by J.O. Parker
The new Brooklyn Family Pharmacy, 101 E. Front St., opened its doors on May 7 and owners, Derek Townsend, RPh, and his wife, Amy, along with licensed pharmacy technician, Andi Kelm, CPhT, couldn’t be more pleased.
Townsend said he feels very blessed by the opportunity to open a pharmacy in Brooklyn, with the help of Kelm, who worked for the previous pharmacy owner and will see to the day-to-day operations at the Brooklyn location.
“When we decided to open the pharmacy in Brooklyn, we knew how important it would be to have dedicated staff alongside us,” noted Townsend, in speaking of Kelm. “In talking with our friends and neighbors in Brooklyn, we heard many great things about Kelm and her relationship with her patients. She is very excited about the chance to stay in Brooklyn and continue working with her treasured customers!”
Townsend holds a chemistry degree from Central College in Pella, where he and Amy met. Following graduation, he had an internship with Pioneer and decided to go the agriculture route. In 2010, Townsend switched gears and went to pharmacy school at the University of Iowa and began his pharmacy career.
He has worked at Medicap Pharmacy in Toledo for the last seven years and has managed the Gladbrook Family Pharmacy (also a telepharmacy) since it opened in 2018. He purchased these stores when his boss retired on Jan. 1.
Townsend said a local pharmacy plays a very important role in the health of its community.
“When someone is not feeling well, the last thing they want to do is go to their long-time clinic in town and then have to drive to a larger or neighboring town to get their prescriptions,” said Townsend. “With the Brooklyn Medical Clinic and its wonderful providers, it is such a convenience for patients to be able to walk or drive right down the street to pick up their medications and head straight home.”
Recognizing the continued need in rural communities to shop local while minimizing travel for the elderly, young and working families, Brooklyn Family Pharmacy is committed to providing a variety of pharmacy services to Brooklyn and the surrounding areas. The benefit of a telepharmacy is the increased potential for longevity in a rural area. A technician is able to manage the day to day in store operations with a pharmacist always available remotely and on site one day a week.
Free monthly medication packaging
Prescription medications and OTC healthcare products
Vaccinations - Flu - Covid - Pneumonia - Shingles - Tetanus
Free blood pressure checks
Diabetic shoes and custom molded inserts with in home fittings
Healthcare advice and easy pharmacist access
Greeting cards and gifts
Durable medical equipment
“Having a local, independently owned pharmacy also keeps our money in Brooklyn in order to help improve our local community,” noted Townsend. “Local pharmacy services are vital to small towns like Brooklyn to meet the transportation issues of our elderly population, time constraints of our younger families, sustainability of local medical providers, and minimizing patient’s frustrations when filling prescriptions.”
Townsend said it is nothing but the grace of God that has given him the opportunity that he has truly desired for years, to have a pharmacy in the community that is so dear to his heart.
“When telepharmacy first became Iowa law in 2018, I really wanted to bring pharmacy services to Brooklyn as
I live in Poweshiek County and go to Madison Church of Christ,” Townsend said. “Three years later, the opportunity was presented again in January 2021 and I felt strong conviction to try again and provide local pharmacy services.”
Townsend said the entire process has been challenging and rewarding as it typically takes 6-9 months to get necessary licenses and contracts approved in order to open a new pharmacy.
“By the grace of God, we are trying to do it in three months,” he said. “We know that you have felt abandoned by pharmacy after pharmacy in recent years. We are taking a chance on Brooklyn, please give us the chance to earn your business. God bless.”
The pharmacy will be open Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The pharmacy phone number is 641-522-7222.