Providence plans to open new pharmacy in Wayne

After Shopko’s pharmacy closed, residents are on the look-out


Kori Siebert

U-Save Pharmacy is currently the only pharmacy in Wayne.

Halleigh Hawkins & Brianna Parsons, Reporters

Wayne community members will have another pharmacy option when Providence Medical Center opens its new pharmacy doors in March or April. After the closing of Shopko’s pharmacy, its customers were forced to fill their prescriptions at U-Save Pharmacy or seek alternatives outside of Wayne.

As a result, U-Save Pharmacy saw a significant increase in business.

“We are filling about twice as many prescriptions as before, so everything is doubled,” said Mark Patefield, manager and owner of U-Save.

The new pharmacy will be located a few blocks South of the hospital at 803 Providence Road in the Sunnyville Business Court.

“[It will be a] fully owned business of the hospital,” said Jim Frank, Providence Medical Center CEO. “It will function basically as a department of our organization.”

Not only did Frank see a business opportunity in the hole left by the closure of Shopko’s pharmacy, the sudden move by Shopko left an experienced staff out of work which provided Providence both potential employees and an established customer base.

“When Shopko left, it left a pretty large void in the pharmacy area,” Frank said. “There were obviously several individuals in the community that had been using Shopko as their pharmacy care and we wanted to fill that need when Shopko left.”

Since Shopko notified their customers and pharmacy workers two days before it closed, in order to serve the immediate needs of the former Shopko customers, U-Save was forced to figure out a plan to serve the entire community.

“Right at first, we weren’t given enough notice to hire staff,” Patfield said. “We weren’t able to get that in place right away and now we are getting that taken care of, it just takes a while to get people trained.”

In order to meet the new demand, U-Save is in the process of hiring additional employees. The main objective for U-Save is for the customers to get in and out as quickly as possible while still providing good customer services.

“The plans moving forward are to get staffing in place and hire a new full-time cashier,” Patefield said. “We previously hired a technician, another college student, and another pharmacist starting full time in March. U-Save is looking for their patients to achieve health outcomes and make sure they are taking their medications, which makes a difference in their overall health.”

Although U-Save is going ahead with their plans to add additional staff to meet the needs of its customers, the uncertainty of Providence’s new pharmacy adds increased pressure for Patefield.

“[I am] not real excited about the pharmacy opening,” Patefield said. “There is a history of having multiple pharmacies, but economically, there have been far more pharmacies closing then opening, so it is interesting to see them do that to keep their doors open and stay profitable as far as finances at the hospital.”