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ONU to expect on-campus pharmacy

A conceptual image of the future on-campus pharmacy highlights its full-time pharmacist and technician and comprehensive services for ONU and Ada communities. (photo/ Dr. Steve Martin)

Ohio Northern HealthWise will soon create an on-campus pharmacy open to all ONU students and people of Ada. The pharmacy will aim to provide invaluable care at a controlled cost through the supervision of chronic illnesses and acceptance of a myriad of insurance plans.

While ONU currently has an on-campus Health Center to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of students’ ailments while they are away from home, the HealthWise pharmacy will provide an additional measure to student care to ensure they can manage their diseases and prevent future medical issues.

Dr. Steve Martin, Dean of the Raabe College of Pharmacy, assures this new venture will be unlike any other retail pharmacy. “This will be a pharmacy that really is different, has a different look and feel and experience than most pharmacies that you’ve been in,” he said. “It won’t look like our friends here at Rite-Aid or at CVS or Walgreens.”

Its uniqueness, Dr. Martin claims, will come from its small setting and sole focus on medical care. The pharmacy will be what he calls a “health home” for students. Instead of the drive-thru or impersonal, business-driven service some people encounter at other retail stores, students can expect to be tended to by pharmacists and technicians who are truly invested in their health in a personal way.

Many college students have difficulty learning how to manage their illnesses after leaving home. They also are especially exposed to many factors which make them more susceptible to illness such as lack of sleep, stress, and substance abuse. Students no longer have their parents around to turn to when they become plagued by an obnoxious cough, sore throat, or a more concerning symptom related to a chronic condition. 

Kelley Lewis, a senior literature and creative writing major, experienced this kind of dilemma her freshman year. “I had an upper respiratory infection, and I had to call my aunt and say, ‘What do I do here?’” she recalled. “I didn’t even know how to fill my prescription.”

Dr. Martin not only hopes this new “health home” will help guide ONU students through unfamiliar medical situations as recipients of care but also provide them with valuable experience from behind the counter. Pharmacy students can look forward to hands-on work with both HealthWise’s full-time pharmacist and technician throughout the school year, especially those in their fourth year.

ONU students and the Ada community can expect to see the pharmacy and all of its services come to campus in the near future. While Dr. Martin cannot give an exact date or time, he assures it will happen soon. “It’s been hard to get this whole process moving from a construction standpoint,” he says. “We’ve got a lot of the planning and things that have been done, we just have to move forward and make it happen.”