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Patients’ Choice Award Winner: Jenna Kulovany

“The Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan (PAS) Patients’ Choice Award gives the general public the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ and to publicly recognize the outstanding care they have received. This award is presented to a pharmacist or pharmacy who has been nominated by a patient or non-pharmacist colleague for going the extra mile to provide high quality care and a great patient experience”- PAS

Jenna Kulovany from Pharmacy Esterhazy has recently won this award.

Jenna has always had high standards for herself. Growing up, Jenna was a competitive figure skater. She grew up on a grain farm outside of Esterhazy and then spent some time in Alberta before moving to the town of Esterhazy. Now, Jenna enjoys spending her free time outdoors doing activities such as kayaking, hiking, paddle boarding, swimming, golfing, sitting around a fire, and gardening. Jenna describes nature as being something that “fills her cup”. She also enjoys travelling alone and live music. “I will travel all over the world to see a concert!” Jenna currently lives in an old brick house on an acreage with her adopted dog, a 12-year-old Great Pyrenees named Nan.

For Jenna, the idea of becoming a pharmacist came easily. She always enjoyed connecting with and helping others. Her mom was Care Aid, and although Jenna knew she didn’t want to be a nurse she always liked the idea of pharmacy.

As a pharmacist, Jenna is always trying her best with the goal of being the best. The thing she values the most is her staff. She loves the people she works with and describes them all as best friends who respect one another equally. “We all play a role in the success here at Pharmasave Esterhazy and I wouldn’t be able to function to my best ability without them”. Jenna worked for Pharmasave Esterhazy on and off since 2009, starting as a Pharmacy Assistant/Cashier. Jenna now manages the store. According to Jenna, what makes Pharmasave Esterhazy special are the patients they help. She also says the store has a great selection of products, and anyone who walks in can count on being greeted with a smile!

When asked why she thinks she won this award, Jenna says she knows she won because she builds relationships with her patients. Her patients make her feel appreciated, and she says she feels grateful for this. She is able to build trust with them by being honest and admitting when she doesn’t know something. Jenna always tries to keep her word and makes an effort to feel connected with them. “Lots of my patients knew me as a little girl and watched me grow into the woman I am today. They know about the struggles I went through and feel proud of my accomplishments”.

We asked Jenna what makes a good pharmacist-patient relationship. She said pharmacists have a major role to play in advocating for and connecting with patients. “Often times they have no one else and they can be extremely vulnerable. That [advocating for and connecting with them] is how we build trust and loyalty”. Jenna believes that communication is vital and being a friendly face that patients can depend on throughout their life goes a long way. I make the effort to ask about their daily lives, laugh with them or share in their struggles. It’s all about connecting and being an effective listener”.

The last question we had for Jenna was, “What is the biggest life lesson you learned working in healthcare”? To which Jenna replied, “Our patients are vulnerable and rely on us to be our best selves when dealing with their care, or in the care of someone they love. I’ve learned through experience that our health care system is not perfect and I definitely have a role to play in providing my patients with the care they deserve!”.

We thank Jenna for taking the time to speak with us about her award, and for being a great role model pharmacist.

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