If you ask the internet, healthcare is broken and there’s no way to fix it. But a visionary pharmacist opening next-level clinics in rural communities is set to make healthcare affordable again and he isn’t waiting for politicians when they’ve proven to be more interested in campaign contributions from insurance and healthcare companies.
“What we’re doing with Cherry Street just makes sense for the future on many levels,” asserts Wenbo Liu, our CEO and Founder of Cherry Street Pharmacy. “I’m on the ground here. I can see what devastating effects lobbyists are creating in communities and I can see a way around that whole mess.”
Our founder’s vision is to build a series of Cherry Care Pharmacies that connect suburban and rural patients with subject matter experts and specialists in distant institutions, such as Stanford and UCLA. We believe the Cherry Street model is not only ground-breaking, it’s only the tip of the iceberg of the impact we intend to create.
As we write this, our second location in Cutler, California is currently being built. As the construction progresses, we’ve noticed a lot of people asking how can they get involved and help us realize our vision faster.
The simple answer is to invest in Cherry Street on MicroVentures.
And if you’re not already convinced to join our mission, here’s why we believe we’re your next best investment that’s going to make a real impact for the people who need it the most.
Cherry Street is Supporting Rural Communities and Making a Real Difference in Underserved Communities
Many people ask us, why rural communities? Why not set up in a bustling urban environment like San Francisco?
The answer is simple.
Our business model is founded on the concept of doing well by doing good.
In our founder’s words, “historically speaking for the past 10 years, urban sprawl has been decreasing and suburban growth has been increasing. People, especially baby boomers, are moving out to more affordable communities where they're able to live out their retirement,” Wenbo explains. “Most tech and medicine innovation has happened in metropolitan areas. So we went into the rural areas because we saw this market as hugely untapped and those people need our help the most.”
For this reason, Cherry Street is a certified B Corp. “Becoming certified was aligned with the company’s ethos. By achieving B-Corp certification we’re obligated to make a positive impact with our model, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Rural patients need access to medical expertise and flexible pharmacy services. With Cherry Care we’re able to provide:
- Free prescription delivery in the nearby area with real-time updates and notifications
- Financial co-pay assistance programs (Cherry Care)
- Prescription coupons
- Health news and access to community wellness classes
With our Cherry Care program, we’re able to provide up to 80% off prescription co-pay. Though this isn’t the article to dive into the nuts and bolts of Cherry Care, we highly encourage you to read the following related article:
Related: Lower Your Medication Costs With Cherry Street’s Prescription Copay Program Cherry Care
We’ve noticed the more we serve these communities, the more our business grows for the following reasons:
- Rural patients have strong insurance plans including Medicare and Medicaid most of which are not tied to a patient's employment.
- For those who are insured through an employer, rural areas are experiencing less job-market fluctuation, especially now during COVID.
- Combining clinical services with pharmacy services is a serious upgrade for most patients.
In combination, Cherry Care and Cherry Street Pharmacy create a proven growth model that provides increased levels of actual care and patient satisfaction, and ease of adoption in higher-density communities.
“We’re in the health business,” Wenbo exclaims, “We have to be a force for good, don’t we? It’s a bonus that we’re making excellent margins.”
Current Cherry Street locations fall under the RHC (Rural Health Clinic) classification guaranteeing a certain rate of reimbursements. “Our end goal is to convert the RHC over to an FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center), which then, in turn, triples the reimbursement rates. And on top of that, the pharmacy drug costs will drop by about 95%.”
Cherry Street is Combining Telemedicine Visits With a Pharmacy
Our upcoming location in Cutler (and future locations) will be state-of-the-art facilities putting the patient’s experience first.
“We’re evolving to be the one-stop pharmacy, where you can see your provider via telemedicine, have your blood drawn, and pick up your prescription all in one easy location,” says Wenbo.
Because here’s the thing, our current healthcare model is too splintered. You have to go to your doctor, wait hours for a brief appointment, take your prescription to the pharmacy, wait for your prescription, then go home.
A simple medical visit can take hours, and imagine doing this entire process when you’re sick?
Wenbo realized that a centralized pharmacy with telemedicine visits would serve the patient much better than our current model. He describes the experience like this, “You'll walk in and be greeted at the door. They'll ask you, ‘are you here for your prescription? Or are you here for a visit?’ So if you say, ‘you know what, ‘I need a refill,’ or, ‘I need to see a provider’, then they'll direct you to one of the telemedicine booths. You'll go in, you'll see the provider. In there you'll be able to do your blood work, and take your blood pressure and cholesterol. When you’re done with your visit you’ll leave the telemedicine both to a locked box with your own single-use code. You unlock it, take your prescription, and go home.”
Invest in Cherry Street on MicroVentures!
We’re excited for our vision to be realized with our new facility currently being built in Cutler California (which is entering the permitting and planning processes). We can’t wait to see the hybrid of a telemedicine clinic and pharmacy, and if you want to help support our progress then get involved and invest in Cherry Street on MicroVentures!
Related: We’re Live on MicroVentures! Raising Funds to Create the One-Stop Pharmacy
Our location in Cutler is just the first of many locations in our expansion plan across North America. Your investment helps up open up for needed clinics in rural cities across the country. Needless to say, we’re not shy about wanting to help as many people as possible because “Everything we do should be part of helping our community feel better.”
With such a groundbreaking model, we hope to pique your interest and inspire you to back Wenbo’s vision for a healthcare system that provides equitable access through a customer-centric approach.
“We understand that most traditional money is tied up in the current system, which is why we are doing an equity crowdfunding campaign. We want to get more of the public, or crowd involved in our journey” Wenbo reveals.
Ultimately, we’re looking for like-minded people who think differently, who look at the impacts of the current system, and want to be part of a community that is doing something about it today.
Learn more about our active campaign on MicroVentures and don’t forget to invest!