Catalina Island Medical Center Purchases Leo’s Catalina Drugstore Partnership ensures local pharmacy’s legacy continues
Avalon, California – The sale of Leo’s Catalina Drugstore, long known and loved by locals as the “uncommon corner drugstore,” was finalized this week, having been purchased by the Catalina Island Medical Center.
Adding Catalina Island’s only pharmacy to its portfolio of services enables the Catalina Island Medical Center to continue to provide outstanding health care services to the community.
“This allows us to work closely together to ensure high quality care,” shared Jason Paret, CEO of Catalina Island Medical Center. “Leo’s will continue to operate as an independent local pharmacy, serving the needs of the community, with little change in how it operates, and over time we desire to expand relationships with additional insurance carriers so locals can purchase their pharmaceuticals here at home.”
The move will help improve quality of life for those undergoing certain kinds of cancer treatments. “It is our desire to expand services here in Avalon so patients do not have to travel away from home to obtain high quality care. We have plans to start providing infusion therapy for chemotherapy patients in the future,” shared Mr. Paret. “The pharmacy is integral in making it easier for patients to receive care at here at home, without having to travel to the mainland to receive cancer treatment as often.”
Mr. Bill Paige, the owner of Leo’s for the past 13 years, was ready to consider retirement. The partnership with Catalina Island Medical Center ensured that Leo’s Catalina Drugstore – a fixture in the community for almost 60 years – would stay open and be locally owned. It was also important to Mr. Paige that the medical center keep managing the pharmacy as a friendly, independent, and customer-service oriented corner drugstore. “I know it will stay the Leo’s we’ve all known since 1959 and be run in that same spirit,” said Mr. Paige, who will stay on at Leo’s as pharmacist for several days a week until his retirement.
Very little will change in terms of how the pharmacy is operated day-to-day. In addition to pharmacy services, Leo’s will continue to offer health supplies, beach sundries, toys, gifts, and souvenirs. Sue Ponce, who has been serving as a pharmacist at Leo’s for over 20 years, will remain on board. Veronica Pedroza, another 20-year Leo’s veteran, will continue to serve as manager of the store. Along with Bryce Noll, who will now be serving as Director of Retail Services, “it’s a very capable staff, all of whom have my full confidence,” shared Mr. Paige.
“We are very excited about this development,” said Mr. Paret. “The medical center’s growth is all about providing better service and higher quality care for our residents. Keeping a local neighborhood pharmacy, allows us to develop improved services now and in the future.”
About Catalina Island Medical Center
As Avalon’s only hospital, the Catalina Island Medical Center serves the medical needs of Santa Catalina Island’s 4,000 residents as well as the tens of thousands of guests who visit the island each year. The hospital features most medical and diagnostic services found at mainland healthcare facilities, including emergency services, well-equipped clinical laboratory, a CAT scanner, ultrasound imaging, and clinical radiology. The medical center also provides inpatient acute care, inpatient rehabilitation services and offers long term care services. Physicians are available to residents and visitors for routine medical office care through Catalina Island Medical Group.