Much to the relief of area residents who had come to rely on the convenience and ease of having a pharmacy on the Square, a large sign in the storefront of the former Hope Wellness Pharmacy has announced the location as the future home of WindRose RX Hope.

Hope Wellness Pharmacy opened in 2017 and was in operation for nearly four years before it was purchased by CVS earlier this year and subsequently closed.

However, Windrose RX Hope is tentatively scheduled to open in early 2022, says Scott Rollett, CEO of WindRose Health Network. Area residents will likely recognize the company name as WindRose currently operates the Hope Center, an affordable healthcare clinic located on the south side of Hope.

“As you know, the pharmacy suddenly closed and obviously everyone was very upset about that,” Rollett says. “They were being told their scripts were sold to CVS and would have to go to Taylorsville or Columbus and people didn’t want to do that; they liked the convenience of the local pharmacy.”

Rollett says WindRose was in the process of opening a pharmacy in Indianapolis earlier this year when he was approached by three board members who reside in Hope.

“My board members asked me, ‘Hey you are opening a pharmacy in Indianapolis, is there any way you can take that over?’ and I said, ‘We can look at it.’” Rollett says. “Of course, when I brought that to the full board, everyone was very supportive of the idea. We are a federally qualified health center, so we exist to serve the underserved, and that certainly includes rural communities.”

Established in 1996 in Trafalgar, WindRose Health Network now currently employs nearly 200 healthcare professionals and serves more than 20,000 patients in areas that include Trafalgar, Whiteland, Edinburgh and Hope.

Rollett says his company is working on a sequential timeframe to reopen the pharmacy, located at 645 Harrison St.

“Essentially, one thing has to happen before the next thing can,” Rollett explains. “We are in the midst of getting our pharmacy license with Indiana assigned to us and after that we have to get the DEA license. Then we can begin the process of insurance credentialing.”

Although it will likely be a March 2022 opening, Rollett says he is hopeful residents won’t have to wait that long to once again be able to get their prescriptions in Hope as a telepharmacy service may be an option in the interim.

“We are hoping that, quite possibly, the board of pharmacy may allow us to dispense out of our Indianapolis location and then deliver on site,” Rollett says. “If that is the case, we could possibly be open sooner, but in terms of being fully, independently operating it looks like it could be as late as March 1.”

Rollett admits the process is very time consuming and demands a certain level of patience, but says he and his company are eager to reopen the pharmacy that serves more than 2,000 residents in the Hope area.

“We are very excited about the possibility to get it open again,” Rollett says. “I wish it could happen sooner but, unfortunately, when it comes to dealing with insurance companies and things, you are on their timeframe then.”