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Little Village neighbors, alderman ask CVS to forestall closure o…

Individuals of the Little Village neighborhood accumulated Friday to invite CVS to rethink its determination to near its pharmacy in the community, announcing citizens would wish to commute too some distance to get their prescriptions crammed.

The shop, at 2634 S. Pulaski Highway, is about to near June 7, CVS Well being showed.

twenty second Ward Ald. Michael Rodríguez stated his workplace had won “numerous telephone calls basically from seniors in the community, anxious about the place they’re going to move and satisfy their prescriptions.” He stated he realized in regards to the closure a number of weeks in the past.

“We don’t wish to see every other blighted trade in our neighborhood,” he stated.

Rodríguez’s workplace requested CVS to rethink final the drugstore in a Might 18 letter signed by way of native elected officers together with U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and state Sen. Celia Villanueva, in addition to neighborhood and well being organizations together with Enlace Chicago, Howard Brown Well being, Instituto del Progreso Latino and the St. Anthony and Sinai Chicago hospitals.

The letter notes that the following closest CVS pharmacy is in Cicero, about 2 ½ miles from the Little Village location. Group citizens with out vehicles will wish to take one or two buses to fill their prescriptions, the letter stated.

In a observation, CVS Well being stated all prescriptions on the location could be transferred to its Cicero retailer, and that sufferers too can make a choice to switch to different CVS pharmacies. The corporate declined to touch upon what number of prescriptions it fills on the Little Village location.

“Keeping up get admission to to pharmacy services and products in traditionally underserved communities is a very powerful issue we imagine when making retailer closure choices,” the corporate’s observation stated. “Different elements come with native marketplace dynamics, cultural and language obstacles, client purchasing patterns, a neighborhood’s retailer density, and making sure there are different geographic get admission to issues to fulfill the desires of the neighborhood, together with COVID-19 checking out and vaccinations.”

There’s a Walgreens pharmacy down the road from the Little Village CVS at twenty sixth Side road and PulaskiRoad. However some sufferers received’t have the ability to switch their medicines there on account of the verdict by way of Aetna, which is owned by way of CVS, to drop Walgreens from its Aetna Better Health of Illinois Medicaid network in December 2020.

On the time, critics of the Aetna determination advised the Tribune the verdict was once affecting deficient and majority-Black neighborhoods at the town’s South and West facets. Aetna stated in a observation in December 2020 that the verdict “has no longer created or contributed to community get admission to problems.”

“We meet or exceed all the state’s get admission to necessities for controlled care organizations,” the observation from Aetna stated. “Actually, the Illinois Division of Healthcare and Circle of relatives Services and products has reviewed our up to date community and decided it guarantees fairness.”

Ultimate 12 months, CVS introduced it will close 900 U.S. stores over three years. In a observation Friday, the corporate stated it was once within the means of shifting staff on the Little Village CVS to different shops. The chain recently has just about 70 places in Chicago.

“The organizations I constitute consider that well being care is a human proper,” stated Anne Scheetz of Physicians for a Nationwide Well being Program Illinois and the Illinois Unmarried-Payer Coalition, talking on the Friday information convention. “That it isn’t a commodity to be to be had handiest to those that have cash.”

Scheetz stated she lives in Logan Sq. and that there are 4 CVS pharmacies inside of strolling distance of her space. “They’re including shops in rich neighborhoods,” she stated. “And so they’re final them in those neighborhoods. That ain’t proper.”

The closure was once introduced right through the “context of a global pandemic that continues to rage,” stated Raoul Contreras of the crowd Mi Villita Neighbors.

Audio system Friday famous Little Village have been hard-hit by way of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the 60623 ZIP code, which incorporates the group, had the most virus-related deaths in Cook County.

Jesús Del Toro, a spokesperson for Garcia, stated Friday that the congressman had organized a gathering with CVS’s federal affairs groups “to relay the worries of Little Village neighborhood individuals and well being advocates in regards to the introduced closure.”

tasoglin@chicagotribune.com


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