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Unity House’s Integrated Genoa Healthcare Pharmacy is First of its Kind in the Capital Region



New on-site pharmacy expands access to mental health and substance use disorders services, leading to improved medication adherence and reduced total cost of care

A unique pharmacy model customized to the needs of those living with behavioral health issues has made its debut in the Capital Region. Genoa Healthcare has opened an on-site pharmacy at Unity House’s Front Door building in Troy, which serves individuals struggling with mental health, employment, domestic violence or housing needs in Rensselaer County and surrounding communities.

Providing pharmacy services to patients in the same facility where they receive their care makes it easier for patients to obtain needed medications and stay on their medication plans. This in turn reduces hospitalization rates and emergency room visits leading to improved health outcomes. In addition, on-site Genoa pharmacists build close relationships with the patient and their care team.

“This on-site pharmacy will be a great resource for the people we serve at Unity House, and for our community resources and housing programs,” said Chris Burke, Unity House CEO. “Our housing clients previously had to go to separate pharmacies within the community for their medications and this model provides them with both convenience and the security of going to a familiar location. The Genoa pharmacy model has been successful in helping vulnerable individuals easily access the medications they need without having to worry about transportation to a pharmacy. We are thrilled to host the first on-site location of a Genoa Healthcare pharmacy in the region.”

Because of restrictions due to COVID-19, individuals must make an appointment before going to Unity House, but several services, such as the community meals program, are being provided in a nearby outdoor space. The new pharmacy will provide medication delivery and curbside pick-up and hold outdoor outreach events to safely introduce the pharmacy team to the community.

One in 10 New Yorkers experience mental health disorders in a given year serious enough to disrupt their daily functioning. For some, having access to mental health care and medications can mean the difference between life and death.

“Genoa is excited to bring our specialized, high-touch approach to pharmacy care to Unity House because we know it will make a difference in people’s lives,” said Bill Guptail, chief operating officer at Genoa Healthcare. “Now more than ever, when many people are feeling isolated and anxious during the pandemic, ensuring access to care and medication is critical.”

The integrated pharmacy model has proven to help patients stay on their medications at a rate of more than 90%, compared to an average rate of about 50% with a traditional approach. A study published in a peer-reviewed journal found that this type of integrated pharmacy also reduces emergency room visits by 18%, hospitalizations by 40% and significantly reduces the total cost of care.

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