June 8, 2023
Ed Ullman

Near 100 of Ed Ullmann’s closest buddies turned out this chilly Friday morning to rejoice the opening of America’s first not-for-profit group pharmacy within the previous Key Financial institution department on Essential Avenue within the hamlet of Phoenicia. Within the close-knit, small-town model of communication nonetheless acquainted in rural Catskills communities, Ullmann skillfully launched lots of the of us crowded subsequent to one another by title and generally occupation.

He additionally launched members of the pharmacy employees, distinguishable by their white coats and title tags.

At one level, wanting round on the gathering, he uttered the theme of such events: We’re all on this collectively. We want one another.

The 501c3 tax exemption allows Wellness Rx to obtain grants and public funding. It’s a Pharmacy for the Public Good, described as “a brand new medical mannequin for the betterment of the occupation of pharmacy.” A public belief is being established to obtain donations.

In 2022, 4 pharmaceutical corporations — CVS, Walgreen, Cigna and Optum — had 59.2 p.c of the nationwide market share for prescribed drugs, In an trade more and more dominated by these 4 company giants, “We wish to see unbiased rural group pharmacies thrive and survive, and this mannequin results in sustainability and permanence,” defined Wellness Rx 

Wellness Rx, which has had a pharmacy in Tannersville since 2016, blends conventional pharmacy with pure drugs. It describes its providers as giving clients “a extra patient-centered expertise designed to advertise wellness, reasonably than to proceed the cycle of medicating.” After Phoenicia, Wellness Rx is planning to determine its subsequent not-for-profit pharmacy in New Lebanon, in Columbia County. 

Cabinets with containers of pure medicines and nutritional vitamins line the partitions of the previous Key Financial institution of Phoenicia. The spectacular protected left by the departed financial institution department, nonetheless empty, will quickly be used for storing medicines. After the formal opening, the gang milled exterior, spilling out on Essential Avenue to speak some extra, as they often do after church providers.

Ullmann is a veteran healthcare entrepreneur with greater than 30 startups to his credit score. He was the founder and CEO of Wellcare, an revolutionary Ulster County HMO. In his youth a county legislator representing his house group of Shandaken, he was a healthcare administrator on the county and state ranges. And he was engaged in all kinds of different healthcare enterprises all through an extended profession. However he by no means forgot his hometown roots, and with this new enterprise Ed Ullmann has really come house.