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Home » Advocacy » Celebrating Pharmacy Heroes — An Open Letter to Pharmacy Professionals, Media and the Public
Sherif Guorgui

Sherif Guorgui

co-CEO & Chief Strategy, Stakeholder and Government Relations Officer, OnPharm-United

In the face of COVID-19, pharmacists and pharmacy professionals are rising to the challenge to continue and enhance care within communities coast to coast — learn more about the services pharmacies are performing to support Canadians.

As pharmacists and pharmacy professionals, we have proven all across the world that we are essential health care providers. There is no more Pharmacy Awareness Month. It’s been renamed to Pharmacy Appreciation Month moving forward — we are far past the awareness phase.

Over the past weeks of this unprecedented public health emergency, everyone has seen, felt, and experienced our true selfless nature and vocation.

A few days ago, Canadians and pharmacy professionals woke up to a disheartening article about pharmacists. My issue with the article was not about the abundant misinformation in it, but it was mainly about the timing. During these unprecedented times that we live in — and while pharmacists and their teams are literally putting their own, and their families’, healths at risk to serve their patients and communities — any story in the media should solely be about praising pharmacists’ roles.

Over the past few days, many colleagues have been sharing frontline stories of their own experiences during this pandemic. I say, let’s keep doing that — but let’s do it for ourselves.

To all pharmacists — I say, let’s celebrate that…

  • While many doctors’ offices and clinics are closed, we remain open so patients can have access to their medications.
  • We still show up to serve our patients every day, without access to proper protective equipment.
  • We are risking our lives and our loved ones to save others.
  • In times of crisis, our communities do always count on us to rise to the challenge.
  • We are the frontline responders in this fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • We are relieving tremendous pressure from the rest of the health care system in response to this crisis.
  • We are collaborating with various stakeholders in government and industry to ensure continued access to medications to all our patients, as we’re the gatekeepers of the medication supply chain.
  • We are often dispensing prescriptions at loss during this crisis to support our patients who can’t afford to pay for them.
  • We have colleagues coming back from retirement to be there for their communities.
  • We are the most accessible health care providers during these challenging times.

Finally, let’s celebrate our fallen heroes — pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and all pharmacy staff who have lost their lives serving on the frontline while serving their communities in the US, Italy, Spain, China, UK, Egypt, and other places around the globe. They and their families deserve all the gratitude we can give them.

Let’s do it for them. Let’s do it for us.

Sherif Guorgui is co-CEO/Chief Strategy, Stakeholder and Government Relations Officer at OnPharm-United.

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