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Pharmacists ready for new phase in Aledo, Illinois

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It's the end of an era in Aledo, Illinois, where three independent pharmacies are consolidating under a new owner.

Next month, Stuts Drug Store, Wagner Pharmacy, and McKnight Pharmacy will join together to form Genesis FirstMed Pharmacy. The store will be located in the current Stuts Drug Store building.

All three pharmacists will continue to work at the new store.

"Times change, and I just have felt like it is time," said Dave McKnight, the owner of McKnight Pharmacy since 1978.

The men say the rapidly changing healthcare field has made it harder for independent pharmacies to keep up. Technology and government regulations are constantly changing.

"With Genesis, that's going to be a big plus because they have the knowledge and the technology, the people to help us. It'll be good for everybody," said Dave Relander, Stuts Drug Store owner.

And despite a changing business model, McKnight says the pharmacies' small-town feel will remain.

"I think that's one of the things about community-type pharmacy is you really get to know the people, you get to know their families, their interests, their pets, all those type of things," said McKnight.

The new Genesis FirstMed Pharmacy will open by September 1, 2016, with the consolidation of all the pharmacies occurring throughout the month.