Genoa Healthcare celebrates 20th anniversary
By the time William made his first visit to the Genoa Healthcare pharmacy in Tennessee, he had been through a lot. He was referred to Genoa from a substance use disorder program. While filling his prescriptions, the pharmacy team learned that William had diabetes and was homeless. He hadn’t eaten in three days, was depressed and angry, and wasn’t sure how he was going to make it.
Instead of just filling his prescriptions and sending him on his way, the team got him something to eat. The only thing they asked in return was that he come back so they could make sure he was OK. They fed him for three days straight, but that was just the beginning of what the pharmacy team did for him.
Genoa Healthcare has been caring for consumers like William for 20 years.
In 2000, Genoa Healthcare opened its first pharmacy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with the mission of improving the lives of those living with mental health and addiction issues. At the heart of that mission was a dedication to building relationships – strong connections that would offer the people we serve the extra support they need, that they might not find elsewhere in the community.
Those relationships have driven Genoa’s growth from one pharmacy to over 500 pharmacies located within community mental health centers in 47 states plus the District of Columbia, as well as telepsychiatry services and clinical pharmacy services.
Last year alone, Genoa served over 1 million consumers.
“The work we do is driven by the people we serve,” said Joe Douglas, Genoa Healthcare chief executive officer. “It was 20 years ago, and it still is today.”
To celebrate the milestone, Genoa employees across the U.S. are engaging in 20 “acts of kindness” in their local communities through volunteer opportunities, donations and outreach to those in need. To many Genoa pharmacy teams, though, acts of kindness are just part of their everyday.
Two years ago, when Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida panhandle, the Genoa Healthcare pharmacy team in Panama City worked tirelessly to make sure consumers had their medications. The pharmacy and the health clinic in which it was located were severely damaged in the storm, so Genoa partnered with the clinic to set up a temporary pharmacy nearby. The dedication of Genoa’s pharmacy team helped ensure Panama City consumers received their medications soon after the hurricane.
Today, Genoa pharmacies in communities affected by COVID-19 have rallied to keep operating despite challenges such as staff illness and clinic closures. Many have temporarily relocated, offered curbside pick-ups, increased deliveries and mailing, and stayed in touch with consumers via calls and personal notes. One grateful consumer said a call from a pharmacy technician was his first conversation in two weeks.
These are just a few examples of the driving force at the heart of Genoa’s mission: Helping people like William.
Eventually, he turned his life around. He’s now reunited with his wife and children. He’s in recovery, has a permanent home, and is holding down a stable job. He’s even paying it forward by helping others in his apartment by making them meals and doing odd jobs to help them out. He told the pharmacy team in Tennessee that if he hadn’t crossed paths with them, his story would have turned out much differently.
“It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to serve others the way we do,” said Douglas. “We’re honored to have an impact on our partners’ ability to deliver great care, on the advancement of the behavioral health industry, and most importantly on our consumers’ wellbeing.”