duquesne University’s investment provides the community with a sense that someone else cares.

“It is fantastic to work in the community where I grew up.”

The initiative is said to be the first off-campus, community pharmacy in the nation designed and operated by a school of pharmacy. It is licensed as a pharmacy by the Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy and is a member of the Health Resources and Services Administration, Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Collaborative.

Not like a typical pharmacy, Associate Pharmacy Dean Tom Mattei says it is about people coming to a place for wellness and getting better. Aside from the outlined services he said tests for cholesterol, blood sugar and anemia will be conducted as well as immunizations. The site is open to the general public and sells over the counter drugs as well as generic.

A $600,000 investment by Duquesne University and the Mylan School of Pharmacy has been made in the project.

Duquesne University, founded in 1878 was first located on Wylie Avenue.

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