Not just a phar­macy:

Har­rold’s Phar­macy has a lab­o­ra­tory, doc­tor’s of­fice and more.

The Citizens' Voice - - FRONT PAGE - BY DENISE ALLABAUGH Staff WRITER

WILKES-BARRE — A long­time fam­ily-owned busi­ness on Old River Road in Wilkes-barre has grown into more than just a re­tail phar­macy.

Har­rold’s Phar­macy, which has served the com­mu­nity for more than 70 years, now in­cludes a walk-in lab­o­ra­tory, a doc­tor’s of­fice and a tra­di­tional re­tail phar­macy in ad­di­tion to spe­cialty ser­vices like di­a­betic shoe fit­ting, per­son­al­ized medicine com­pound­ing, med­i­cal equip­ment, a home in­fu­sion pro­gram and pa­tient ed­u­ca­tion events.

Cus­tomers can pick up pre­scrip­tions and other items and com­plete their lab test­ing all in one trip.

“Our whole con­cept here is to be a one-stop shop,” said Bruce Le­fkowitz, the third­gen­er­a­tion owner of Har­rold’s Phar­macy.

Health Net­work Lab­o­ra­to­ries re­cently opened the walk-in lab­o­ra­tory in­side Har­rold’s Phar­macy.

A phle­botomist is on site to draw blood from pa­tients. It is open Mon­day through Fri­day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be open on Satur­days from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. start­ing in Novem­ber, said Maria Fos­ter, vice pres­i­dent of sales and mar­ket­ing for Health Net­work Lab­o­ra­to­ries.

No ap­point­ments are needed and wait times are typ­i­cally less than 15 min­utes.

More than 99 per­cent of all test re­sults are avail­able within 24 hours and posted im­me­di­ately on MYHNLac­cess.com, a se­cure on­line pa­tient por­tal, Fos­ter said.

“We like to pro­vide con­ve­nience for pa­tients to get the right care and get the test­ing done,” she said. “This is a very con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion.”

Health Net­work Lab­o­ra­to­ries also of­fers af­ford­able lab test­ing for those with high­d­e­ductible in­sur­ance plans

‘There are so many pa­tients who are home-con­fined and can’t get out and they may not take their med­i­ca­tion oth­er­wise so there’s a real need to have it de­liv­ered.’

or those who need to pay for the test­ing them­selves, Fos­ter said.

“We’re re­ally happy be­cause this is an ex­tremely pro­gres­sive phar­macy. Bruce’s fam­ily has been here for three gen­er­a­tions,” Fos­ter said. “This is a very unique de­liv­ery model for care. Bruce is fab­u­lous and he knows his com­mu­nity. He knows his pa­tients and how to serve them. It’s very im­por­tant for us to put our pa­tients first.”

Dr. Joseph Anis­tran­ski of the Wright Cen­ter for Pri­mary Care has an of­fice next to the new walk-in lab­o­ra­tory.

In an­other part of Har­rold’s Phar­macy, cer­ti­fied pe­dor­thist Ivan Davi­d­owitz fits pa­tients for shoes and his wife, Cheri, fits them for body braces.

They bring their dog Eros to the phar­macy and Davi­d­owitz said “it’s a great place to work.”

Davi­d­owitz, who for­merly was in busi­ness in Kingston,

Bruce Le­fkowitz Har­rold’s Phar­macy owner

said the ma­jor­ity of pa­tients need di­a­betic shoe fit­tings. He also builds shoes for peo­ple with de­for­mi­ties and does or­thotic mod­i­fi­ca­tions and sports or­thotics.

He said what he likes about Har­rold’s Phar­macy is that Le­fkowitz has cre­ated a “whole health and well­ness cen­ter.”

“There’s noth­ing like it,” Davi­d­owitz said. “There’s a doc­tor’s of­fice. There’s the com­pound­ing. There’s the in­fu­sion. There’s the shoe cen­ter with a cer­ti­fied pe­dor­thist. Bruce has cre­ated a re­ally unique ex­pe­ri­ence in a phar­macy.”

In­side the phar­macy area, some work­ers were busy pre­par­ing pill boxes for pa­tients.

Le­fkowitz said this ben­e­fits pa­tients who can’t han­dle or­ga­niz­ing their own med­i­ca­tions and are of­ten hos­pi­tal­ized for non­com­pli­ance is­sues, ei­ther over­dos­ing or un­der­dos­ing.

“They might be on 15 dif­fer­ent med­i­ca­tions and it’s con­fus­ing so we or­ga­nize them for them,” he said.

Le­fkowitz also showed a ro­bot that counts com­monly used drugs and la­bels them and frees up the staff to do more cus­tomer ser­vice work.

“This al­lows us to in­ter­act more with the cus­tomers and han­dle other sit­u­a­tions than do­ing this kind of task,” he said.

The phar­macy has a fleet of 10 lit­tle white cars that de­liver med­i­ca­tions and med­i­cal sup­plies to pa­tients.

“There are so many pa­tients who are home-con­fined and can’t get out and they may not take their med­i­ca­tion oth­er­wise so there’s a real need to have it de­liv­ered,” Le­fkowitz said.

Harold Le­fkowitz, Bruce’s grand­fa­ther, started the phar­macy in 1947 in a smaller space on Old River Road. He reg­is­tered the phar­macy’s name with two r’s so the name wouldn’t be copied. It was later op­er­ated by Bruce’s fa­ther, Barry Le­fkowitz.

Bruce Le­fkowitz op­er­ated it since the 1990s and he said he was for­tu­nate be­cause he got to work with his fa­ther and grand­fa­ther.

Five years ago, the phar­macy moved to a larger site at 250 Old River Road that for­merly was Old River Road Bak­ery.

“That al­lowed us to re­ally ex­pand our ser­vices,” Le­fkowitz said.

MARK MORAN / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Har­rold’s Phar­macy owner Bruce Le­fkowitz works in­side the new walk-in lab­o­ra­tory at the fam­ily-owned busi­ness on Old River Road in Wilkes-barre.

MARK MORAN / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Bruce Le­fkowitz, owner of Har­rold’s Phar­macy in Wilkes-barre, said work­ers can pre­pare pill boxes for pa­tients who have trou­ble or­ga­niz­ing their own med­i­ca­tions.

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