Black pharmacists are closing the cultural gap and health care around the country (Anthony, June 25, 2019). Their pharmacies are looking to prioritize and embrace patient-centered outcomes, heritage, beliefs, and values. Dr. Marcus Howard, Ph.D., an Entrepreneurial Leader in St. Louis, MO, is having his grand opening for his pharmacy on February 28, 2023. This location is 5503 Delmar Boulevard, Ste B, St. Louis, MO 631112. 

Marcus earned his Ph.D. in Educational leadership, Policy, and Human Development from North Carolina State University. He has noted that he does not have a formal background in science or pharmacy, but he is a savvy businessman who has raised seven-figure funds to open a full retail pharmacy and create jobs.

His job creation impacts the individuals hired and their families, who benefit from the created position. Marcus’ health vision helps to set a standard for the importance of entrepreneurship and job creation in the St. Louis area. Black professional talent is needed to sustain the health and revitalization of a culturally rich St. Louis.

The Delmar Divine (2023) historically was the old St. Luke’s hospital in St. Louis. Dr. Howard’s pharmacy placement there reflects the heritage of Black Excellence in St. Louis. Over the last few years, he has garnered support and funding from major stakeholders in and around the St. Louis Metropolitan area.

He is the first Black-owned retail pharmacy that provides filling prescriptions and a boutique of other health offerings. Historically, Black Americans continue to face persistent healthcare disparities in St. Louis and all across the United States, particularly in impoverished rural and urban areas. 

There are only a handful of Black Owned Pharmacies in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area:

Greater Health Pharmacy and Wellness Pharmacy (Full Service) St. Louis, Missouri Grand Opening* February 28, 2023

Rx Outreach Online Pharmacy, St. Louis, Missouri

Dellwood Vaccination and Testing Pharmacy, St. Louis, Missouri

TPD Pharmacy, St. Louis, Missouri

LV Health and Wellness Pharmacy in Shiloh, Illinois

Black Owned Pharmacies around the country:

Premier Pharmacy and Wellness Center, Grier Heights-Charlotte, North Carolina

Total Care Pharmacy, Baconton, Georgia

Black Owned Pharmacies in history:

The pioneers behind historic Black-owned pharmacies | Panethos (wordpress.com)

According to the Office of Minority Health, Black men and women are more likely to have shorter lifespans due to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, asthma, and other chronic and acute conditions. Because many of these diseases are not managed or caught in time, everyone should consider visiting the Greater Pharmacy and Health and Wellness Center to meet their health needs. Dr. Howard acknowledges just being a Black-owned business by itself is not enough when it comes to health care. Competence and excellence count!

We are living in an age at this point where skin color by itself does not dictate cultural integrity. The Greater Pharmacy Health Community will be a refreshing approach to health and Wellness and become a trusted pillar in the community. Meanwhile, Dr. Tracy Reed, DPM, a prominent Black Podiatrist in the 13th ward of St. Louis, has had TPD Pharmacy over the last five years, which was strictly a retail prescription pharmacy primarily for her patients and outlying physicians. She, Dr. Howard and myself  had the opportunity to meet the previous Fall and discuss healthcare provisions spanning underinsured and uninsured people, mainly Black, in St. Louis.

Their pending collaboration may have Dr. Reed provide some health and wellness presentations at the Delmar Divine regarding podiatry in 2023 with Dr. Howard. Dr. Reed has already informed several of her patients about Greater Health Pharmacy while her patient pharmacy is undergoing renovation.

Greater Pharmacy Health and Wellness will strive to create a vast Black health network throughout the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. The health network will help to reestablish and reconnect Black Health Care providers in St. Louis for customers seeking other health provider options.

Often members of the Black community want to find healthcare providers who can be honest and straightforward. This kind of trust is significant, but it goes both ways. Patients have to be comfortable and direct with their healthcare providers so the providers can provide the best healthcare outcomes. More significant health pharmacies tend to create an atmosphere where the residents feel comfortable about having a dialogue about their health.

Medical providers who give patients culturally competent care (acknowledging a patient’s heritage and beliefs) often see improved patient outcomes. Many patients see their pharmacists monthly, perhaps more than any other healthcare visit to primary physicians. That’s why some Black pharmacists are finding ways to connect with customers inside and outside their stores. Counseling, accessibility, and transparency have turned some Blacked-owned pharmacies into hubs for culturally competent care.

The Narrative Matters!

References:

Alsan, M., Garrick, O., & Graziani, G. (2019). Does diversity matter for health? Experimental evidence from Oakland. American Economic Review, 109(12), 4071-4111. Does Diversity Matter for Health? Experimental Evidence from Oakland | NBER

Anthony, C. (June 25, 2019).How black pharmacists are closing the cultural gap in health care. How black pharmacists are closing the cultural gap in health care (nbcnews.com)

DDivine. (2023). Media – Delmar DivINe

GHPW. (2023). GreaterHealth Pharmacy & Wellness – Your St. Louis Pharmacy

OMH. (2021). Profile: Black/African Americans. Black/African American – The Office of Minority Health (hhs.gov)

WebMDCare (2023).Dr. Tracy Reed, MD, Podiatry | St. Louis, MO | WebMD

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Featured Image: Secondary Partnership Pharmacy

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