Home Health throws Medicine Chest a lifeline

MIDDLEBURY — While the Marble Works Pharmacy closed on short notice at the beginning of September leaving customers scrambling, a companion business that shared a front door and provided essential medical equipment and other services will stay open.
Addison County Home Health and Hospice (ACHHH) last week announced it had completed its purchase of the Medicine Chest, a well-known Middlebury business with deep roots in the Addison County community. 
“With the assistance of our all-volunteer board of directors and our excellent legal counsel from Dinse, we were able to quickly develop a plan to pursue this opportunity which was unknown to us even one month ago,” ACHHH Chief Executive Deborah Wesley, RN, said in an Oct. 7 press release.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
ACHHH said it decided to explore the acquisition of the business because the products the Medicine Chest sells and rents are critical to the health and safety of many Addison County residents, including patients of the home health and hospice agency. By making the purchase, ACHHH ensures it will have a supply of durable medical equipment (DME) available for its patients.
“Whether a hospice patient needs a hospital bed, an in-home oxygen user needs tanks or an ostomy patient needs supplies, we must assist patients in obtaining the DME they need in a timely manner,” Wesley said. “We could not locate another company within a reasonable distance that would provide the excellent level of service that the Medicine Chest has provided for so many years, and our patients deserve the best.”
Wesley said that when her team was unable to find an alternative, she decided it would be in the best interest of ACHHH’s patients and other Addison County residents to purchase the existing business. 
“Once we began walking down this road, we never wavered,” she said. “This acquisition is in line with our mission of caring for patients in their homes, and once our intention to acquire the Medicine Chest was announced in the Addison Independent, we heard from many community members who supported our efforts.” 
ACHHH intends to keep the Medicine Chest storefront in the Marble Works open and operating as in the past. Wesley expects it will continue serve existing customers and draw some new ones.

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