Sioux City Journal
by Joanne Fox
August 12, 2012
Jack Eckerd revolutionized the drug store industry and at one timed owned Eckerd Pharmacy, what is now known as CVC Pharmacy.
Jack and his wife Ruth took their service business expertise into a nonprofit agency that focuses on insuring children become productive, successful citizens.
Eckerd is a nonprofit social service agency based in Clearwater, Fla., which recently opened an office in Sioux City.
“We have programs located in seven states, with the Iowa program being just a year into operation,” explained Program Director Mindy Louscher.
Eckerd’s local community-based program contracts with the Iowa Department of Human Services in providing the Family Safety Risk and Permanency program.
“After researching the area and needs of the State, Eckerd decided that our mission to ‘provide and share solutions that promote the well-being of children and families in need of a second chance’ aligned with the goals of the state,” Louscher said.
Children served through the Family Safety Risk and Permanency program are referred to Eckerd through the Department of Human Services.
“Our care coordinators work with the individual families on areas of need, such as parenting skills, budgeting and developing an appropriate supportive network of friends and family,” Quality Assurance Coordinator Brenda Noll-Norvell said. “We collaborate with other local agencies to get the family members services and assistance where needed.”
Since Eckerd was founded in 1968, more than 100,000 children and families have been served by the agency.
“In the late 1960s, children were often institutionalized if they couldn’t be helped in their school or community,” Louscher said. “Continuing in our founders’ footsteps to serve as visionaries and change agents, Eckerd expanded its continuum over the years by adding a multitude of community-based behavioral, health and child welfare services.
In addition to serving clients, Eckerd always welcomes volunteers.
“There are many ways individuals, groups and businesses can get involved to help Eckerd continue giving children and families a second chance,” Noll-Norvell pointed out. “Volunteers are needed to serve on our local advisory councils as our ambassadors in the community. Donations, in-kind and monetary, are also appreciated and help us provide for the emergency, enrichment and transitional needs of our youth when public funds fall short.”