FOLLANSBEE, West Virginia. (May 22, 2016) – Hood’s Pharmacy has been serving the community for more than 50 years and, with the opening of its new location at 971 Main St., will have much more space to do that.
Local officials, family members and many other supporters gathered around owner Randy Hood and his mother, Mary – the widow of Jimmy Hood, who started the business – as she cut the ribbon for the new store as part of its grand opening on May 6, a date that would have been Jimmy’s 90th birthday.
Randy noted the pharmacy’s former location, just a block away on state Route 2, had been owned by Herb Traubert, for whom his father worked before taking over the business in 1964.
Just as he had learned the pharmacy business under Traubert, Jimmy trained Joe Ierise, who came to the business as an intern and has served as its head pharmacist for 20 years.
Aiding Ierise are pharmacy technicians Esther Rocini and Mary Conley, each with more than 30 years at the store; Carole Zaninelli, there for 20 years; Becky Conley, a 10-year employee; Nancy Santangelo, Rachelle Francis, Julie DeStefano and Melissa Hood.
Melissa, who is Hood’s daughter, graduated from the West Virginia University pharmacy school last year but began working there as a cashier when she was 15.
Randy Hood said more staff may be added as needed.
He expressed appreciation to city officials for their cooperation in allowing the new store’s construction at the former site of a convenient store and Lombardi Development, a city-based construction company, and various subcontractors involved in removing the old structure and constructing the two-story building.
Hood said the new building will allow the pharmacy to expand its selection of health products, such as diabetic supplies, and add basic grocery items especially desired by residents who live downtown and within walking distance of the store.
He said there’s been a strong need for materials used by people with diabetes. He said the pharmacy’s staff measures people for shoes designed for those with the disease and orders the footwear for them through clinics held there.
Hood said there are plans to offer diabetic pumps, battery-powered devices that mechanically administer insulin and offer an alternative to shots.
He said the pharmacy has established a reputation for compounding drugs in alternative forms, such as flavored liquids instead of pills, and creams for medications that can be absorbed through the skin.
The alternative forms are especially helpful for people who have certain conditions and in treating animals. Through its website, the pharmacy has filled orders for veterinarians treating horses as far as Italy, said Hood.