Born and raised in Kirkwood, Dr. Paul Hueseman couldn't be more excited to open a locally owned and operated pharmacy in Downtown Kirkwood.
Greentree Health Mart Pharmacy, located at 301 South Kirkwood Road, will open its doors Nov. 5 at the retail space formerly occupied by Hobby Station. For Hueseman, the location is perfect.
"I wanted to open a pharmacy in Kirkwood because I love this community, and I grew up here," said Hueseman who graduated from Kirkwood High School in 1992.
Kirkwood has not had a local pharmacy for several years, and Hueseman feels its critical to rectify what he calls a shame.
"We have so many people in this community that need a pharmacist and need that personal relationship that's more than what you get by going to a big-box reailer," he said.
Hueseman said that the relationship with a pharmacist extends beyond a simple explanation of medications, and that the country is seeing a resurgence of independent pharmacies. This can be attributed in part to an aging population and changes to Medicare Part D benefits like the addition of Medication Therapy Management, according to Hueseman.
"A pharmacist can play a huge role in healthcare costs if they're more involved in beneficiaries' care," he said. "Pharmacists can help patients manage their disease. They can offer advice on non-medication interventions like lifestyle changes and supplements."
KHS Field Trip Inspires Career Path
Hueseman's interest in pharamcy was piqued during a Kirkwood High School field trip to the St. Louis College of Pharmacy when he was a chemistry student of Robert Becker.
Even though his father was a pharmacist and Hueseman spent a lot of time in pharmacies growing up, he never contemplated pharmacy as a career.
"I really fell in love with program (at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy) and the different career paths for pharmacists," Hueseman said. "I came home and told my parents that's what I wanted to do."
After finishing his degree at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Hueseman went on to Express Scripts and then Astra Zeneca. He realized, however, that he had an entrepreneurial spirit.
Eventually he purchased a pharmacy with his father and another pharmacist. Hueseman sold his part of the business in April. He liked owning and operating a local pharmacy so much that he decided to open Greentree.
"Right now it worries me that there's not a local pharmacy serving Kirkwood," he said. "I hope the community will shop local and utilize the pharamcy."
Although Greentree Pharmacy will not open its doors until November, the business already is growing an online presence through Greentree Pharmacy's Facebook page which hit 200 Likes Tuesday.
A campaign is underway to get the page to 500 Likes. When the page reaches the goal, Hueseman will donate $500 to St. Jude Foundation.
READ MORE ABOUT DOWNTOWN KIRKWOOD:
- Accessories Boutique Joins Downtown Kirkwood Shopping Scene
- Should Downtown Kirkwood Get Shopping Directories?
- New Personalized Gift Store to Open in Downtown Kirkwood