Community Pharmacy Needs More Space

Tuesday is always delivery day at the St. Vincent DePaul Community Pharmacy. Jen Gans is one of the pharmacy volunteers who tries to cram the different medications into a small storage area.

"We don't have that much work space," she said. "But we do pretty good I think with what we have."

Theresa Pavlov is the pharmacy director.

"We're very crowded here," Pavlov said, "very, very crowded."

How crowded? Storage space is at a premium in this cramped pharmacy. Whether you're walking down a hall, or walking past a shower in the back bathroom, you are surrounded by medicines and supplies.

"Without the pharmacy, we would have a great number of people who wouldn't receive their medicines," she said.

Every Thursday, those people line up along Division Street, so the pharmacy can fill their prescriptions. St. Vincent doesn't charge its financially challenged clients a penny.

"We've been a lifesaver and a great transitional point for a lot of people in our community," she said.

Soon, St. Vincent will be in its own transitional period. The pharmacy is connected to Coastal Family Health. And that center is moving a block west. It will still be on Division Street. But it will be between Main Street and Lameuse Street.

The pharmacy is asking for Biloxi's financial assistance to remain connected to Coastal Family, since their clients are virtually the same.

"It's a dream come true to be able to move to a little bit larger facility," said Pavlov.

Biloxi originally thought it needed legislative approval to make the donation. But since it regularly budgets money for St. Vincent, local and private legislation was unnecessary.

As long as Biloxi budgets $350,000, the pharmacy will have new home in the next 12 to 18 months. It will mean more room, and fewer headaches for pharmacy volunteers.

The St. Vincent DePaul Community Pharmacy fills almost $800,000 worth of prescriptions every year. The non-profit group pays for a third of the medications. The rest are donated by doctors and other medical providers.