Owensboro Family Wellness opens

Photo by Greg Eans, Messenger-Inquirer.com | geans@messenger-inquirer.com Jessica and Danny Mills stand in an examination room with rapid strep test equipment on Friday at Owensboro Family Pharmacy and Wellness.

Owensboro Family Pharmacy and Wellness recently opened a primary care clinic.

The new clinic -- Owensboro Family Wellness -- sits next door to the pharmacy, which is located at 720 W. Byers Ave.

Besides primary care, Owensboro Family Wellness offers an infusion clinic, holistic products and other services.

The clinic was a shared vision to create a "health care destination," said Jesica Mills, pharmacist and owner of Owensboro Family Pharmacy and Wellness. Her husband, Danny Mills, is a nurse practitioner and the clinic's owner.

"We're excited to disrupt and improve the traditional idea of health care and truly create an interdisciplinary team that places patient care as the priority and focuses on wellness and prevention," Jesica Mills said.

Jesica Mills, 32, earned separate doctorates in pharmacy and naturopathy, or a holistic treatment method that leans heavily on natural healing processes. While she was working on her doctorate in pharmacy from Sullivan College of Pharmacy, she also completed her master's degree in business administration.

"I grew up in a pharmacy," she said. "I've been here since I was three days old."

Her parents, Don and Daisy Thomason, opened The Medicine Shoppe at 1213 Frederica St. on Dec. 2, 1985. CVS now operates in that spot.

In 2005, her parents moved their pharmacy to its current West Byers Avenue location. They let patients pick the new name of the business. It became Don and Daisy's Pharmacy Plus.

Jesica Mills remembers working at her parents' business from an early age. She shoveled snow from the parking lot in winter and helped in other ways.

"I loved coming in to work with my parents," she said. "It gave me energy and fulfillment."

It still does.

In 2016, Jesica Mills bought the family business and changed the name to Owensboro Family Pharmacy and Wellness.

She and her husband attended nursing and pharmacy school in Louisville. Even then, their goal was to own a medical practice for him next to a pharmacy for her.

They wanted to "fix the issues we saw with the health care system," Jesica Mills said.

Danny Mills graduated in May 2019 with his master's degree in nursing from South University. A few months later, the couple learned the 3,800-square-foot building next to Owensboro Family Pharmacy and Wellness was available to rent. They jumped at the chance.

He had worked at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital and Methodist Hospital in Henderson. Danny Mills told his wife he wanted to practice medicine in an environment where he could spend as much time as needed with patients. He wanted to build relationships with them.

Operating a clinic allows him to build a practice that caters to his philosophy of medicine.

Besides Danny Mills, the clinic has another primary care provider, Jackie Easler. She, too, is a nurse practitioner, who earned her master's degree from the Chamberlain College of Nursing.

Easler has worked at River Valley Behavioral Health Hospital and Genesis Physician Services.

And, of course, Jesica Mills brings to the team her skillset in naturopathy.

The new clinic accepts patients as young as 2 months old. On the other end of the spectrum, they've treated a patient as old as 102.

All forms of insurance are accepted at Owensboro Family Wellness, including Medicaid.

The clinic is open between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Although scheduled appointments are preferred, walk-ins are welcome.

Owensboro Family Wellness collaborates with local providers to offer lymphatic drainage techniques. It offers machines to decrease inflammation, help with pain reduction, boost immune systems and assist with stress management.

"Our services are all about helping you feel better, understanding what is causing the symptoms you're having, helping to make a plan to best support your body and health, and to help you reduce chronic stress. ..." Jesica Mills said.

Owensboro Family Wellness offers in-house labs, wellness consultations and an IV infusion clinic. Infusion can help treat dehydration and chronic tiredness. It's also an alternative method of receiving vitamins and minerals, as opposed to taking multiple supplements.

"We are able to personalize these infusions based on your symptoms and what results you are wanting," Jesica Mills said.

The clinic and pharmacy plan to work in tandem on a new program to inform the patient and provider about the cost of medications at the time of diagnosis.

Health care providers don't know if medicines will be covered until the pharmacy submits it to insurance. At that point, prior authorization may be needed, a large co-pay may be charged or there may be a shortage of the medication.

Those problems can delay treatment, Jesica Mills said.

"We want to change that by integrating a program where the provider and patient can know at the time of prescribing what the medicine will cost for the patient," she said. "They can decide together what the best option is for that patient -- without having to delay treatment. We have spoken to the Board of Pharmacy and the Board of Nursing to make sure this is done in the best way for patients, and we are excited to start this program in the near future."

For more information about Owensboro Family Wellness or to schedule an appointment, call 270-478-5040 or go to owensborofamilywellness.com.

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com

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