"Pharmacists have stepped up and filled this niche of being on the frontline of health care," Harkreader said. "Many Rite Aid patients are in there more often than they may see their regular health-care provider. This is one more way to emphasize healthy lifestyles and all things that go with that."
A new "wellness ambassador" stand in the middle of the store is the go-to place for customers who have specific questions about vitamins and over-the-counter products.
A "wellness ambassador" will be available to answer customers' questions using a custom iPad. The new position, which was created for the wellness store, will connect the customer to the pharmacy by offering clinical advice and the services of Rite Aid pharmacists.
The wellness ambassadors will serve as a bridge between the front end of the store and the pharmacy, Harkreader said. The Bridge Road store will have two.
Dr. Rahul Gupta, executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, said Rite Aid's wellness stores provide another service to help West Virginians get healthier.
"With the health challenges we face within the state of West Virginia, we need an all-hands-on-deck approach," Dr. Gupta said. "Whether it's the pharmacies, schools, public officials or in local health departments, all of us can play a critical role in being a part of a momentum to shift the tide of the obesity epidemic."
In addition to Rite Aid's health renovations, the entire Bridge Road store has been remodeled.
A 2,500-square-foot space that was used for unneeded storage is now a sleek-looking liquor room with hardwood floors.
The room carries almost 700 varieties of alcohol, said Jessica Sloan, shift supervisor for the Bridge Road Rite Aid. Before the renovations, the store carried only 300 types of alcohol, she said.
Sloan said the store's 25 smaller aisles make it easier to direct customers -- who have welcomed the new look -- to the right products.
"Customers have said they're so glad that they can come here and they don't have to go to 10 different places to shop," she said.
Reach Megan Workman at megan.work...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.