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A Pharmacy Has Opened In Avondale, OH — In Addition To Being The First In Nearly Two Decades, It’s Also Black-Owned


A Black pharmacist has opened a pharmacy to fill a void in an Ohio neighborhood.

On April 1, 2024, Dr. Emmanuel Ayanjoke held a grand opening for Altev Community Pharmacy in Avondale, OH, according to WCPO-9 (an affiliate of ABC based in Cincinnati, OH). For nearly two decades, Avondale did not have a pharmacy, making it a pharmacy desert, especially for locals who don’t have reliable transportation.

The outlet details that Altev Community Pharmacy has a free discount program for customers who come to pick up their prescriptions. This falls under Ayanjoke’s overall mission to advance healthcare in the Black community.

“It’s all about our patients,” Ayanjoke told the outlet. “It’s all about our dedication to their care.”

Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney; Cincinnati City Council members Scotty Johnson and Seth Walsh; Congressman Greg Landsman; and Hamilton County Commission President Alicia Reece attended Altev Community Pharmacy’s grand opening ceremony, per the outlet. 

During the event, one of Dr. Ayanjoke’s patients, Wanda White, took a moment to commend him for his active work.

“Sometimes I don’t want to do like the doctor tells me to do, but [Dr. Ayanjoke is] on it, he’s like ‘Now, Wanda, you know you’re supposed to be doing this,” White told WCPO-9. “He takes the time to go through every one of my prescriptions for me.”

Sentiments such as White’s tie into Avondale community leader Quentin Taylor’s belief that having a Black-owned pharmacy in the community can help others build trust in doctors and the healthcare system.

“Because it makes the Black people comfortable, coming to the pharmacy … talking to him every day, and he understands where we come from,” Taylor said.

A 2021 study published in Health Affairs found that many cities in the country suffer from pharmacy deserts, with underrepresented communities particularly hard hit. The lack of pharmacy access can negatively affect citizens long-term. Juan Tapia-Mendoza, a community pediatrician who practices in New York City, NY, told Stat News that families and residents in pharmacy deserts are at a higher risk for chronic disease.

“Now it’s harder for them to access the prescription medications they rely on to treat common chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis,” Tapia-Mendoza stated.

Knowing this, Dr. Ayanjoke is helping resolve a significant problem in the United States that is recognized nationwide.

Altev Community Pharmacy was funded by McKesson, a healthcare organization that works with biopharma companies, care providers, pharmacies, manufacturers, and governments. Ayanjoke’s pharmacy is the first under McKesson’s Project Oasis program, spearheaded by its Global Impact Organization and Community Pharmacy & Health, with an initiative to “improve access to essential community care services,” per McKesson’s website. 

The company aims to join forces with more licensed pharmacists to bring independent community pharmacies to additional underserved communities.

“We have a purpose, and it’s to improve health outcomes for all,” McKesson CEO Brian Tyler stated to WCPO-9.

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