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Editor:

I read the report from Kym Kemp on your website with a predictable sense of alarm and foreboding ("During the COIVD Crisis, Southern Humboldt Dealt Another Bitter Blow as Only Pharmacy for 30 Miles Closes Tomorrow," posted Aug. 27). The loss of core services is a serious issue for all rural areas and deserves attention from all of us.

In the case of pharmacies, there are reasonable alternatives to explore that can take advantage of other, even non-related businesses and services.

There is a health facility in Garberville that could be the vehicle to use for a not-for-profit pharmacy annex. It is possible to create a separate tolling or use fee and dedicate it to salary support for a resident pharmacist? Health facility insurance procedures can be used to support and minimalize insurance record-keeping and oversight. Even for a small clinic, collaboration is not some evil monopolist exercise, it's good business and even good common sense.

There is an established market in Garberville. There may be an opportunity to follow the Safeway example and either lease or gift space to a resident pharmacist and use the insurance resources of the parent company to help indemnify and insure this service. The regional community can participate with subscription support for ambulance and helicopter or out-of-area transport memberships to underpin the expenses of such a critical resource.

This is a loss that can be reversed and I would bet that if given a choice, the current pharmacist would rather stay in a community where he has built and has established himself as part of the community. This would appear to be a time for the community to come together and devise an innovative plan for re-creating a key part of the medical care paradigm.

Michal C. Moore, Ferndale

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