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Pharmacist’s care goes way beyond drugs

August 7, 2019
A patient says thank you for help navigating the health system.

Josephine Adda’s son is enjoying the pool these days with his summer camp visits. But without their pharmacist, he might have missed out.

Josephine needed specific pool pants for her son, who is on the autism spectrum.

“Because he’s incontinent he’s required to have a special pant. I’d never heard of them,” explained Josephine. “I was told you go to the pharmacy and talk to your pharmacist, they will know what it is.”

Josephine’s pharmacist, Marianne Olszewski, didn’t have the pants in stock, but that didn’t stop her. Marianne called around, on Josephine’s behalf, searched online, and finally found two other locations in Calgary that had them.

“When it comes to the health of my family, I don’t always know the processes, or where I can get stuff, so with her knowledge it just makes that burden lighter for me. If I hadn’t gotten the pool pants on that day my son would not have gone to camp at all,” said Josephine.

Marianne appreciates the recognition from Josephine, but says she brings that helpfulness to all her patients.

“That’s just what we do. It’s not about making the sale. If you don’t have it, you find it,” said Marianne.

This wasn’t the first time that Josephine was grateful for Marianne’s help. Several years ago, when Josephine moved to Calgary, she needed to transfer her son’s Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL) file. She was told to simply visit a pharmacy, give them her AADL number, and the file would move with her. She visited three pharmacies.

“They would put it in, and it wouldn’t go through,” explained Josephine. “I don’t know what it takes for a pharmacy to transfer the file but for some reason they couldn’t get it done.”

Josephine then, by chance, visited Marianne’s pharmacy who explained to her what she needed to do, step by step, to successfully transfer her son’s file.

“I think that made a whole lot of difference because at other pharmacies I was just getting the runaround. So, for six weeks my son was without supplies. Basically, we had to pay for them out of pocket.”

Josephine notices how easily Marianne builds a rapport with people in the pharmacy.

“You can see she has a passion for what she does,” said Josephine.

For Marianne it’s just about being a pharmacist.

“We wouldn’t be doing what they call ‘the helping profession’ if we didn’t want things to work out,” she said. “Everyone should get what they need, when they need it, not just when we have time.”