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Monday, April 22, 2024
Pandemic Heroes: NOTL’s pharmacists

Niagara-on-the-Lake’s independent pharmacists have been thinking outside the box since the beginning of this pandemic – which is one of the reasons they have both been nominated as pandemic heroes.

Julie Dyck, owner/pharmacist of Stone Road Pharmacy, says she needed to adapt her service delivery model to meet the needs of her customers while also following frequently changing restrictions and guidelines for maintaining public health and safety.

“Many times when people come into the store now we are their personal shoppers and we’ll walk around and grab everything for them. They kind of stay on the welcome mat and we grab the products for them so that way it makes them feel very safe,” she says.

Dyck credits her team for keeping the pharmacy in high spirits throughout these uncertain times.

“Every day we just remind ourselves that we’re grateful we’re able to work and that we still have workplace to come to … And even though the customers can’t see our smiles we joke that they can see the wrinkles in our eyes when we smile,” Dyck says.

Sean Simpson, owner of Simpson’s Pharmacy, says from the beginning of the pandemic he and his staff have done whatever they could to create a safe environment for every person walking into each of his locations – on Niagara Stone Road and King Street in Old Town.

His goal is “to provide people’s essential medications and access to our other services in as safe a manner as possible. So that people could continue to get their everyday health care needs looked after, all while feeling safe,” Simpson says.

With the help of volunteers, he says he was able to “ramp up” delivery services right from the start. The website was updated to include all of the products offered in store. He says he wanted to offer a better online shopping experience, so customers had access to all of the products they were used to finding in store.

“We’re trying to create a safe environment. We added the COVID testing service, which has gone well … Our mantra is to do whatever we can to create a safe environment but also to provide the products and services that people need,” Simpson says.

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