Irving-Based McKesson Launches Project To Address ‘Pharmacy Deserts’ in Underserved U.S. Communities

Low-income residents without access to vehicles often find themselves more than a mile from much-needed medicines and prescription drugs. Project Oasis, a new McKesson initiative, aims to help address that.

You may have heard of food deserts—areas that lack access to groceries offering a variety of healthy foods. Well, “pharmacy deserts” can be a challenge as well. Often found in low-income neighborhoods, they require residents to travel beyond a mile to access medicine and prescriptions when they often lack vehicles to make the trip.

Irving-based McKesson—a leading healthcare company for wholesale medical supplies and equipment, pharmaceutical distribution, and healthcare tech solutions—aims to meet that challenge with a new initiative called Project Oasis.

Announced today, Project Oasis aims to advance health equity for at-risk populations in underserved communities. Led by McKesson’s Global Impact Organization and Community Pharmacy & Health, the initiative “seeks to identify and address pharmacy deserts, particularly in urban areas where residents face significant challenges in accessing essential pharmacy services,” McKesson said.

McKesson assessed numerous underserved communities across the U.S. before choosing Avondale, Ohio—a neighborhood within Cincinnati—for the first Project Oasis activation. McKesson helped to facilitate “an expedited path to independent pharmacy ownership” for Dr. Emmanuel “Manny” Ayanjoke, a licensed pharmacist focused on building strong ties with the local community. With the support of Project Oasis, Ayanjoke and Altev Community Pharmacy are now serving Avondale and its residents and “helping to tackle healthcare disparities,” McKesson said.

“Every day, Altev Community Pharmacy will provide compassionate, whole person care to help a community that has long grappled with limited access to essential healthcare services,” Ayanjoke, owner and lead pharmacist at Altev Community Pharmacy, said in a statement. 

McKesson said it will continue to evaluate additional opportunities to elevate its health equity programs in alignment with the company’s mission “to improve care in every setting—one product, one partner, one patient at a time.”

“As a diversified healthcare services company, we recognize the pivotal role community pharmacies play in promoting health equity and bridging gaps in care,” Nimesh Jhaveri, EVP and chief impact officer at McKesson, said in a statement. “Project Oasis represents our dedication to making a lasting difference as we live our purpose of Advancing Health Outcomes for All.”

You can see a video about the project and read more about Project Oasis by going here

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