Today, the Hamilton County Development Authority (HCDA) announced that Cheek & Scott Drugs, Inc. of Live Oak has opened its doors in Hamilton County. The family-owned pharmacy employs the six staff members and offers prescription fulfillment, medical devices as well as fast response clinic services such as flu testing and immunizations.

Cheek & Scott Drugs, Inc. was formed in 1965 to serve the residents of Suwanee and surrounding counties. Owner Jeff Scott, R.Ph., is a second-generation owner of the family business after buying the business from his father, Allison Scott. Jeff started working at Cheek and Scott when he was twelve years old vacuuming carpets and taking out the garbage. Encouraged by his father to pursue a career in pharmacy, Jeff graduated from the University of Georgia’s College of Pharmacy in 1991, and returned to work with his father. Since buying the business in 2000, he has continued the same traditions of his father by striving to provide complete and quality healthcare to the people of North Central Florida. The location in Jasper is the third community pharmacy location for Cheek & Scott Drugs, Inc.

In addition to providing complete and quality healthcare, Cheek & Scott is active in the community. Cheek & Scott has opened their locations and parking lots to host various fundraisers for local community organizations. To see more about their community efforts and access their community calendar, visit http://www.cheekandscott.com/community.

“Cheek & Scott is excited to expand to serve the residents of Hamilton County. Our family-owned business is deeply committed to the communities that we serve and we look forward to engaging with our patients, customers and community here. We have already hired one head pharmacist and five pharmacy technicians to create six new jobs in the community,” said Jeff Scott, owner of Cheek & Scott.

“Thirty-two percent of independent community pharmacies are located in an area with a population of less than 20,000. These community pharmacies are providing vital services to very rural areas. Fifty percent are located in areas with a population between 20,000 and 50,000. Collectively, over 80 percent of independent pharmacies are serving areas with a population less than 50,000.” (NCPA, 2016). In addition to providing a more convenient access to pharmaceuticals and equipment, pharmacists in rural communities have a significant impact on the health literacy and education of the community. “As the most accessible healthcare professionals in the community, pharmacists can take the initiative to bridge the gap [in] health disparities by effectively communicating with their patients and community on the topics of health literacy, smoking cessation, diabetes, lifestyle changes, and the importance of vaccinations” (Pharmacists’ Impact on Public Health). During these difficult economic times, independent community pharmacists continue to help patients lower their costs through encouraging the appropriate use of generic drug products, which are less expensive than their brand counterparts. (NCPA, 2016)

This location will also support the Hamilton County economy with six jobs with above average wages as well as the sales tax revenue from the goods and services at the store.

“We are excited to welcome Cheek & Scott Drugs, Inc. to Hamilton County. The role of community pharmacies in rural communities is an important one, and we look forward to realizing the impact that Cheek & Scott will have on our local economy,” said Susan Ramsey, Executive Director of the HCDA.