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COVID-19: A true test of our communities.

Katie Westgerdes R.Ph. PharmD

Pharmacy Manager, ONU HealthWise Pharmacy

As pharmacy managers and owners, we all have pharmacy disaster plans. Plans we made to fulfill a contract requirement. Plans we never thought we would use. It’s true what they say, sometimes you don’t know how you will react until you are in the situation. Now we, an integral part of our community, are facing a pandemic while trying to help our patients and keep our staff safe.

Many of our communities have shown an outpouring of support for our pharmacies. Many of our patients have been very supportive of the many changes and restrictions we have had to make. In our communities’ time of need, community pharmacies are stepping up to fulfill needs. My pharmacy added curbside pick-up and expanded our delivery radius. We have started using two-way messaging to communicate with our patients. We have donated hand sanitizer to our local police department. Communities are taking notice of pharmacist as healthcare professionals and their dedication to their patients.

We, community pharmacies, are an essential part of our patients’ healthcare team. Despite this, it seems we have been given little guidance by national and state organizations. This deficit of information has caused us to do what we do best; provide innovative healthcare. Community pharmacies have come to together to help each other help our patients in these uncharted waters of a pandemic. It is truly inspiring to witness this collaboration in our community of independent pharmacies. The COVID-19 Change Package and website resources are the most comprehensive pharmacy specific resources available. Our response as a community shows our passion for taking care of our patients and being significant members of our communities.

This pandemic has been a true test to our communities, your local community and our community of independent pharmacies. Thus far, community pharmacies are providing innovative healthcare in exceptional ways. We have seen communities across the nation coming together and giving support to those in need. This is a crucial time for practice transformation. A time where communities pharmacies can showcase what we do best while we are in the spotlight. Let’s keep doing what we do best.

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