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Heart of Florida Health Center to offer prescriptions, COVID testing and vaccines at new drive-thru pharmacy

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 5:30 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - From frosty’s to pharmacy, the former Wendy’s restaurant on South Pine Avenue in Ocala is being transformed into a drive-thru pharmacy.

The 2,200 square foot space that used to produce burgers and fries has sat vacant for close to three years now.

Heart of Florida officials said they wanted to provide more access to their patients and help revitalize the city.

The non-profit medical center has done similar projects like this in the past.

“We hope to do drive-thru pharmacy medications here as well as COVID testing, COVID vaccines and at some point hopefully do retail. We expect that we will be able to serve 80,000 more prescriptions in the first year and approximately eight to 10 thousand more patients,” Heart of Florida CEO Jamie Ulmer said.

The Heart of Florida Health Center does accept insured patients, but also helps people without insurance.

“We definitely don’t want to leave any patient behind here at Heart of Florida so we do consider all of our patient’s financial situations and just try to make sure that their needs are met,” Pharmacy Director, Chandra Evans said.

So with extended hours at this new pharmacy, staff are one step closer to their goal - providing health care for all.

“I know that sometimes it was difficult with our clinic hours. We stayed over a little bit after the clinic closed but that was still difficult for working patients to get here right after work or right before we closed, so we’re hoping that being open half a day on Saturday and having some extended hours Monday through Friday is definitely going to meet that need,” she added.

The non-profit’s project will be funded through a county block grant, and officials said they hope to have construction complete and the project up and running by July 15.

The pharmacy will be open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

You will need to be a Heart of Florida Health Center patient in order to use the drive-thru pharmacy.

Related story: Heart of Florida Health Center Pharmacy provides patients with low cost prescriptions

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