Member Spotlight: Skywalk Pharmacy owner Jake Olson

CARE Pharmacies cooperative spotlights Skywalk Pharmacy, a member pharmacy located in the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin did not have an outpatient pharmacy before Skywalk Pharmacy opened its doors in 2003. Patients leaving the hospital often struggled to find a local or chain pharmacy that carried compounded medications, cancer medications, pain management medications, or other pediatric medications. Skywalk Pharmacy was established by Jake Olson, PharmD, to fill the unique needs of pediatric patients.

Skywalk Pharmacy is a niche practice, filling over 250 compounded medications per week. They serve a wide array of pediatric patients, but their specialty is treating children with cancer, cystic fibrosis and organ transplants.  

Skywalk Pharmacy carries several unconventional and expensive medications that are rarely stocked in most pharmacies for children. Specialty medications are normally defined as drugs approved by the FDA and used to treat complex and chronic diseases. They often require special storage, handling, and administration. The pharmacy helps families with a variety of genetic disorders to receive vitamins and other medications not routinely covered by Medicaid.

Skywalk Pharmacy has been helping families manage these complex health conditions for over ten years. Leadership from the pharmacy takes that practice beyond the store by working with local charities and special events for children.

“It’s always a tremendous experience being able to help support the children through these types of activities,” said Jake Olson. “It brings such joy to see these kids light up when going to soccer and football games and meeting the players and coaches.”

As a CARE Pharmacy member, Skywalk Pharmacy is a locally owned and operated pharmacy that takes pride in maintaining a “hometown” feel, as well as providing personal and honest service. The pharmacy was previously a member of another cooperative, but was drawn to CARE in part with the organization’s commitment to innovation and the advancement of the professional pharmaceutical community.

“CARE offered so many innovative approaches to the business of running a pharmacy and I immediately clicked with their approach to the industry,” said Jake Olson.

Olson plans to open two more Skywalk locations inside Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin specialty clinics in the greater Milwaukee area in 2014.  Skywalk Pharmacy in New Berlin will open this summer, and Delafield will open in the fall.