LECOM pharmacy graduates open own pharmacy

EDINBORO, Pa. – Months of planning and hard work have finally paid off for Rebecca Wise, Pharm.D. and Paul Berkebile, Pharm.D. Drs. Wise and Berkebile have opened their own business, Lakeside Health Mart Pharmacy in Edinboro, Pa. Drs. Wise and Berkebile are 2005 graduates of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy. The pharmacy opened a few weeks ago. The pharmacists celebrated with a grand opening the week of January 17, 2011.

Paul Berkebile, PharmD, and Rebecca Wise, PharmD, cut a red ribbon to mark the grand opening of the Lakeside Health Mart Pharmacy in Edinboro, Pa.  Looking on in the background are a group of LECOM School of Pharmacy students and Hershey Bell, MD, MS, Dean of the LECOM School of Pharmacy (2nd from right).

During an open house, Drs. Wise and Berkebile proudly cut the ribbon outside the pharmacy, located in the Lakeside Commons in Edinboro. Community members and representatives from the local media toured the pharmacy and had a chance to talk to the new business owners. Drs. Wise and Berkebile both worked in retail pharmacy settings before deciding to branch out on their own. 

LECOM pharmacy students took part in the grand opening festivities by educating customers about the adult immunizations offered at the pharmacy and poison prevention, and conducting educational activities for children. LECOM pharmacy students will do clinical rotations at the pharmacy under the direction of Drs. Wise and Berkebile, who are also adjunct clinical faculty members at LECOM.

As LECOM graduates, the pharmacists know they are setting an example for current LECOM students. “Hopefully we’re setting the best example,” said Dr. Wise. She is excited to give back to her alma mater. “We’re going to take on the education of LECOM students,” she said. “We’re also going to give them lectures on management, on business ownership and related topics.”

Rebecca Wise, PharmD and Paul Berkebile, PharmD, 2005 LECOM School of Pharmacy graduates, decided to open their own pharmacy to serve the health care needs of the Greater Edinboro community.

“We had a lot of strong ties through the LECOM program to the health care community and we want to continue that,” Dr. Berkebile explained. He said their emphasis will be on providing quality health care.  Dr. Berkebile said they will develop relationships with patients and physicians. “My value is not saying, ‘yes that prescription is ready to go,’” Dr. Berkebile said. “It’s looking at drug interactions, different disease states that patients have, alerting them to issues and possibly alerting physicians to issues that I see.”

While many LECOM School of Pharmacy graduates work in retail settings, clinical settings or hospitals, it is very unique to have two graduates go into business on their own. Hershey Bell, M.D., M.S., Dean of the LECOM School of Pharmacy, said he is grateful that Drs. Wise and Berkebile will work with LECOM. “They’re obviously very appreciative of the education that they received and as educators themselves, they want to become a part of the educational mission,” Dr. Bell said. “It’s just a wonderful opportunity for a new kind of partnership for our school.”

The pharmacy will employ five people at first, with more expected to be added as the business grows. Lakeside Health Mart Pharmacy is part of a network of more than 1,600 locally-owned, independently-operated pharmacies that operate under the Health Mart name in 48 states.

Lakeside Health Mart Pharmacy is unique and innovative in several ways.  There is a separate waiting room with a children’s play section, an area to view educational videos, and a gift shop offering items from local artists and businesses. These amenities are located away from the pharmacy to insure patients have privacy when picking up their prescriptions.

Lakeside Health Mart Pharmacy will serve the health care needs of Edinboro, Pa., Southern Erie County and Northern Crawford County.

Pharmacists can talk to customers in a separate, private patient counseling room.  The pharmacy uses green products and adheres to environmentally-friendly practices.  Lakeside Health Mart Pharmacy offers home delivery anywhere in Erie and Northern Crawford Counties.  They will also conduct free monthly public health information seminars at the pharmacy.  For more information, you can contact the pharmacy directly at (814) 734-8500.


The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.



January 19, 2011
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