Updated: Apr 29
After seeing the health battle waged by her father, a young woman in Tampa is on the frontlines in the fight for "healthcare for all."
Lily Pharmacy is a full-service pharmacy at University Mall. The pharmacy was started by Kaycee Soltysiak in honor of her father who died 2004.
"My dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and we had wonderful health insurance but it wasn’t enough," Soltysiak said. "At the end of the day, the last part of his life, instead of living it, it was (dealing with) healthcare.”
Soltysiak, an Auburn University Medical Engineering grad and former pharmacy technician, knew that was wrong and she set out to do something about it.
"I partnered with Pioneer Medical Group Foundation (in 2016) and we opened a clinic two days a week, Monday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m." she said. "It’s free and open to anybody over the age of 18 and uninsured.”
The clinic also provides free HIV and STD testing and treatment.
The clinic features a medical director and nurse practitioner on staff. The clinic also fills prescriptions at no charge.
The money the pharmacy makes on the services it does charge for goes to cover their free services .
But that’s getting tougher to do and now Soltysiak has created a non-profit to qualify for grants and the generosity of the community.
And what her father think of her accomplishments?
"He would be proud," she said. "It’s been a very hard struggle to get this up and going but that’s what keeps it going as well to know that it makes him proud."