Geneva expands integrated model

provider builds on pharmacies to create one-stop shop in underserved markets
Friday, April 24, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Ak. – Geneva Woods Pharmacy stuck to its MO when it expanded into Washington state recently. 

In March, the provider acquired Vancouver-based CHS Pharmacy and Kirk’s Drugs—its ninth buy in two years, said Dan Afrasiabi, president of GWP.

“The GWP model is to go into rural markets and become a one-stop shop for assisted living and the homecare market through a combination of everything from retail pharmacy, to DME, to long-term care pharmacy,” he said. “We basically bring all these together under one roof and are able to support the smaller markets.”

Other recent buys in the Northwest region include three pharmacies in Wyoming in 2014. GWP is also growing in its own backyard: In April, it completed a consolidation with Frontier Medical in Anchorage.

CHS and Kirk’s, which serve the Lacy, Olympia and Seattle markets, have a similar approach so the transition should be seamless, said Afrasiabi.

“It’s really a continuation of our model,” he said. “There are all these rural communities in Washington that don’t have great access to these services.”

GWP will centralize support functions like sales, billing, marketing and client services for all of its “lower 48” locations in Vancouver—a move that will likely double its workforce in the area over the next two years, Afrasiabi said.

“We leave the local support—the touch and feel—on the ground,” he said. “If we can create this hybrid model of local support, and have the scale of a large company that can buy better and be more innovative in the way we buy, we think we can create a more competitive model.”

With GWP’s Alaskan roots, the company has had plenty of experience over the past 20 years fine-tuning an integrated business model that can service rural markets, Afrasiabi said.

“In Alaska, there were no other options,” he said. “(Now, the referral sources) know they can call us and we can meet their needs.”