SMCH to sell Community Pharmacies

LAKE CITY — Stewart Memorial Community Hospital has agreed to sell Community Pharmacies — the hospital’s retail pharmacies located in Lake City, Lake View, Rockwell City, and Gowrie, according to a press release from Stewart Memorial Hospital.

Pharma340, of Coralville, will buy Community Pharmacies.

The transfer process is anticipated to be complete by July 2019, according to Cindy Carstens, CEO of SMCH.

“As providers of health care, our goal is to always provide the best care possible to every patient, every time,” Carstens said in a written statement. “Our pharmacy team is an extraordinary group focused on patient care and they do their jobs very well,”

Carstens said that rural hospitals are impacted by the unintended consequences caused by governmental policies, which is why a well-equipped purchaser was needed to help the pharmacies continue to thrive.

Pharma340 has served as a consultant for Critical Access Hospitals throughout the United States since 2015.

The Pharma340 project management team are all Iowa natives, and include pharmacists Jon Thompson and James Van Winkle, informatics manager Kevin Schon, and attorney Joe Thompson.

Carstens said the name of the pharmacies will remain Community Pharmacy.

She said patient care will not be interrupted.

“We value the relationships our patients have with our Community Pharmacy team, and we are focused on minimizing any disruption to our patients,” Carstens said. “We expect the transition to be very smooth as both organizations approach the transition with patient care top of mind.”

The hospital began the search for a suitable buyer in 2017.

“We chose Pharma340 because our standards and philosophy on community and patient care aligned,” Carstens said. “We envision this transition to be as smooth and successful as our past experiences.”