The PharmaCare Network, conceived by John H. Balch, RPh, as an independent retail pharmacy has progressed into the area’s leading supplier of pharmaceutical products and services. The store opened October 1, 1977, under the name of Bedford Road Pharmacy, Inc. What began as a small retail space next to a grocery store has grown into a destination point for pharmacy, gift and floral related items that greatly benefit the residents of the tri-state area. At its inception, Mr. Balch and his staff serviced the pharmacy needs of individuals plus dedicated a facet of the business to long-term care facilities. That service specialty was the beginning of what would soon become a separate division of the company - Institutional.
In April 1980 the pharmacy moved to a stand-alone facility on Bedford Road with both sides of the business continuing to grow. The Respiratory Services division was created in 1992 and another niche for Bedford Road Pharmacy was carved.
The principle of Bedford Road Pharmacy, John H. Balch, wrote a new chapter in the company’s history in 1987 by creating Option Care of Cumberland in cooperation with Marcia Zanger, RN, CRNI. The Option Care team provides a full spectrum of high tech therapies and medications combined with specialized nursing care. Patients and caregivers benefit from hospital-quality IV therapies which are given outside the traditional hospital setting through the efforts of Option Care.
In 1993, the company’s name changed to PharmaCare of Cumberland. This new name was reflective of the business’ growth and their continued commitment to serving their customers with care and trust.
Four years later, in 1997 the Durable Medical Equipment and Home Medical Supplies (DME/HME) division began. This division offers everything from ostomy and incontinence supplies to oxygen and enteral products. The department offers home healthcare products including bed & bath safety, mobility and orthopedic aids just to name a few. They offer sales and rentals too. One point of difference for this division is that they are an approved Medicare vendor (HQAA Accredited) that bills for Medicare Part B reimbursement on items such as diabetic supplies. The DME/HME department is physically located at the Bedford Road retail pharmacy location.
The community was also introduced to PharmaCare Floral that year. This full-service shop offers fresh flowers and plants, silk arrangements, unique gifts plus gift baskets for all occasions and corporate gifts. The shop is currently located in Downtown Cumberland on N. Centre Street.
2001 was the year of introduction for PharmaCareLink, a unique company that offers internet access, customized programming, web database design and hardware/software integration. It was also the year that PharmaCare of Cumberland purchased the former Ford’s Pharmacy at 24 South Lee Street, Cumberland. This location (PharmaCare West) became the company’s second retail pharmacy venue which serves the residents of West Side. This location offers the same great service and product lines that local residents have come to know and trust at the Bedford Road location.
June of 2005 the West location moved to 64 Greene Street offering customers an expanded line of products and services, including a convenient drive-thru window. In the Fall of 2006, PharmaCare acquired The Medicine Shoppe of Frostburg in the Frostburg Village Shopping Center. PharmaCare of Frostburg offers a full-time registered nurse offering a wealth of health screenings and wellness programs that benefit the community and its residents greatly.
PharmaCare Willowbrook, PharmaCare’s fourth retail pharmacy location is located on the main floor of the Western Maryland Medical Arts Center, which is part of the new Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. The new location opened November 23, 2009.
January 3, 2010, brought a name change for the infusion pharmacy. What was previously known as OptionCare of Cumberland is now PharmaCare Infusion Services. The same staff is in place along with the same specialty infusion products and services. The only change is in the name and its affiliation with OptionCare corporate.
PharmaCare’s Home Medical Department opened a spacious new showroom in July 2011 in Burton’s Shopping Center, LaVale. This location showcases the best in durable medical equipment and home medical supplies to ensure that you continue on the road to personal independence. The store also boasts a private consultation area for personal fittings of braces, supports, and diabetic shoes. PharmaCare’s location in LaVale also serves as a Wellness Center – a convenient facility that offers seasonal and adult vaccinations plus a wide variety of health and wellness programs for the community.
On December 17, 2012, PharmaCare opened its fifth retail pharmacy - The Medicine Shoppe of Fort Ashby. Conveniently located on Route 28, it not only serves as a full service pharmacy but also as a health and wellness center. Immunizations, along with a variety of community-based health programs, will offer new healthcare opportunities to local residents.