Thank you, pharmacists!

January 12 is National Pharmacist Day, and RHHD has two important reasons to celebrate: our community partners, Bremo Pharmacy and Hope Pharmacy.

If we didn’t know before, the COVID-19 pandemic showed us the work pharmacists do to provide vital vaccine and medication care to our communities. Thanks to Bremo, RHHD was able to reach and vaccinate residents for H1N1 all the way back in 2009. Both Bremo and Hope have been instrumental in our work on COVID-19 and treatments for HIV and STIs.

Hope and Bremo are independently owned pharmacies. Joanna Cirillo, an RHHD Public Health Nurse Supervisor who has worked with both on vaccine rollout, says that “Local pharmacies are a critical member of the local healthcare ecosystem. They can have more flexibility than a bigger chain which allows them to meet the changing needs of a local community.”

Like many services, pharmacy locations highlight racial and social inequities—some neighborhoods have access to multiple pharmacy options, while others have none. Hope Pharmacy’s mission is to reach low/no-income residents, and their location in Church Hill closes a gap in pharmacy access. Hope’s owner and operator is Richmond native Dr. Shantelle Brown, who shared with Style Weekly that “As pharmacists, we are the most accessible healthcare professionals. Where else can you go to ask a question at the drop of a dime? People travel from afar to get their boosters and prescriptions here because they know we’re here trying to do whatever we can for the community.”

Bremo—a Richmond staple since 1976—builds education and delivery options into their services to make sure their medication reaches as many folks as effectively as possible. Tana Kaefer, Bremo’s Director of Clincial Services, says that the pharmacy is able to reach their mission because pharmacists abide by core values that include prioritizing community members’ health and well-being over sales and providing the same level of care and education to all. “Bremo pharmacists are special because they are problem solvers,” she says. “They crave relationship building and taking care of the whole patient with specialty services that expand far beyond dispensing medications. We call this ‘The Bremo Way.’”

Celebrate National Pharmacist Day by exploring the range of educational and care services offered by these two irreplaceable community members! After all. . .