Craven County Health Department opens new pharmacy

NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) – An eastern Carolina health department opened a new facility to create a “one-stop shop” for patients.

A ribbon cutting ceremony debuted the Craven County Health Department in-house pharmacy.

This county health department cares for more than 5,000 patients across both New Bern and Havelock. The opening of the pharmacy comes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Craven County Health Director Scott Harrelson. Harrelson said a one-time allocation of funds from the Cares Act allowed for the building of the facility.

“If people can’t afford to fill the scripts, then that is a barrier, and these types of pharmacies are all over the U.S. are used to break down those barriers and enable people to get the meds they need and stabilize,” said Harrelson.

Child health care provider, Radonna Carroll says she and the staff have been waiting for this day.

“I think it’s going to be really important to me as a provider because if I have questions about medications, I can come straight to a pharmacist and get that expert knowledge about what medication would be the best for my patient,” said Carroll. “So, I think that is going to be fantastic to be able to have that dialog of discussion so that I can provide the best care for my patients.”

With the opening, Merrill Sawyer, a pharmacist has been hired and two technicians will also be working in the office.

“This will be a nice convenience for the patients, almost like a one-stop shop, so our patients can come in for their visit and then leave with their medication,” said Sawyer.

This in-house pharmacy has the ability to outsource to other pharmacies partnered with them to make sure patients can get the prescribed medication.

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