Hospital employees, medical clinic staff, and emergency services workers all serve on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. For them, this year has been unlike any other, both physically and emotionally. They have seen and experienced things that they never expected.
Pharmacies and pharmacists, too, have a front-row seat to the horrors of this public health emergency. They also have an obligation to do their part — to give back — as and when they’re able.
Remedium Pharmacy, an independently owned and operated compounding pharmacy based in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, has proudly taken this directive to heart and stepped up in a big way this year. One of the most visible examples of its efforts to support the most vulnerable members of its community came when general manager Cristina Iepure heard about two nearby senior centers in desperate need of medical supplies and personal protective equipment: Chelmsford Senior Center and Lowell Senior Center, both pillars of the greater Lowell community.
Remedium Pharmacy’s Gift to Chelmsford Senior Center
Remedium’s sizable donation to Chelmsford Senior Center came about almost by accident. According to Natalie Dussault, a senior center director who has maintained a close professional relationship with Iepure, it began when one of her staff members called Remedium Pharmacy to inquire about thermometer pricing. Rather than quote the price and end the conversation, Iepure offered to donate a sizable number of thermometers to the center at no cost — then offered a broader array of diagnostic items and personal protective equipment, including latex gloves, procedural masks, and hand sanitizer.
To hear Iepure tell it, this was the least Remedium Pharmacy could do. “These challenging times have led to critical PPE shortages that put all of us, especially our seniors, at greater risk,” said Iepure in a press release announcing the gift <https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/20/11/n18327625/remedium-pharmacy-donates-ppe-and-supplies-to-chelmsford-senior-center>. “Remedium was pleased to provide these much-needed supplies to help keep our community safe.”
Chelmsford Senior Center provided the masks and gloves to in-house staff and van drivers, all of whom work with vulnerable members of the community and are themselves at high risk of infection. The center distributed the hand sanitizer bottles to common areas and offices at its facility and incorporated the thermometers into its onsite health screening procedures.
Remedium Pharmacy’s Gift to Lowell Senior Center
Not long after fulfilling its promise to Chelmsford Senior Center, Remedium Pharmacy had the opportunity to help out another cherished community institution a bit farther down the road when Iepure’s team donated a similar tranche of diagnostic equipment and PPE to Lowell Senior Center <https://www.newsbreak.com/massachusetts/lowell/news/2104043595719/remedium-pharmacy-donates-ppe-to-lowell-senior-center> in nearby Lowell, Massachusetts. The gift included handheld external thermometers, pulse oximeters, latex gloves, hand sanitizer, and disposable procedural masks.
As with the Chelmsford Senior Center donation, this gift came about almost by happenstance: a chance conversation between Remedium and Lowell Senior Center staffers got the ball rolling, and the rest is history. Like Chelmsford Senior Center, Lowell staff plan to use the diagnostic items and PPE to strengthen its health screening procedures and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission among employees, guests, and community members.
With community transmission of this deadly disease on the rise in greater Lowell, the donation couldn’t have come at a better time. And Iepure’s team made clear to staffers at both senior centers that they’d always have a reliable partner in Remedium Pharmacy, whose reputation is staked in part on its commitment to above-and-beyond service.
Why Remedium’s Gifts Matter
Remedium Pharmacy’s gifts had an immediate and tangible impact on the two senior centers that received them. By reducing the risk of infection among essential workers who spend their days serving an extremely vulnerable population, they also had a tangible and beneficial impact on the broader community.
“This year has been challenging for us all, especially the seniors and other individuals most at risk from this deadly virus,” said Iepure in a press release announcing the gift to Lowell Senior Center <https://www.lowellsun.com/2020/11/17/remedium-pharmacy-donates-ppe-to-lowell-senior-center/>. “Remedium Pharmacy stands ready to support our most vulnerable populations in any way we can.”
Remedium’s gifts also set an example for other businesses and individuals looking for ways to give back and help out during the pandemic. While Remedium is well known within the greater Lowell community, it’s just a single-location pharmacy — a far cry from abundantly resourced giants like CVS and Walgreens. Businesses like Remedium can’t afford multimillion-dollar public safety campaigns or celebrity-studded charity drives. On their own, they can only contribute so much, in so many ways.
They can, however, establish a model that’s easy enough for other individuals and small business owners to follow. Whether participating in a canned food drive, volunteering at a shelter, or donating spare PPE, there’s more opportunity to help out than many realize. The most difficult part is identifying where best to allocate resources.
We’re All Doing Our Part
So, yes — Remedium Pharmacy’s gifts of medical equipment and PPE undoubtedly made a difference for two senior centers in its backyard. The staff and members at these two cherished community institutions weren’t shy about showing their gratitude for Iepure and her team.
But it wouldn’t be right to celebrate Remedium’s gift, without acknowledging the good work being done by so many other independently owned businesses in these challenging times. In Chelmsford, Lowell, and far beyond, small enterprises — enterprises experiencing difficulties of their own, in many cases — are stepping up to do what’s right and support the least fortunate and most vulnerable among us.
No one can be quite sure what the future holds. We know that, eventually, the pandemic will subside and life will return to something like normal. But we also know that we can’t take normalcy for granted. Not anymore. When another crisis looms — as we know it will — we’ll rely on the businesses and nonprofits that sustain our communities to step up once more. The least we can do in the meantime is support them with our words, our time, and our hard-earned dollars.