By Kristina Handy
For The Leader-Herald
GLOVERSVILLE — The Family Counseling Center in Gloversville held the grand opening of its Genoa Healthcare pharmacy on Thursday.
The mental health clinic launched a soft opening of the pharmacy at the end of January, and it has been open five days a week since then. Its services include medication delivery, customized pill packs, insurance assistance, and phone calls to remind clients to refill their medication or to check in with their experience with their prescription.
The pharmacy’s vast assortment of resources is part of an effort to bring integrated healthcare to the Gloversville community.
“This whole idea of this integrated health facility eliminates the resistance that a patient feels when they’re getting one aspect of treatment and then they have to go somewhere else for something else,” Gloversville Mayor Vince DeSantis said in his remarks during the grand opening. “The idea of being able to make it so easy for that person to get all of the different aspects of care that they need is so so important.”
According to the American Psychological Association, integrated healthcare features extensive collaboration and communication between a person’s healthcare team, including their physician, psychologist, pharmacist, and more. As a result, the conversation about a patient’s health needs is completely open, allowing every single person in the process to be on the same page, and thus ensuring more efficient and effective healthcare.
“Studies have shown that, with clients, if the barriers are removed, clients actually use medication much more regularly which helps with their overall care,” said Jennifer Jennings, director of marketing and fund development at The Family Counseling Center.
At the Genoa Healthcare Pharmacy, this kind of teamwork is manifested through its location directly within The Family Counseling Center, enabling patients to pick up their prescriptions or fulfill other pharmaceutical needs immediately after an appointment.
For instance, if a patient is prescribed medication during an appointment, they typically have to wait only five minutes for the order to be ready for pick-up, according to Michael Countryman, executive director of The Family Counseling Center. The pickup counter is only steps away from the building’s exit.
The Genoa pharmacy also fills prescriptions ordered from outside of The Family Counseling Center, such as medications for diabetes, blood pressure, and other physical ailments. In turn, patients are able to care not only for their mental health with the Center but also for their physical health from other providers. Clients, therefore, are able to care for their overall wellness at this single pharmacy.
“I just really encourage other organizations that are in the healthcare industry to look at the holistic person and integrate as much as they possibly can,” said Countryman. “No one can be a one-stop shop for everybody but this was a very easy lift for us, and I think it would be a very easy lift for other organizations to be able to provide that holistic care to people.”