Let me tell you a little about our company story, and the journey we’ll take you on as a valued partner. It's an exciting time for us at MedEssist: we're launching a new website, expanding our team with dedicated and creative professionals, and embarking on an incredibly ambitious roadmap to serve you in new, invaluable ways.
I've been a community pharmacist and manager of an independent pharmacy in an underserved neighborhood for close to 10 years. There have been "interesting days" of chasing shoplifters, calling for an ambulance, or cleaning up urine or vomit. As bad as the lows were, there have been so many amazing memories through the years. I recall visiting the sweetest elderly patient to teach her how to use a microwave for the first time so she could heat her Meals-on-Wheels frozen dinners. I remember volunteering as a translator at events for seniors in the community, either to address local safety concerns or to combat social isolation (a fundamental determinant of health) and receiving a valentine's day gift afterward. I remember creating laminated reference cards for the personal support workers in the area and teaching them proper inhaler and insulin techniques to enable them to identify patients that might benefit from a pharmacy consultation.
I love being a pharmacist and it is not only because I’m really good at catching drug therapy problems, but because pharmacy is my way of expressing my love for my community. At MedEssist, we believe pharmacies impact the health of people in so many immeasurable ways and it's what drives us to do what we do at MedEssist. It's why I still pick up shifts whenever I can and can’t say goodbye to it.
When the first COVID-19 wave arrived, our team knew that pharmacies were going to be at the front lines of the most ambitious public health campaign ever attempted. How would your average independent pharmacy be able to manage the massive disparity between the limited supply and massive public demand? For the past 2 years, I've been deeply rooted in my computer screen coding non-stop to do whatever I could to help our pharmacies not only survive the pandemic but to benefit from all the heroic work they’ve been doing.
I’m not sure if many of you were aware, but we were a very small self-funded team. That meant many extremely late nights, but I had no choice because if things didn’t work I’d hear it from the staff at the pharmacy I managed! I want to thank all the students and interns that helped us along the way. We couldn’t have done it without you! In addition, the amazing Canadian innovation ecosystem that contributed to keeping us sustained with funding and mentorship: H2i, Brampton Venture Zone, Venture Lab, and Altitude Accelerator - we’re grateful for your support before and during the pandemic. Finally, I also want to thank all the pharmacies that trusted us throughout the pandemic. Your selfless work inspires us every day. We can’t wait to show what you have inspired us to build next.
The first new thing I want to introduce is our new blog. It will no longer only cover updates to the platform but will be focused on giving you practical tips, tricks, and insights to simplifying your workflow and growing your business. Register for our newsletter to get original content delivered every two weeks.
We're building the next generation of support systems for pharmacies. Unfortunately, there's no way to cover all of it in this article so you'll have to wait for our newsletter for specifics. However, I can give you a few broad ideas:
One last thing, I didn’t mention my co-founder Joella yet as I think perhaps she might tell her own story someday. I just want to say there is no one out there as hard-working and has the exact experience to actually change how neighborhood pharmacies are going to grow their business online. Both Joella and I are eternally grateful for all of your past support and we can’t wait to assist you in delighting your staff and patients over the coming years.