Student-run pharmacy opens in Albany's South End

January 25, 2017 05:33 PM

ALBANY -- The Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences cut the ribbon on a new student-run pharmacy in the city's south end on Wednesday.  

The college's president Dr. Greg Dewey says the new facility in a medically underserved neighborhood is about making sure students are beyond ready to begin their work as pharmacists upon graduation.  

"When someone has an urgent need. You actually think differently about how you solve the problem, there's a certain immediacy," said Dr. Dewey.

The Albany College of Pharmacy has the only two student-run pharmacies in the state. Their first was opened last year in Schenectady.

Fourth-year pharmacy student Kara Olstad will be working at the South End pharmacy this semester with an experienced pharmacist.

She works in a Hannaford pharmacy over the summer, but she'll be dealing with underserved clients in the South End.

"It's possible for us to be working with those who may not know as much about medications, or their English might not be as strong," said Olstad.

The Pharmacy is in an educational center outside of Lincoln Park. The closest pharmacies aren't too far away, but community leader Willie White says this is a great thing.

What makes it so unique, is this is right in our community. A lot of us are here in the school already, we can stop in and get our prescription," said White, executive director of AVillage Inc.

Dr. Dewey says a patient's complex medical problems can't be replicated in the classroom. And he wants students to be ready.

"They want them to be ready to jump in the first day on the job. Able to do the job. The truth of the matter is, you're not practice ready. Until you do the job, you don't quite know what it is," said Dewey.

The plan is to eventually share space with a doctor or nurse practitioner.  

The pharmacy is open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.

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Asa Stackel

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