Customers of the Tiny Village neighborhood gathered Friday to check with CVS to rethink its selection to near its pharmacy in the neighborhood, indicating people would will need to travel too considerably to get their prescriptions loaded.
The store, at 2634 S. Pulaski Street, is set to close June 7, CVS Wellness confirmed.
22nd Ward Ald. Michael Rodríguez claimed his office experienced gained “a amount of cell phone calls mainly from seniors in the neighborhood, apprehensive about wherever they are going to go and satisfy their prescriptions.” He mentioned he uncovered about the closure various weeks ago.
“We really do not want to see an additional blighted business in our group,” he explained.
Rodríguez’s business requested CVS to rethink closing the pharmacy in a Might 18 letter signed by neighborhood elected officials which include U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and condition Sen. Celia Villanueva, as perfectly as community and health organizations which includes Enlace Chicago, Howard Brown Overall health, Instituto del Progreso Latino and the St. Anthony and Sinai Chicago hospitals.
The letter notes that the next closest CVS pharmacy is in Cicero, about 2 ½ miles from the Small Village location. Neighborhood inhabitants with out cars and trucks will need to take one particular or two buses to fill their prescriptions, the letter reported.
In a statement, CVS Overall health said all prescriptions at the site would be transferred to its Cicero keep, and that people can also pick out to transfer to other CVS pharmacies. The business declined to comment on how quite a few prescriptions it fills at the Tiny Village location.
“Maintaining obtain to pharmacy services in historically underserved communities is an critical variable we contemplate when building keep closure conclusions,” the company’s assertion stated. “Other components involve area market dynamics, cultural and language obstacles, client buying patterns, a community’s retail store density, and making certain there are other geographic accessibility points to meet up with the wants of the community, like COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.”
There is a Walgreens pharmacy down the avenue from the Very little Village CVS at 26th Avenue and PulaskiRoad. But some individuals will not be in a position to transfer their drugs there for the reason that of the decision by Aetna, which is owned by CVS, to drop Walgreens from its Aetna Far better Overall health of Illinois Medicaid community in December 2020.
At the time, critics of the Aetna final decision advised the Tribune the conclusion was impacting poor and vast majority-Black neighborhoods on the city’s South and West sides. Aetna reported in a statement in December 2020 that the decision “has not produced or contributed to community accessibility challenges.”
“We satisfy or exceed all of the state’s accessibility specifications for managed care corporations,” the assertion from Aetna reported. “In simple fact, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family members Services has reviewed our current community and decided it assures equity.”
Past calendar year, CVS announced it would shut 900 U.S. merchants more than 3 decades. In a assertion Friday, the firm explained it was in the course of action of transferring personnel at the Minimal Village CVS to other retailers. The chain at the moment has almost 70 areas in Chicago.
“The organizations I represent feel that well being care is a human right,” reported Anne Scheetz of Physicians for a National Health System Illinois and the Illinois Single-Payer Coalition, speaking at the Friday information meeting. “That it is not a commodity to be available only to these who have money.”
Scheetz mentioned she life in Logan Square and that there are four CVS pharmacies inside of walking length of her household. “They are incorporating merchants in wealthy neighborhoods,” she stated. “And they are closing them in these neighborhoods. That ain’t appropriate.”
The closure was declared during the “context of a throughout the world pandemic that continues to rage,” claimed Raoul Contreras of the group Mi Villita Neighbors.
Speakers Friday observed Tiny Village had been tricky-strike by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the 60623 ZIP code, which features the neighborhood, experienced the most virus-relevant fatalities in Cook dinner County.
Jesús Del Toro, a spokesperson for Garcia, mentioned Friday that the congressman had arranged a conference with CVS’s federal affairs groups “to relay the considerations of Minimal Village group associates and wellbeing advocates about the introduced closure.”