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2010 W.L. Boddy Pharmacy Award: Coleman Remedy'sRx Pharmacy

Stephen LittleColeman Remedy'sRx Pharmacy
Manager: Stephen Little
Coleman, AB

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"My biggest success? That’s easy – winning the hearts of my patients. It’s amazing to see how loyal they are.”

Stephen Little, manager of the Coleman Remedy’sRx Pharmacy, truly does seem amazed by his patients’ loyalty to him, his staff, and his pharmacy. Stephen purchased the pharmacy in 2006 and has steadily built its reputation as the pharmacy of choice for many Crowsnest Pass residents. As he describes his business, it doesn’t take long to see why his patients are so devoted.

In many ways, Remedy’sRx is what people imagine as the typical small town pharmacy. It is one of four pharmacies serving the 6,500 residents of the Crowsnest Pass. “We’re open six days a week, but everyone in the community knows how to reach me when the pharmacy’s not open,” says Stephen. “Do we do home deliveries? Sure. And compounding? Of course. Every day is like a clinic day; we counsel and educate people whenever they need it. And we do vet pharmacy too.”

What fuels such professional drive? “I figure it’s my licence and my profession, so I should practise how I see fit.” What Stephen and his staff see fit is offering exceptional patient care.

Stephen is the pharmacy’s only full-time pharmacist. He is assisted by pharmacy technicians Terri Lyster and Florence Desauncy. From April to November, relief pharmacist Heather Fletcher lets Stephen have a little time off. But even then, he doesn’t leave the pharmacy world far behind.

“I’m looking forward to Heather getting back (she spends the winters even farther south than Coleman). That will give me time to take the injections course and get the authorization [to administer drugs by injection].”

In the meantime, Stephen and his staff will continue to offer the high level of patient care that keeps people coming back. They collaborate with the area’s Chinese medicine practitioners, the naturopath, and traditional medical professionals to exchange information and ensure they explore all options for patients. Blairmore physician Dr. Jacob Maritz appreciates the effort. “Stephen is an essential part of the patient care team. His hard work and knowledge of new medications and pharmaceutical therapy is critical to our team approach to patient care.”

All staff are encouraged to undertake continuing professional education and are tireless in their efforts to do research for patients. They are also sticklers on patient follow up.

“It’s so important to flag non-responsiveness to therapy. We had a patient with a proton pump inhibitor [medication used to treat a gastrointestinal condition]. She’d been using it for several weeks and, when I asked her, said she hadn’t noticed any change in her condition. We encouraged her to press her doctor to order a scope. It turned out that she had esophageal cancer. It got fixed and she’s fine now, but we wouldn’t have caught it without follow up. You just can’t know if you don’t ask.”

With every facet of practice so firmly centred on the patient, it’s not hard at all to see why Coleman Remedy’sRx patients are so loyal.