2017 Pfizer Consumer Healthcare Bowl of Hygeia: Ken Forgach
clinical pharmacist, critical care
royal alexandra hospital, edmonton
Ken Forgach has been a pharmacist for over 30 years at the Royal Alexandra hospital. On top of his full-time position Ken commits to volunteering three to five days a week. But Ken doesn’t simply volunteer, he cultivates friendships, delivers compassion and makes the world a little bit nicer of a place for those he meets.
“Volunteering has opened my eyes and my heart to the sufferings and struggles of those around me. As a Pharmacist, it has reminded me that everyone is special and deserves generous portions of love and respect along with the clinical care I provide.”
A single mother who came to know Ken said it best. “You’re not just giving us food and clothes, you’re giving us dignity. You make us feel worthy.”
Many years ago, Ken created a Non-Profit Organization called “The Hymningbirds.” With this group, Ken makes regular visits to local hospitals, nursing homes, soup kitchens, and prisons. He also gets involved with local food drives, blood collection drives, walkathons, and supports other well-established organizations like Hope Mission, Salvation Army and Habitat For Humanity to just name a few.
Ken has also established a program called "Burgers, Bananas, & Blessings!" which is a monthly BBQ during the Spring and Summer that caters to Edmonton’s hungry and homeless. During the rest of the year on a biweekly basis, Ken spends his time in impoverished areas of the city handing out hot meals, along with warm winter clothing, footwear, blankets and candles. Ken’s training as a pharmacist also gives him the opportunity to not only distribute but properly educate the community on Naloxone kits.
What makes Ken a true humanitarian is his humble approach and selflessness. When asked about his community service his response was this, “make no mistake, I’m no hero. I’m just trying to give back one meal at a time, one blanket at a time, one hug at a time.”