Mingo Pharmacy earns Cardinal Health honor

MINGO JUNCTION – Mingo Pharmacy will be recognized in July by Cardinal Health when it receives one of three best practices awards in retail pharmacy.

Melissa and Frank Vostatek, Mingo Pharmacy owners, said Cardinal Health is the largest prescription drug wholesaler in the country, servicing about 7,000 pharmacies.

The other two pharmacies which are finalists in this year’s Cardinal Health Retail Pharmacy Best Practice Competition are Mac Pharmacy of Knoxville, Tenn., and TLC Pharmacy of Mission, Texas.

The finalists will be interviewed on stage during the company’s annual retail business conference on July 26 in Washington, D.C. Melissa Vostatek said she and her husband will be on stage for the question-and-answer session.

Frank Vostatek said the conference is the largest in the industry, attracting representatives from about 3,700 pharmacies across the country.

“They want us to show those at the conference why we are so successful and ways they can change their practices. You have to be doing something outside the mainstream. Most independent pharmacies do a good job of customer service. But we don’t have customers here, we have patients,” he said.

Vostatek will be graduating from the Franciscan University of Steubenville with a master’s degree in nursing, which will enable him to become a nurse practitioner.

A nurse practitioner is able to write prescriptions, which he said will make him the only licensed pharmacist in the country who will be able to write prescriptions.

Mingo Pharmacy has undergone an expansion to include examination rooms.

“Pharmacies know the medical history of patients. We can make a diagnosis and develop a plan to implement,” he said.

Mingo Pharmacy also will be starting a Suboxone clinic to help treat heroin and opiate addicts. Vostatek said this will be only the second clinic in Jefferson County, with the other operated by the Jefferson Behavioral Health System.

The addict will be seen by Vostatek, a registered nurse, physician and licensed chemical dependency counselor. Blood tests will be taken and sent out to a lab.

Suboxone is drug that chemically blocks the body from absorbing heroin, even if it is injected. It also helps alleviate the withdrawal effects that plague recovering heroin addicts.

There are four patient suites at the clinic where customers can see Vostatek for health problems.

Vostatek said there also will be a doctor working the clinic several days a week.

Vostatek wants to begin an affiliation with a university to develop a course of study for the combination of pharmacist and nurse practitioner. The only university offering such a course of study is in Hawaii, but there have been no graduates.

In years past, Cardinal Health had first-, second- and third-place finishers, but this year the company is equally highlighting all three finalists. A donation will be made to each finalists’ pharmacy school of choice, the company reported.

“It is like being nominated for an Oscar,” Vostatek said of the award.

Melissa Vostatek also is a licensed pharmacist.

Vostatek first went to nursing school but stopped to get a degree in pharmacy. He then went back to school and go his nursing degree and became a registered nurse before pursuing his master’s degree in nursing.

The Vostateks have attended the Cardinal Health conference in the past several years as a learning experience.

They have been operating Mingo Pharmacy for the past four and a half years.

“Mingo Pharmacy’s Frank Vostatek is an excellent example of a community pharmacist who constantly strives to provide high-quality, personalized care to his patients. We are delighted to honor him as a winner in the ‘wellness’ category of our annual best practice competition for retail pharmacies. We applaud him for his unwavering commitment to his patients and for his innovative approach to transforming community pharmacy,” said Steve Lawrence, senior vice president of independent sales for Cardinal Health.

This is the third year Cardinal Health has hosted a national competition for best practices in retail pharmacy. Each year, the top best practices are shared in the form of a best practice special publication, which is shared in hard copy and electronic format, according to Cardinal Health.