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Pharmacy Appreciation Month 2024 – Putting the Care Back in Healthcare with Pharmasave

March brings a special occasion for us at Pharmasave as it marks the annual Pharmacy Appreciation Month, a time dedicated to celebrating the unwavering commitment and exceptional care provided by pharmacy professionals across Canada. Join us in acknowledging the extraordinary role these healthcare heroes play, from offering personalized pharmacy care to being a stabilizing force in every community.

The Evolution of Pharmacy Care in Canada

Pharmacy care is more than a service; it’s a journey of care, empathy, and innovation. Despite the differences in healthcare services across provinces, pharmacists everywhere are enhancing community well-being by integrating new services like prescribing for minor ailments, thereby easing the healthcare system’s burden.

At Pharmasave, we see our customers and understand their unique needs, offering personalized pharmacy services to fit their health journey. In an ever-evolving healthcare landscape, we remain at the forefront, leading with compassion and offering services like prescribing for minor ailments, all within a welcoming environment.

Discover more about our comprehensive pharmacy services and how they cater to the unique needs of each community member.

The Pharmasave Difference

At Pharmasave, we strive to know our customers and understand their unique needs, offering personalized pharmacy services to fit their health journey. At the core of our beliefs is the “We See You” philosophy. A testament to our commitment that extends beyond our network of 850 stores and into the heart of each community we serve. Our pharmacists are more than healthcare providers; they are integral community members who offer guidance, support, and care with a personal touch.

Learn about Pharmasave’s community initiatives here and how we’re making a difference, one smile at a time.

Voices from Our Store Owners & Pharmacy Teams

We reached out to 4 esteemed store owners and pharmacy team members (Lyndsey Bateman of Algonquin Pharmasave; Roselle Carrigan of Innisfil Pharmasave; Steven Chauvin of Oak Bay Pharmasave; Navneet Gohalwar of Pharmasave 83rd & Scott Road) to share their experiences and the innovative initiatives that have positively impacted their communities.

Q: Can you share a specific instance or story from 2023 where you or your pharmacy team went above and beyond to support the health and well-being of your community members?

Lyndsey: There was a period of panic where there wasn’t enough medication in late 2022/early 2023 and our compounding centre’s staff started prioritizing sick children and are making amoxicillin, children’s Tylenol and ibuprofen liquid to make sure they meet the local demand. We also keep our ears to the ground so whenever we hear of drugs in short supply we’ll go after the formula to keep products available for our customers.

Roselle: Spring of 2023, we saw people struggling to make new friends in a community that is growing exponentially. We decided to start a free walking group to anyone who wanted to join us. It was a great way to meet people in a safe environment, while promoting fitness for all abilities. The added bonus was getting to enjoy the nature and beauty of the trails we stumbled upon along the way.

Steven: I developed a close relationship with a patient with Parkinsons, and when he developed dementia, his sister reached out to me to ask if I would help set up a dispensing machine. The patient had trust issues and was very selective about who he would let in the house. We were able to get the machine set up and we worked out a deal where I would visit the patient once a week to restock the machine and check in on him. I was able to provide the physician information on his status so we could adjust his medications. He was able to stay at home for as long as he could before he eventually moved into a facility.

Navneet: We have a senior couple in their 90s who have been loyal patients of ours. Despite living alone and facing numerous health challenges, they have always relied on our pharmacy for their healthcare needs. The female partner fell seriously ill and was unable to leave her bed. With no one to assist them in visiting the doctor or going to the lab for essential tests, they reached out to us for help. We facilitated a virtual appointment with their doctor and arranged for mobile lab services to visit their home for the necessary blood tests. Thanks to our swift intervention and collaboration with healthcare providers, the couple’s tests were conducted without delay, and we were able to promptly deliver their prescribed medications and continue ensuring their ongoing care and well-being.

Q: What innovative practices or services did you introduce in your pharmacy this year to improve patient care, and how have these initiatives made a positive impact on your community?

Lyndsey: We renovated our compounding room to offer specialty compounds to our community. Regardless of profit margins, the priority will always be the health and wellness of our patients.

Roselle: We bring in products that people have to drive a fair distance for, such as ostomy supplies and home healthcare items. Our customers have peace of mind knowing that we have the specialized products they need when they need them.

Steven: We have made close relationships with physicians in the area. Some physicians are a bit hesitant with the new bylaws that allow longer extensions with the main issue being that patients would not get the necessary lab work done and physicians would be concerned with the lack of monitoring. With access to CareConnect, I am able to check if any relevant lab work has been done for the patient and have made it an internal policy to check CareConnect when doing adaptations or extensions.

Navneet: This year, we initiated a program to deliver medications directly to shelter home patients and conducted regular follow-up visits on a weekly basis. Our collaborative approach involved coordination with patients, shelter home coordinators and nurses from Fraser Health to ensure continuity of care and support for vulnerable individuals in our community. We also proactively reached out to shelters to arrange safe accommodations for homeless patients in need.

* Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

These stories reflect just a fraction of the impactful work done across Pharmasave and showcases the invaluable contributions our pharmacy team members have made to their communities.

Spotlight on Excellence

Last year, several Pharmasave professionals were recognized for the amazing work they’ve done, embodying the spirit of Pharmacy Appreciation Month:

  • Kyle Denley at Lions Gate Pharmasave for winning the BCPhA Excellence in Patient Care award. Read more here.
  • Eric Gaudet from Bashaw Pharmasave taking the Advanced Primary Care Pharmacist Training Program. Read more here.
  • Mike and his team at Hope Pharmasave supporting the Opioid Crisis in their creative way. Read more here.

Their stories are a source of inspiration and displays the profound impact compassionate care can have.

Canadian Pharmacists Association’s #MyFavPharm Contest

Love your pharmacy team? In honour of Pharmacy Appreciation Month, tell us about your favourite pharmacy team member and what makes them special by submitting a nomination through the Canadian Pharmacists Association #MyFavePharm contest here. Those who complete and submit nomination forms before 11:59pm ET on March 22 will be entered into a draw for an opportunity to win a tablet for both themselves, and their favourite pharmacy team member! Open to residents of Canada (excluding Quebec).

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