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West Ashley Native Opens Charleston’s First Black-owned Pharmacy In 30 Years
3/29/2017 4:56:21 PM

City of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg cuts ribbon at the Focus Meds Pharmacy & Wellness grand opening ceremony Saturday, March 25. Standing to the left of the Mayor is Krisalyn Gleaton, owner of the pharmacy.

When Krisalyn Gleaton held the grand opening for her new drug store March 25 in the Harrell Square Shopping Center West Ashley at 200 Sam Rittenburg Blvd., she not only marked a milestone in her personal career, she also made a mark in local history by opening the first Black owned pharmacy in the Charleston metropolitan area since Wilson’s Drug Store on Spring Street closed its doors 30 years ago. She also became the first black female to own a pharmacy in Charleston.

The 1998 Saint Andrews Parish High School graduate discovered a love and passion for chemistry while in high school. Gleaton thinks she inherited some of it from her mother, a high school physics teacher. As a high school student she considered a career in medicine and thought about a career that would combine medicine with her love for chemistry. And although she toyed with the idea of becoming a lawyer – she worked for Charleston attorney Renee Gators while in high school - it was a part time job at a pharmacy while in college that got her focused.

Gleaton’s 4.0 GPA at Saint Andrews Parish High made her class valedictorian and those study habits sustained her through her 2004 graduation from Hampton University School of Pharmacy as Magna Cum Laude. Since graduating, Gleaton gained vast experiences through internships and work at hospitals in Virginia. She worked on the staffs at several major chain pharmacies that included CVS, Safeway Food & Drug, Target, Kmart and OptumRx/United Healthcare. Two months ago she opened Focus: Meds Pharmacy and Wellness.

She made the decision because she wants to help people, she says. “I enjoy being a pharmacist, but the scope of the profession has changed from patient care to profit. My passion is chemistry and helping people, but pharmacy is becoming more about pushing pills and pharmacists play more of a dispensing role than caregivers. In the past your pharmacist also was a counselor and confidant. You could ask your pharmacist questions and get advice. I want to be a part of my patient’s life. Owning my own pharmacy allows me to do that, to get to know my patients and their needs,” she said.

Gleaton sees a need in Charleston for a pharmacy that’s based on the personal needs of patients. She says she’s proud to be able to fill that need. It’s an obligation she and her three other staff members look forward to fulfilling.

“I’m proud and humbled to be the first African American owned pharmacy in the area in some three decades, but there’s definitely a need here as more people realize ands want one-on-one relationships with their pharmacist,” Gleaton said.

Visitor Comments

Submitted By: Harriet Submitted: 3/29/2017
Congratulations and much success to you!

Submitted By: JoanSubmitted: 3/29/2017
What a blessing! You can accomplished anything you set your mine out to do. You've proven it! Congratulations..

Submitted By: Kaisha HinesSubmitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations and may God continue to bless you abundantly.

Submitted By: KeshaSubmitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations!!! May God always abound and bless your future endeavors. I am a pharmacy tech seeking to advance as well. God riches blessings!!!

Submitted By: Gwendolyn Submitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations Dr. Gleaton. You are definitely providing a need in the community.

Submitted By: Benita CurnellSubmitted: 3/30/2017

Submitted By: KeshaSubmitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations!!! May God always abound and bless your future endeavors. I am a pharmacy tech seeking to advance as well. God riches blessings!!!

Submitted By: Sonja Submitted: 3/30/2017
Very good . Awesome work. Wilson drug store was owned by my great uncle and aunt . So yes a second black own drug store will be great.

Submitted By: Wanda J NelsonSubmitted: 3/30/2017

Submitted By: Wanda J NelsonSubmitted: 3/30/2017

Submitted By: Wanda J NelsonSubmitted: 3/30/2017

Submitted By: Wanda J NelsonSubmitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations and much success

Submitted By: Bertha BryantSubmitted: 3/30/2017
God Is Good!!!! Congratulations on your success!!!! Very poud of you. May God continue on blessing you.

Submitted By: KevinSubmitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations to you and I wish much success!

Submitted By: Mary A BrightSubmitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations!!! God bless you and I wish you much success.

Submitted By: Sheila Gilliard Submitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations! ????

Submitted By: Antherenette WadeSubmitted: 3/30/2017

Submitted By: Rhonda DSubmitted: 3/30/2017
I'm so proud of you young lady!! There is definitely I need for more patient centered old school care. I attempt to deliver that level of care to patients but is a little challenging in our current environment. It's a wonderful feeling when patients come back looking for you and tell you how you really helped them or their loved one. I pray for your success in helping your patients and the community! Texas Proud! God Bless You!

Submitted By: Barbara CoakleySubmitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations on your accomplishments ,much success to you.!

Submitted By: Jacqueline KennedySubmitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations on your success

Submitted By: BossSubmitted: 3/30/2017
This is so awesome! Congrats and you already have 3 customers.

Submitted By: Esther Submitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations are in order!! We'll stop by for sure.

Submitted By: Venita HobbsSubmitted: 3/30/2017
Congrats....So very proud to hear such great great news..God's blessings upon you..

Submitted By: LaRhonda Brockington Submitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations Dr.Gleaton I'm so proud of all your accomplishments. The blessings of God is surely upon you and your goals

Submitted By: BarbaraSubmitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations! What an accomplishment! You should be very proud!

Submitted By: Barbara JonesSubmitted: 3/30/2017
What a blessing! Congratulations.

Submitted By: MarySubmitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations!! I pray that God will continue to bless you as you continue to bless others!!

Submitted By: Daurus Niles Submitted: 3/30/2017

Submitted By: Daurus Niles Submitted: 3/30/2017

Submitted By: Daurus Niles Submitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations and much success

Submitted By: Dorothy ColesSubmitted: 3/30/2017

Submitted By: Sheagra Submitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations?? And Blessings To You????

Submitted By: Betty Milligan Submitted: 3/30/2017

Submitted By: Mabel BrownSubmitted: 3/30/2017
Congratulations and much success ! I am so proud of you! God will use you to be a blessing to many.

Submitted By: Jacki Everhart-ThompsonSubmitted: 3/31/2017
Congratulations! Although I considered Charleston my home many years ago; it is still in my heart! I can't wait to visit again and Focus: Meds Pharmacy and Wellness will definitely be one of my points of interest while there. God bless you and keep you is my prayer.

Submitted By: Maria & Donald Waring Submitted: 3/31/2017
Congratulations Dr. Gleaton. You are definitely providing a need in the community, God bless

Submitted By: johnathan capersSubmitted: 3/31/2017
Congratulationto you on your opening of your name is johnathan capers i'am looking for a job as a phamacy technician Hoping if you will hire me you can contact me at 8436961262

Submitted By: Bernice CapersSubmitted: 3/31/2017
What a wonderful blessing.

Submitted By: Valerie McKeiver Submitted: 3/31/2017
Congratulations much success! St. Andrews alumni Class of '79

Submitted By: Sheila Santos 3-31-2017Submitted: 3/31/2017
Congrats to you Dr. Gleaton !!! God is an awesome God !!!

Submitted By: Chester G ButlerSubmitted: 4/1/2017
You have my blessing, and may God keep you under his wings of protection.

Submitted By: Zena M. WhichardSubmitted: 4/1/2017
Congratulations!?? Charleston,SC is home but I live in New York. When I get home this summer I will come and make a purchase. Have to support my home state. God Bless you all! ??

Submitted By: Renee S. Reynolds Submitted: 4/1/2017
Congratulations Krissy!

Submitted By: Teresa Olivia Boone Creecy Submitted: 4/1/2017
Charleston is soooo proud of you and grateful for you. Continue to work hard and be prayful. Your Blessings will flow luke milk and honey.

Submitted By: Submitted: 4/1/2017
Also we must give credit to Dr. Purvis. He owned a drugstore on the corner of Coming and Morris st. And the Wisons were originally on Calhoun St.

Submitted By: Cherry Seabrook Submitted: 4/2/2017
Congratulations and the best of luck to you. I want to invite you to become a part of the MOJA Heritage Day celebration on Saturday September 30,2017 from 10:00am - 3:00pm at Marion Square downtown Charleston. It expose you to more people and allow you to display and talk about your business. I will email you the information and you may need time to consider this special event. Again I am happy for you.

Submitted By: AL COAXUMSubmitted: 4/11/2017
Such a role model for all girls ! Kudos to her for making history! #blackgirlsrock

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