James Mitchell has a long history of serving the Newport News community with pharmaceutical needs. He has previously worked at an area Walgreens pharmacy and even had his own pharmacy in the Hidenwood area of Newport News for many years before selling it and considering retiring.
“I thought that I was done working and had retired,” Mitchell says. “But after a year of not working, I decided I wasn’t done and wanted to have a small little pharmacy. I was actively looking around for months, wondering where I should go. I had continually been looking up and down Warwick Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue, but saw that those areas had plenty of pharmacies. Then I read that a pharmacy in the southeastern part of Newport News had recently closed and moved, so now there was no pharmacy in that area. That’s when I knew that is where I needed to go, that is where a pharmacy was needed.”
With 42 years of pharmacy work under his belt, Mitchell took another leap and opened the Southeast Community Pharmacy on December 27, 2021. “Southeast Community Pharmacy is an apothecary style pharmacy. We fill prescriptions, sell over-the-counter vitamins, medicines and medical equipment. It is just a pure pharmacy. We don’t sell greeting cards,” Mitchell says. “We do, however, offer blood pressure testing, which I do myself, and have all sorts of vaccines including COVID-19 vaccines, Shingles vaccines, flu vaccines. We also can help with COVID-19 testing, if needed to accurately complete the test.”
Mitchell has poured his all into being able to help people get the best products and care. “The best part about my job is being able to counsel folks, teach them about their medicines and what they might need to know to get the best use of their medicines. I can help explain what the doctor said to them and what it means,” Mitchell says. “I enjoy getting to know customers so I can really know who they are and help them. I don’t mind when they come in and say, ‘Can you take a look at this?’ I sincerely want to help.”
Mitchell keeps the community at the heart of his business. “Really and truly the name of the pharmacy says it all. Southeast Community Pharmacy, I don’t expect people to come out of their way here; we are really for the people who live in the 23607 area,” the pharmacist says. “This is a new store. It’s really nice that people come in and meet me, and after that, they don’t want to go back to where they came from for their pharmacy needs. I like to call customers by name, I want to know them and help them in any way I can.”
Mitchell enjoys helping customers understand their best choice and being a line of communication for their health needs. When Mitchell does have free time, he enjoys hiking and biking, reading in the trees with a good cup of coffee, going to church and teaching his fifth grade Sunday school class.
The Southeast Community Pharmacy is a small location, and Mitchell says he is proud to have worked hard to offer the same services as a larger pharmacy. “I can call doctors, I can call insurance companies, I can make recommendations,” Mitchell says. “And I can also do some things that the big pharmacies can’t do, like Medicare, medical supplies, diabetic shoes — whatever my customers will pay for I can fill. It’s a niche service because when you’re small, you find little things that you can offer and you get the credentials. I am currently working on getting Medicaid credentials, as well.”
TO THE POINT:
Southeast Community Pharmacy
Address: 2315 Jefferson Ave., Newport News VA 23607
Contact: James Mitchell, pharmacist