Comanche County Medical Center (CCMC) operates a nonprofit, full service, retail pharmacy to serve Comanche County and surrounding communities. Located in the hospital lobby, the CCMC Pharmacy is smaller than most “tiny houses” with only 115 sq. ft. in which to work. Rent for the space is paid to Comanche County Consolidated Hospital District (CCCHD) which owns the hospital building. The little pharmacy opened in the summer of 2014, when then CEO Jim Christensen, stated in a July article in The Comanche Chief, “Everyone is excited about setting the date for opening our new public retail pharmacy within the hospital and…meeting strategic goals of delivering more patient-centered services.” He added the pharmacy was to “support accessibility.” The article said CCMC leadership wanted to ensure a one-stop location for patients, staff, and people in the area. In the nine years since, the pharmacy has added new and better services, such as compounding and the specialty pharmacy, created new pharmacy jobs, and has grown revenues to help support the sustainability of the health system — all in the same tiny space in the lobby of the hospital.
As many people know, the CCMC Pharmacy is nonprofit because it is wholly owned and managed by CCMC, which is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. As a charitable organization, CCMC and its departments provide health care services and promote health, among other things. The pharmacy provides prescriptions and related services, including free delivery, which are critical components of primary care provision and health access. Revenues received in the pharmacy pay for pharmacy operating expenses and services to residents of Comanche, De Leon, and surrounding communities. These revenues are not revenues of the Comanche County Consolidated Hospital District, which is a separate, not-for-profit, local government entity.
As the CCMC Pharmacy has grown, the need for a much larger space has become clear. There is no space to hold growing prescription inventories, such as for the expected increase in demand for prescriptions from residents of the new Comanche County nursing home. Nor is there room to accommodate specialty pharmacy operations, and the tiny space in which staff currently work is unacceptable. Paul McKinzie, CCMC Board member and a retired pharmacist, saw the need early on, and encouraged me and others to consider expanding. But due to financial constraints in prior years and time needed for planning, an expansion proposal hadn’t come to fruition…until now.
The expansion proposal uses available CCMC operating funds (not the Hospital District’s) to relocate the pharmacy out of the hospital lobby to the southwest corner of the clinic, creating a larger adjoining pharmacy space with drive-thru. The CCMC Board of Directors has approved moving ahead with the expansion, subject to the Hospital District (CCCHD) Board’s approval. The project will add square footage to the hospital building but it will not be paid for by the Hospital District; it will be paid for by CCMC revenues, not revenues of the Hospital District, and there will be NO COST TO TAXPAYERS.
Everyone has a choice of pharmacies and providers in our medical neighborhood. CCMC works hard to be the provider of choice for residents old and new. Expansion of the CCMC Pharmacy will mean better services for all. We hope the Hospital District will approve the project this month.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request additional details about the CCMC Pharmacy expansion proposal.