Support local news? Donate to Niagara Now.Support local news? Donate to Niagara Now.
The Weather Network
Aug. 17, 2019 | Saturday
Local News
Simpson's Pharmacy hosts four-legged friends
Dana McNair, Paula MacDonald-Boland, and Janice Patterson and dog Quinn. (Jer Houghton/Niagara Now)

Simpson’s Pharmacy in Virgil kicked off their first Seniors’ Day event of the year on Jan. 16 by greeting their customers with four-legged volunteers, promoting the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program.

“It gives the opportunity for our community to come in – not just to take of their pharmacy needs – but to learn about the different things that are available in the community,” said Paula MacDonald-Boland, home health and mobility coordinator at Simpson’s Pharmacy.

“So we like to make sure that we include various organizations from the community by bringing them in here so that they have the opportunity to get awareness out to the community with the different services that are available.”

January’s Seniors’ Day event was hosted by therapy dog coordinator Dana McNair of St. John Ambulance from the Niagara Falls branch. McNair was on-hand with therapy dog Quinn and handler Janice Patterson to meet with customers and talk about the program.

McNair said though the program mainly runs in hospitals, long-term care settings, schools and sometimes libraries, the therapy dogs can offer companionship to those that are sick or lonely, that may not have family close by to offer constant support.

“We want customers to know that if there is anyone in the community that feels they would benefit from the love a therapy dog, you can contact our office and we can set up a meeting for the person and the therapy dog,” said McNair.

The Seniors’ Day event occurs on the third Wednesday every month, an ongoing effort to promote organizations and services within the community and throughout the region since the pharmacy was founded.

“About 42 years ago, Ward Simpson started Simpson’s and he’s been very community minded and oriented,” said MacDonald-Boland.

“Off and on throughout the years, quite regularly he’s had different groups either come in, or we go out into the community and assist in promoting different services as much as we can – so it’s been ongoing ever since.”

Over the years, Simpson’s Pharmacy continues to work with the Alzheimer Society, Arthritis Society, Parkinson Canada, United Way and Red Roof Retreat, to name a few.

MacDonald-Boland said they are constantly working on events.

“As things pop up throughout the year, different events happening in the news or new organizations coming up, we kind of add them as we go,” she said.

To contact St. John Ambulance about their Therapy Dog Program, please call 905-356-7340.