July 07, 2014
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From left, Pharmacy District Manager Rick Bhandari, District Director Calvin Rash, U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina, BI-LO Store No. 5638 Director Irving Lewis.​

When he’s home in South Carolina, U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson shops at a BI-LO store. Additionally, two of his four sons, who are today attorney general of South Carolina and a physician, worked at a BI-LO store when they were younger.

But in mid-June, Wilson stopped by BI-LO store No. 5638 in Columbia, South Carolina in an official capacity – to get a fuller idea of the work pharmacists do to help and serve patients and how national legislation affects them.

“We had a good discussion on a variety of topics regarding health care and how pharmacy has a large part in it,” Pharmacy District Manager Rick Bhandari said.

Wilson’s visit was part of an ongoing program with the National Association of Chain Drug Storesin which members of the U.S. Congress are visiting pharmacies at BI-LO and Winn-Dixie stores to determine what programs are available for their constituents.

“We’ve been doing it for a year and a half. We’ve been really involved with the congressmen in our areas of operation,” said Pharmacy Vice President John Fegan. “We continue to stress to the congressmen the importance of pharmacy in the overall health care environment. Through the education process and these visits, we’re able to show congressmen what impact the pharmacists can have in helping our patients and improving their overall health.”

Fegan said with the recent acquisition of Harveys Supermarkets and other stores new to Bi-Lo Holdings, there are new opportunities to speak with elected officials about the impacts of national legislation on store pharmacies.

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