HOPE Pharmacy logo

When you think of hope, what comes to mind? 

Particularly after a year like 2020, hope is something we could all likely use a little more of. That’s exactly what Shantelle Brown is bringing to the Church Hill area in Virginia. But hope is more than just a word to her — it’s a place.

Brown opened HOPE Pharmacy in early 2019 as part of a health initiative in the Church Hill area to provide localized care for widespread issues like hypertension and diabetes by increasing access to healthy foods and lifestyle choices. The pharmacy opened alongside places such as The Market at 25th Street and the VCU Health Hub with the goal of not just increasing access but also increasing education.

“We’re here to provide access to the whole community, and not just access but education, too,” she said of the pharmacy’s purpose. “People can go into places and provide opportunities and call it ‘access,’ but we want to help everyone here understand why they need the types of care we’re offering.”

Brown actually began her career in community pharmacy just a few blocks from where HOPE Pharmacy stands today, in a time before there was as much diversity in the area as there is now. She worked in a few chain pharmacies, which helped her build a solid foundation as a pharmacist serving an underserved community. In 2018, the store she was working in had to close as part of a nationwide store closure. Instead of being discouraged, she leveraged it as an opportunity to serve the community she knew and loved in a new way.

“HOPE Pharmacy was born out of the idea of giving hope to everyone, and that’s what we really try to do every day — ‘Helping Others Physically Prosper Every day.’ If you look at our logo, you can see that acronym,” she said. “I’m trying to bridge the gap between what I see as the old and the new Church Hill.”

Shantelle Brown helping a patient at HOPE Pharmacy.
Shantelle Brown helping a patient at HOPE Pharmacy.

Before HOPE pharmacy even opened, Brown was talking with CPPI director Dave Dixon and CPPI core faculty member Evan Sisson about how they can provide and study pharmacy services that would ultimately improve outcomes for patients not just at HOPE Pharmacy but other pharmacies across Virginia as well.

“I’m excited,” she said about partnering with CPPI. “The sky’s the limit.”

In the coming months, Brown is hoping to offer ambulatory blood pressure monitoring as part of an ongoing study CPPI members are conducting on masked hypertension and the roles of pharmacists in treating it. 

“I’m thankful to be a part of it,” she said. “This collaboration is going to be great for the community.”

At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about for her: Serving everyone in the community. That, to her, is hope.

Categories 2021 News Archive
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