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Healthy Living: Indiana Regional Medical Center and Diamond Pharmacy Anchor the Region with Top-Notch Care and Employment

Current Profile
The dominant health care presence in Indiana County remains the Indiana Regional Medical Center (IRMC), one of only 11 remaining independent hospitals in Pennsylvania of more than 100 beds, and proud to be counted among that number.

“We’re lucky here in Indiana to be in a bit of a bubble,” said Mark Richards, Vice President of Marketing for IRMC. “We get to define ourselves, in an era where other hospitals are being acquired or eliminated.”

IRMC maintains its primary site in Indiana, while also operating an outpatient care facility in Blairsville, serving the southern edge of Indiana County. IRMC also remains open to partnerships, like the one it has with Butler for stenting treatment and a catheter lab.

“A creative approach is what makes our ongoing success possible, like the robotics-based surgery services recently instituted, our leading oncology department, our six brand-new operating rooms,” Richards said. “Our board is made up of very supportive and independent thinkers. We’re not just burying our heads in the sand and hoping for greater reimbursements from Medicare. We’re been progressive regarding the business of medicine. We’ve been able to keep the balance between mission and margin.”

The term “captive audience” carries certain assumed connotations – a group that’s dedicated to a certain personality or cause, or maybe an audience with few other options than to watch the performer in front of them.

But Indiana-based Diamond Pharmacy Services has found amazing success by taking the concept of a “captive audience” to its most literal application – filling prescriptions for incarcerated inmates across the U.S. At last count, in fact, Diamond Pharmacy had contractual relationships with prisons in 46 states, serving some 640,000 inmates. That equates to about one-third of the U.S. prison population.

And those thousands upon thousands of prescriptions, coming in from all corners of the country, get filled and shipped out from a quiet industrial park in Indiana, PA.

Diamond Pharmacy grew from a small storefront drug store along Indiana’s main drag, Philadelphia Street. After learning of a bid request to serve prisons in Pennsylvania with prescription fulfillment, then winning that bid, the company still worked out of the in-town store’s back room, but with successive expansion into more prison contracts, it soon became time to expand into the current facility – and more expansion is on the way, said Mark Zilner, Owner and Chief Operating Officer.

“We have about 1,100 employees here, and we fill around 70,000 prescriptions every day by 6 p.m., to make the overnight courier delivery,” Zilner explained. “We also serve many nursing homes, fill mail order prescriptions, provide medical supplies, and other services.

“But in our prison market, we have just a few national competitors,” he said. “Our price and efficiency are the differentiators for Diamond. The prison market is unique because the people inside them still need services. They still need their medicines. But our culture doesn’t always think of them like that.”