Best Pharmacy | Best of Chicago 2010 | Goods & Services | Chicago Reader

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Best Pharmacy 

Carnegie Sargent’s Pharmacy & Health Center

845 N. Michigan

Any pharmacist can fill a bottle of pills. But third-generation pharmacist Mark Paley, director of Carnegie Sargent’s Pharmacy & Health Center, dispenses TLC. We know from personal experience that if you are a stranger in Chicago, far from home, and something has gone horribly wrong with your teeth, Paley will not merely fill the prescription the periodontist you found in the phone book wrote you. He will feel your agony, sit you down, feed you your first pain pill, and coach you on pain management and how to maximize the effectiveness of your antibiotics. And he won’t let you leave without his phone number and e-mail address.

The pharmacy is a cozy space tucked away on the ninth floor of Water Tower Place, but from here Paley operates something grandiosely titled the For Good Health Group, its other constituent parts being Water Tower Nursing & Home Care and Integrated Health Care Systems. Come in for an “in-depth assessment,” says his Web site (you might also enjoy his videos on YouTube), from which an “individualized plan of care” will be developed. These plans of his go way beyond pills. He’s got a staff of nurse’s aides, dietitians, and homemakers who coordinate “with other health professionals, family, friends and or business partners in order to create, implement and maintain an optimal care plan.” Paley describes his business as a “concierge pharmacy”—you bring him a health problem and he’ll figure out a solution.

Insurance? It’s a touchy subject. Paley allows that Carnegie Sargent’s is out of network—which he says means he wants to deal with you and not an insurance plan. Some drugs will cost more, others might cost less, and Paley will explain to you that it’s all about freedom of choice.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)