(Photo) David Hudoba, the pharmacy manager at the new CAA East Liverpool Pharmacy, is pictured inside the facility. The pharmacy is located inside the CAA Health, Behavioral Health and Dental Center, East Liverpool Campus Building 1, at 16480 St. Clair Ave.
EAST LIVERPOOL – David Hudoba describes the route to his new job as pharmacy manager with the Community Action Agency of Columbiana County’s East Liverpool Pharmacy as a unique one. Hudoba, a Canfield native, began in the position in October and worked to ready the new pharmacy for its opening on Jan. 19 in the Health, Behavioral Health and Dental Center, East Liverpool Campus Building 1, at 16480 St. Clair Ave.
“I interned in Mahoning County, and of course, that’s where I grew up, so it’s been a unique path getting to this spot now,” Hudoba said, noting he had no idea his first official job would be opening a completely new pharmacy in the neighboring county to the south and working so close to his family roots. “Once I started working with patients in the internship, I actually really loved working in this business. It’s so rewarding to work with people who sometimes have nowhere else to go to get their prescriptions … to help them,” Hudoba said.
The new pharmacy is a 340B pharmacy, meaning its part of the federal government’s 340B Drug Pricing program that requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to eligible health care organizations and covered entities at significantly reduced prices. It is located inside CAACC’s newest medical center, which opened to the public in February 2019. The center houses a complete medical center and dental center; women’s health, behavioral health and Medication Assisted Treatment services; and now the pharmacy.
“There are few Federally Qualified Health Centers with in-house pharmacies in the state of Ohio,” said Jenna Wonner, COO of CAA’s Health, Behavioral Health and Dental Centers. “We are excited to start offering this service to our patients and grow the program.”
“I feel so fortunate to work in such a large Community Action Agency, and I’m happy to be blazing a new trail. And I can say that I was trusted with guiding our pharmacy program,” Hudoba said. “One of my goals is to have other agencies ask me, ‘Hey, how did you make it work.’”
Hudoba studied at The Ohio State University and Kent State University before continuing on to the Northeast Ohio Medical University, where he received a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree. He was a pharmacy intern for The Hometown Pharmacy throughout its locations in Mahoning County and also interned at St Elizabeth’s Mercy Health Boardman. He completed a Post-Graduate Year-One Community Pharmacy residency at AxessPoint Community Health Centers in Akron, with the residency’s focus being on ambulatory care. Hudoba is affiliated with the Ohio Pharmacists Association and the Ohio College of Clinical Pharmacy, and he noted he plans to test to receive a Board Certification in Pharmacotherapy and possibly ambulatory care in the future.
“Adding pharmacy and consultation services for our patients to assist them in their journey toward a healthier life has been an agency goal since 2015. It’s exciting to see things finally come to fruition,” said Thomas Andrews, CEO of CAA of Columbiana County.
Any CAA patient is welcome to use the CAA East Liverpool Pharmacy, Wonner explained, noting the goal is to utilize the pharmacy in several phases, with the first phase being to open this month. Basically patients will see their medical, behavioral health or dental providers, and will be able to pick up their prescriptions the same day at the pharmacy, according to Hudoba. “The goal is to have no more than a 15-minute wait for meds,” he noted. CAA medical, behavioral health and dental center providers see patients with insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, and a sliding fee scale is used to serve those patients with no insurance. The same will hold true for the pharmacy, as most insurances will be accepted, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, and the sliding fee scale will be used for those needing medicines and without insurance.
The pharmacy’s hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Hours on Tuesdays are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The pharmacy is closed each weekday from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch. Patients may wait inside for the prescriptions to be filled or there is a drive-through lane available.