By Bob Kecskemety
Pride Pharmacy and Midland Medical in Fort Lauderdale pride themselves on providing a one-stop location dedicated to your good health. Midland Medical specializes in men’s health, including diagnostics with on-site labs, and HIV specialties, in addition to being AAHIVM-certified.
Pride Pharmacy is a specialty pharmacy that also provides free delivery to its customers. Co-owners Greg West and Steven Levin hope local residents will find all the medical services they need under one, convenient roof at 2701 E Oakland Park Boulevard, sharing the same strip mall as Lips Cabaret.
West is a co-owner, but he does more than just sit behind a desk. He also helps out in the pharmacy and works as patient liaison and advocate. “If anybody has a problem,” West said, “they come to me and I try to straighten out their problems.” West also has been known to deliver prescriptions to customers.
West noted that Pride Pharmacy is not 100% gay-owned and operated: there is a mix of gay and straight principals. “But with a name like ‘Pride Pharmacy’, we would have to be very gay-friendly,” he added.
The price of prescription drugs is always of concern to customer, and West says that he and staff are sensitive to economic realities, and make every effort to keep prices for prescription medications as low as possible. “We’re here to help the community,” said West. “We are very much aware of other pharmacies’ prices on meds, and are very competitively priced. You won’t find medications priced higher here, and we will try everything we can to be less.”
West said that Pride Pharmacy uses co-pay cards to cover a patient’s co-pay drug expenses. This could save customers potentially hundreds of dollars a month. Some save as much as four or five hundred dollars monthly. West explained that by not being a chain pharmacy, they have the flexibility to adjust without corporate oversight from hundreds of miles away.
Through the door in the waiting area of Pride Medical is Midland Medical, a state-of-the-art medical clinic with the ability to serve most patients’ examination needs. Midland is a one-stop clinic for diagnostic, medical, lab, and chiropractic services, as well as immunizations, prosthetics, boosters, Botox, and much more.
“The one thing I really love about Midland Medical,” said West, “is the personalized service. The doctors actually know
West explained that Midland is not an assembly line doctor’s office. Patients will experience a different approach to their medical needs. “This is not the sort of practice where you take a number, have a seat, be directed to the first room, and spend five minutes with a nurse, be directed to a second room, wait another ten minutes with a nurse, then be directed to the third
room where you actually see a doctor for about two minutes.”
“We are compassionate with our patients,” said Anetha Jones, the practice’s head medical assistant. “We personally sit down and consult with our patients. Sometimes we feed them, or bring them food, whatever it takes to make our patients happy and healthy.”
At Midland, West said, patients are seen by a doctor in a straightforward manner, and given their diagnosis “in plain English, not ‘doctor-eze,’ so the patient understands what the doctor is saying without a lot of medical jargon,” West added.
Trudy Zengler, Midland’s office manager, said that Midland is the most caring medical facility she has ever seen. “Everybody here really cares about the patients. The patients are family,” she said. “I think we put forth the effort to make sure our patients are taken care of and provide the best care we can.”
Zengler has firsthand knowledge of Midland’s care and practices from an outsider’s perspective. Prior to her employment, she owned a medical billing company, which gave her the opportunity to interface with the operations of many medical facilities, and Midland was a client of Zengler’s company. That changed in 2009 when Zengler was hired to work at Midland.
Zengler and the rest of the staff are well acquainted with West’s mantra about customer service. “Customer service is our top priority at both Pride Pharmacy and Midland Medical,” said West. “We are not your typical pharmacy. We are not your typical doctor’s office. We also have a very high ratio of keeping people healthy and
out of the hospital.”
West explained that recently he spent four hours helping a patient navigate his way through some insurance-related matters. The patient was talked out of his previous insurance plan by the insurance company’s representative. But his new insurance plan didn’t cover the cost of medication. The patient’s medicine bill was close to $3,000 a month.
“He couldn’t afford that. Who can?” sympathized West. “It took about four hours, but we got him back on his original insurance policy. We go out of our way to help people.”
Pride Pharmacy has been open for three years, and has Monday through Saturday business hours. Midland Medical has been in operation for almost six years, and
is currently open from Tuesday through Saturday.