The business began in 1983 as a source for patient and caregivers.
A retail store establishment carrying goods that could be discussed and bought as needed at decent prices. Physican office
supplies were added to supplement requests by local medical offices. The business became a center hub for vaccine availability
between manufacturer and medical provider.
the slow transition from the dual purpose back to the original purpose. The changes to healthcare that one saw ahead were
the guiding factor to the decision. 2005 allowed the business to transition to a retail shopping environment with full product
displays. This allowed for multiple manufacturers for product availablility. Product discussion could occur between patients,
caregivers, physicians and store staff to offer the best option for the patient.
2009-2010 increased the departure from medical provider needs as patients needed more assistance.
Patient and medical provider dscussions seemed to have an increase in "go to any medical supply store" thoughts
which increased patient stress yet additional information to those medical providers through courtesy of the patient elicited
no additional interests.
2011-2012 continued the sending
of information to medical providers offering assistance to their patients to ease the "go to any medical supply store"
instructions. Saw an increase in the number of hospital patients being advised of the same and continued contacting them.
Also searched for funding.
2013 began search
for a manufacturer that carried the broad range of products patients that were available here and not elsewhere in the city
to create a "exclusive brand type store".
One manufacturer in particular already had a huge majority of shelf and floor space for their product and had been advised
of same over the years. This manufacturer "was not interested" although they could have carried about 90% easily
and within the price points necessary. This type of brick and mortar "exclusive brand type store" (I'd say 15%-20%)
would have to be non-exclusive based on items other manufacturers carried but the main one didn't. What is interesting
is that this main manufacturer created expensive signage for their brand but I've yet to see any chain use it as their
literature pointed out its' use. Their signage concept would have worked with my business model already in place - but
they just couldn't see it.(see letter below) I've recently reviewed the local medicare approved contract suppliers
and the Medline and Guardian products are not listed as being carried by those contractors. I recall when Guardian was THE
#1 choice for physical therapist referrals.
business model of having a retail brick and mortar location in the heart of the city remains viable. The products carried
are still being sought for and not found elsewhere in the city but needed and usually needed right away. Medical trade magazines
are touting the retail sales as a necessity and wave of the future - something I understood years ago.
This model could work on a smaller scale in a retail environment in a
big chain location to supplement the pharmacy as an additional step toward wellness and health. Whether opening as a stand-alone
business or within a chain as a department - the business model I had been hired to develop in 1988 and had hoped to continue
to develop into 2013 remains a viable model for patient assistance. What it takes though is trained and compasionate
staff who know the products and understand the need. It also required deeper pockets than what I had available to me in the