Back in 1985, Community Health Professionals (CHP) began delivering in-home hospice services in northwest Ohio. That same year, Phil and Robin Farris founded P&R Home IV Service in their home in rural Van Wert County.
The relationship between the home health and hospice agency and the home infusion service was the start of a business relationship lasting 36 years. CHP Home Care & Hospice relied upon P&R to deliver hospice medications and medical equipment with a 24-hour, local, emergency delivery response.
New pharmacy partners
At the end of 2021, P&R closed its pharmacy but its medical equipment business and locations – P&R Medical Connection – remain in operation. For pharmacy coverage for its hospice program, CHP is now partnering with two local, family-owned pharmacies.
Kaup Pharmacy, based in Fort Recovery, OH supplies medications for patients served by CHP offices in Ada-Hardin Co., Celina, Lima, Van Wert, and Wapakoneta. Okuley’s Pharmacy, based in Defiance, OH supplies the Archbold, Bryan, Defiance, Delphos, Paulding, and Ada-Hancock Co. areas. Rite Aid stores in the region are contracted for backup coverage.
“We have a lot of respect for Phil and Robin Farris and for CHP, and we’re honored to be working with CHP now and carry on the tradition of fast, reliable, and local services to hospice patients and families,” said Jerry Kaup, RPh.
Kaup Pharmacy was founded in 1980 by pharmacists, Jerry and Lorri Kaup. They have worked with local hospice agencies for nearly 40 years. Hospice care is what led them into making specific medications prepared for a patient’s individual needs – a process known as compounding.
“We work with physicians to make medicines that are better for patients,” Kaup said. “In hospice, we can’t stop the cycle of life and death, but if we can make it easier and help patients to pass with dignity, we’ve done our jobs.”
Okuley’s Pharmacy is a family-owned business established in 1950 by Blaine Okuley in Continental, OH. In 1995, it was purchased by Blaine and Anita Okuley’s son, Travis, and his wife, Kieu.
They expanded the store’s services, including a compounding business that works closely with local hospices to help provide solutions for patients with issues that aren’t being addressed through traditional medications.
“We’re proud to carry on our family’s business with the third generation,” said Kieu Okuley, RPh. “Our son, Konnor, joined the team full time. We’re looking forward to caring for our local communities for years to come.”
Okuley’s recently hired an additional pharmacist to focus specifically on hospice.
“Hospice fits naturally into our business,” Okuley said. “Easing pain, providing comfort to patients, keeping people at home with medical equipment; it’s what we’ve been about from the beginning.”
The new relationship between CHP, Kaup, and Okuley’s brings together the strengths of three well-established, local businesses.
Prompt, personal, local service
“We had a great relationship with P&R for so many years and we wish them well as they continue offering quality DME services,” said Brent Tow, CHP President/CEO. “They provided our hospice patients and families with personal, prompt, and compassionate service. It’s a blessing to find partners, with impeccable reputations, who will continue those standards.”
With both Kaup and Okuley’s, Tow says patients will get medications when they need them, delivered personally within hours, not shipped overnight and delivered by a UPS or FedEx driver or left by a mailbox.
“In hospice, problems can be myriad, complicated, and change quickly,” Kaup said. “When a family is dealing with the frightening unknowns of end-of-life care, it helps when you reach out for help and get a familiar voice and a quick response.”
“We pride ourselves in being local for our communities’ emerging needs,” Okuley said. “Patients don’t have to wait for meds or equipment. We’ll have it within a couple of hours and we’re only a phone call away.”