The Durham Region is known for its stunning greenspace, vibrant community living, as well as homes, schools and amenities that make it a most desired place to live. It is also known for the full range of medical and health care services it provides to is residents. I recently sat down with Marlene McCall, co-owner of the family-owned, Bowmanville Clinic Pharmacy, a local pharmacy steeped in tradition and housed in the Bowmanville Health Centre. The Centre, which is the community’s destination for health care, offers patients a full line of customer service-oriented supports and services. The Bowmanville Clinic Pharmacy is a big part of this thriving community resource.
Marlene McCall: The pharmacy opened with the original single story medical building on March 1, 1969 by my father, Neale McLean. Today, the pharmacy is owned by fellow pharmacist, Patty Rice and myself. Patty’s grandfather, Alex McGregor, opened Bowmanville’s oldest pharmacy, McGregor’s I.D.A. Pharmacy, so the current Bowmanville Clinic Pharmacy is a merging of the two family-owned and operated pharmacies. Both pharmacies were built on a strong foundation of customer service and we are proud to have both of our families’ history combined into our present pharmacy.
Greg Schryer: What services does the pharmacy provide?
Marlene McCall: We provide a full-service prescription dispensary as well as a compounding lab. An important part of what we do is being able to provide our patients with medications that are not commercially available so they can get the most benefit from their medicinal therapy. We routinely make liquids for children and adults that have trouble swallowing tablets or capsules. We also make transdermal bio-identical hormone creams as well as pain creams.
Patients can come into the pharmacy for education on diabetes and high blood pressure and learn how to use devices like blood glucose and blood pressure monitors. Our MedsCheck program is a one-to-one meeting between pharmacist and patient to review all of the patient’s medications. This can be done in a patient’s home if they are unable to come into the pharmacy. We give seasonal flu shots as well as some other immunizations and have a medication and sharps disposal program.
We have compression stockings and socks, ostomy supplies, blood pressure monitors and compliance/blister packing of medications. We have an expansive line of home health care products including bath safety, braces, devices for plantar fasciitis, walking casts, canes, crutches, KT tape, basic wound care and more. If a patient is unable to get to the pharmacy, we do offer free local delivery (including to Newcastle and Orono on certain days).
Greg Schryer: Why is it important to you to be located inside the Bowmanville Health Centre building itself?
Marlene McCall: It is important to be in the building because we have close collaborative relationships with physicians. We are located right next to the Bowmanville Urgent Care Centre and other ancillary services in the building. This way, we can have face-to face interactions with health care providers in the building and that allows us to provide the best care to our patients.
We are the destination for health care in the community. In terms of our pharmacy, we chose to have a smaller store so we can focus on our patients and getting to know them and their individual health care needs.
Greg Schryer: What does the pharmacy do that is different from other pharmacies in the Bowmanville area?
Marlene McCall: We pride ourselves on giving our best personalized service. We are fortunate to have an amazing group of people working here. We refer to our staff as our “pharmacy family” and they are all very knowledgeable, kind, helpful and friendly people.
We understand that the needs of our patients are changing so we now offer a mobile app called diem® premium care. The app allows patients to better manage their health on-the-go. Patients can fill and refill their prescriptions and be notified when their prescriptions are ready for pick up.
Greg Schryer: What are your plans for adding additional services in the Clarington area?
Marlene McCall: We plan to focus on promoting our services and focus on the specialities that make us unique. We want to continue to build relationships and get to know our customers better so we can continue to identify their needs and focus on what we do best, which is providing unbeatable customer service.