Washington-based Genoa Healthcare opened its 500th pharmacy, and its first in New York City, on December 18 inside Catholic Charities’s Behavioral Health Center in Jackson Heights.
“This partnership is the first of its kind in New York City,” said Monsignor Alfred LoPinto, CEO of Catholic Charities. “We at Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens are proud to take the lead in this effort.”
Genoa, which primarily serves patients with mental health, substance abuse and other chronic health conditions, collaborates with community mental health clinics to provide services to patients in the same facilities where they receive care.
According to Genoa CEO Mark Peterson, this “integrated model” makes it easier for patients to obtain medications and overcome health care obstacles.
“By being physically located on site, it allows people to walk down to the pharmacy,” he said. “Thinking about how we can take down barriers to help them achieve their goals is what we’re all about.”
Peterson said the company simplifies the medication process through special packaging that’s personalized, which eliminates confusion around when or how to take medicines.
They also synchronize medication refills so patients only have to go to the pharmacy once, instead of taking multiple trips. Genoa proactively reaches out to their patients to make sure they don’t have gaps in their care.
As a result of their practices, Peterson said the company’s medication adherence rate is closer to 90 percent. Most retail pharmacies have a rate around 50 percent, the company said.
Their operation strives toward what Peterson described as a “triple aim” - improving the health of the population, reducing the cost of care and creating incredible experiences in health care.
“In order to get all three to happen, it takes something remarkable,” he said. “It’s not just a pipe dream, it’s actually happening.”
Genoa serves more than 900,000 patients across 47 states and Washington, D.C. The Jackson Heights site, the first in the city, is the company’s seventh overall in New York. It’s expected to serve about 2,000 patients.
Despite the company’s growth, Peterson said it’s never been about the number of pharmacies they open, but the number of people they can reach.
“It’s really about making sure that the people that are looking to us for help get that help, and that we’re there for them,” he said. “It’s about changing lives.”
Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens is one of the largest faith-based developers of affordable housing, building 4,400 units for seniors, families, veterans, formerly homeless and people with HIV.
The organization also runs 21 parish-based food pantries, emergency rent assistance through walk-in centers, and 160 total programs that service youth, adults and seniors.
Catholic Charities provides clinical and behavioral health programs through a traditional clinic model. In total, it operates five mental health clinics, including the Jackson Heights facility, with more than 6,000 clients.
“Everyone’s affected by mental health,” said Claudia Salazar, CCBQ’s vice president of Clinics, Recovery and Rehabilitative Services, “either personally or through the eyes of a loved one.”