OPEN IN STATE-OF-THE-ART BUILDING IN NEW ALBANY
NEW FACILITY IS DEDICATED – TOP TO BOTTOM – TO WELLNESS
This is an advertorial.
Proof that the independent drug store is not only surviving, but also thriving, can be found in the new Westmoreland Pharmacy + Compounding location, 1945 State St. in New Albany.
It is owned by pharmacist Anthony Westmoreland, a native of Southern Indiana – born in Scottsburg, graduate of Purdue University – who worked with the Walgreens chain for 14 years before establishing his own business here a decade ago.
His original Westmoreland Pharmacy was just three blocks from this new location. He also has a second location at 1495 E. 10th Street in Jeffersonville in front of the Youngstown Shopping Center.
But this new, state-of-the-art store is the culmination of Westmoreland’s dream about what a locally-owned pharmacy ought to be, from its unusual, contemporary architecture to its array of in-store services to the location itself – a former Swifty’s gas station.
“This location (right across the street from Floyd Memorial Hospital) is one of the busiest corners in Southern Indiana, second only to Veterans Parkway in terms of commerce,” Westmoreland said. “So, I felt an obligation to honor that with an important building, rather than with just another cookie-cutter box.”
The eye-catching triangular shape of the two-story structure, actually conditioned by the shape of the corner lot, has a forward-looking feel to it, like a ship setting sail. Westmoreland himself envisioned the design. It was carried out by architects Tom Millea and Jason Hartz of the Louisville firm LMH Architecture, which also has an office on Grant Line Road in New Albany.
It’s inside the 4,800-square-foot space, though, that Westmoreland’s dream has become reality. Understanding that consumers have a great many shopping options these days, the pharmacist has carved out a light and inviting space that people should find warm, comfortable and professional.
“We wanted something different from a conventional pharmacy, because we are different,” said Westmoreland. “So ‘different’ to me meant curved walls, tall glass, high ceilings and better access to and contact with the pharmacist. In many drug stores today, the pharmacy counter is hidden in the back, and the pharmacist is above it all behind a big counter or a glass wall.”
A service you won’t find in most pharmacies is the Side Effects coffee shop along one windowed wall of the store. The look and feel is that of a sidewalk café where patrons can order “drugstore-related” offerings such as Phrappacinos (note the “Ph” as in “pharmacy”) and Cure-a-lattes.
“You can sit there and have a view of the outside,” Westmoreland said. “It’s a nice way to bide time while waiting for a prescription to be filled. Half of our prescriptions are filled through our drive-through window, so people don’t necessarily come into the store. But if they do come in, we want to provide them with a good experience. So many people are into specialized coffee drinks these days.”
He hasn’t filled up the space with aisles and aisles of bouncing rubber balls and cosmetics products like so many of today’s chain drugstores have. The concentration here is on the pharmacy and, to that end, the pharmacy counter is not buried in the back and out of sight.
But it is also the nature of the pharmacy service that sets this store apart. Westmoreland’s thrust is on wellness, not just filling prescriptions but also on being the trusted health adviser and partner to his customers.
“We have a children’s vitamin program in which we provide chewable multi-vitamins to kids 2 to 12,” he said. “We give flu shots and, of course, our pharmacists are always available to answer questions. That’s the benefit of working with a locally-owned business, where the emphasis is on developing personal relationships.
“Plus,” he noted, “we work with all the major health insurers on filling prescriptions and accept all of the plans. Our prices are competitive with the large chains. People don’t realize that while the insurance company seems to dictate where you can go for your prescriptions, you still have a say in that. We’ll work with you and help you understand your choices before you make them. It’s easier communications when you know the pharmacist as a member of the community. You’re not as afraid to ask questions.”
Another differentiator is the “compounding” part of the store’s name – an unfamiliar term, perhaps, for most consumers. Maybe they conjure the picture an old-time druggist grinding medicinal powder with a mortar and pestle in the back room.
Actually, that’s not so far from the reality. Only this compounding activity has a distinct 21st century twist.
“Compounding is a way to individualize medications,” Westmoreland said, “using only ingredients that are considered natural.”
You’ll see references to “bio-identicals, which are synthetic compounds that emulate the body’s own hormones,” the pharmacist said. “If we’re compounding estrogen cream for a woman, we won’t use an artificial estrogen supplement like premarin, which is formulated from horses’ urine.”
(The name “premarin” derives from “pregnant mare’s urine,” Westmoreland helpfully explained.)
“It works really well for some people,” he says. “The problem is, it comes from horses and not from humans. There are potential side effects, because the body is not always sure exactly how to deal with this unfamiliar substance.
“We use bio-identical estrogen, which means that if you were to compare the body’s molecular structure to the one synthesized in the lab, they’d be perfectly identical.”
The art of compounding is actually dissolving powders into creams, drops or injections, made specifically for that patient based on a set of his or her symptoms and lab results, tailored for the individual’s needs – whether it’s for pain-management or hormone-replacement therapy or an anti-aging program, even veterinary compounding.
BODY SHAPES MEDICAL
This is a big reason why Westmoreland’s upstairs tenant, Body Shapes Medical, is such an important fit.
“We’re both in the business of taking care of a certain type of customer,” Westmoreland said. “People more motivated to invest in their health and well-being.”
Let Ted Ennenbach, the founder of Body Shapes Medical, explain:
“People feel the effects of aging because their hormone levels decline,” said the company founder, a CPA who found himself in his late 30s overweight, with high cholesterol and elevated blood sugar levels. His wife Leesa, a registered nurse, was working with physicians who were dabbling in testosterone replacement.
So he immersed himself in the world of hormones – like estrogen and testosterone – and the naturally occurring factors that contribute to weight gain, muscle loss, wrinkling skin and nutritional deficiencies. What he found was that those issues, though occurring naturally, are also reversible.
In 2011, the Ennenbachs formed the company, naming it Body Shapes Medical. Now, it might be common to see the name Body Shapes, and assume this is a gym, or maybe some kind of plastic surgery program. Ennenbach acknowledged the potential confusion. But the name of his program is “25 Again,” and that’s pretty descriptive.
“Our goal,” said Ennenbach, “is to reset the body chemistry to what you had when you were 25 by helping your body achieve optimal levels of hormones and nutrients.”
The issue, he said, is that we’re living longer now, thanks to modern medicine. But we’re not necessarily living better, thanks to the predictable ravages of age.
In men, the pituitary gland controls the level of testosterone in the body, but there’s a natural decrease as we get older. At some point, the testes begin releasing cholesterol instead. In women, menopause leads to the abrupt stoppage of estrogen production, causing most post-menopausal women to lose energy, suffer from declining heart health and lose bone mass.
“No member of ours will ever break a bone,” Ennenbach declared.
The program tracks 15 specific bio-markers over time in order to show exactly how someone is trending toward becoming 25 years old again – biologically speaking. Muscle mass. Weight control. Energy levels. Aches and pains go away. All those medical issues you thought were going to be a part of your life forever, and all that related prescription medication, eventually disappears.
Ennenbach is convinced that even the “inflammatory diseases” associated with old age – such as cancer, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease – can be staved off for years, much longer than normal.
“If we can avoid inflammation in the body generally, we believe there’s a huge disease preventative associated with that,” Ennenbach said. “The best part is that our patients – we call them ‘members’ – can achieve all these benefits without a major change in lifestyle. There is no gym membership, revolutionary diet plan, or strict meditation program to follow.”
This is an individualized program, based on each member’s profile and lab reports. The result? Said Ennenbach, “Our members eat better, sleep better, get rid of those foggy brain moments and have better sex drives.”
There’s nutritional counseling included in the program, but no prescribed diet or exercise program, though Ennenbach feels members will be motivated to lose weight or stay active just because they feel better and see the results.
“We have an 84-year-old man who fast walks five miles a day, lifts weights four or five times a week and has 8 percent body fat. We also have a 93-year-old woman in our program. It’s never too late to reverse the aging process.”
As with Westmoreland Compounding, the 25 Again program is based on bio-identical hormones rather than synthetics. “Plant-derived bio-identical hormones are all-natural and formulated to be broken down by the body in the same fashion as the hormones your body naturally produces,” said Ennenbach. “The synthetic hormones don’t metabolize in the same way and are not meant to be used long-term.”
It’s not snake oil, said Ennenbach. “This is real medicine. We’re heavily monitored by the Food & Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration, and we have to pass a lot of certification. Nothing that we do is trial or experimental.”
He further stresses that this is not a magical fountain of youth that turns back the clock. “You won’t be 25 again. Nobody promises that. You’ll still be 44 – and it’s okay to be 44. You just don’t want to feel 44. We give your body its best shot at performing at its maximum level.
“We can’t promise that our members will live longer,” he said. “But we think we can make the last 10 or 15 years of a member’s life enjoyable and productive, not spent in an assisted living or skilled-care facility.”
The second-floor facility is 2,500 square feet of elegant and open waiting rooms, nurses’ stations, phlebotomy lab and exam rooms. “Anthony (Westmoreland) really did it up right,” said Ennenbach, referring to the materials on the countertops and floors and the lighting – “second to none!”
The address of the Westmoreland Pharmacy + Compounding and 25 Again by Body Shapes Medical, is 1945 State Street in New Albany. Westmoreland’s phone number is 812.944.6500; the website is www.westmorelandpharmacy.com. Body Shape’s phone number is 866.420.9260; the website is www.25again.com.
Westmoreland Pharmacy is open 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. (The Jeffersonville location is open on Sunday, from noon-5 p.m.) Side Effects coffee shop is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Body Shapes Medical will open here on August 1.