We were founded by pharmacist Sarah Adkins, PharmD and an amazing team in 2019. Sarah grew up in Southeast Ohio attending Albany Elementary and graduating from Athens High School. While living in Columbus, Sarah visited a local non – profit pharmacy. When she moved back to Athens in 2011, she collaborated with several physician offices and realized the need for a non – profit pharmacy in this region. In fall 2019, Ken Ryan, Esq. submitted paperwork for the non – profit status. Southeast Ohio Free Pharmacy (DBA Rising Suns Pharmacy) was granted 501c(3) status in February 2020. The grand opening was April of 2022. It is our pleasure to serve our community of SE Ohio and hope to grow our services in the coming years.
Founding board members: Sarah Adkins PharmD, Marc Richards DO, Sean Kiser, Mark McMills PhD, Liz Beverly PhD, Bela Bhatt – Koshal DO, Tobie Newberry DNP, Ben Holter PharmD, & Ken Ryan Esq.
To provide high-quality pharmacy services that optimize the health and well-being of all members of the Southeastern Ohio community.
To ensure all people in Southeastern Ohio have access to safe and effective medications.
More About the Area and Goals
Southeastern Ohio is located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Appalachia, itself, is a 205,000-square-mile region that encompasses 420 counties in 13 states from Mississippi to New York. The Appalachian Mountains are the major geographic feature of this region. In the state of Ohio, the Appalachian region encompasses 32 counties, seven of which are in southeastern Ohio.
Here, people are 19% more likely to live below the poverty line compared to the rest of the state. Moreover, people are 14% more likely to be unemployed and 12% less likely to achieve a Bachelor’s degree compared to the rest of the country. All seven counties are designated as health professional shortage areas for dental and mental health care; and, four counties are designated as health professional shortage areas for primary care. High rates of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, COPD, asthma, and depression create additional challenges for people in this region.
Pharmacists play an integral role in the management of these chronic conditions. They provide patient education, advice on over-the-counter medications, immunizations, and care coordination. However, medications are expensive and 11.3% of people in southeastern Ohio are uninsured. A free pharmacy will provide free medications to people who are uninsured or have limited insurance, and allow pharmacists to manage chronic illnesses, promote wellness, and provide comprehensive medication management to optimize patient outcomes.