Pharmacists, doctors and dentists all play an important role in our overall health, and it’s been one year since the owners of West End Family PharmaChoice decided to knock down the walls and create a connected healthcare space for patients in downtown Truro.
Since West End Family PharmaChoice is located directly between a dental practice and a doctors’ office, owners Deborah Ellis and Sandeep Sodhi say it made sense to build their new pharmacy with a direct entrances into each.
Patients love that they can pop into West End Family PharmaChoice before a dental appointment to pick up an antibiotic or sedative they may require before a treatment, or stop in directly after a doctors’ appointment to drop off a prescription before it gets buried in the depths of their purse.
“We made it so people can pass freely between all three spaces, and it’s the best thing we could have done,” says Ellis. “Patients love that it’s so easy to pop through and drop off prescriptions or pick up what they need — and staff love it, too. It connects us all.”
Ellis and Sodhi had already owned Village Family PharmaChoice in Bible Hill and were looking for an opportunity to expand across the bridge into Truro. The space in the Eagle’s Landing Medical Plaza had been vacant for years, and Sodhi says it seemed like the perfect spot for their second location.
“It’s a nice facility, with the medical doctors at West End Medical Centre on one side and the dentists of Victoria Court Dental on the other side, as well as the physiotherapists at Physio One Health Clinic,” says Sodhi. “It’s a real one-stop shop, and we have a lot of synergies with the other healthcare providers in the complex.”
He says it’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since West End Family PharmaChoice opened its doors on the corner of King St. and Prince St.
“It feels impossible that it’s been a year already, but it’s very exciting,” says Sodhi. “We’ve had a busy year getting it up and going. A year has gone by so fast, but we’ve really enjoyed meeting new customers and healthcare providers.”
West End Family PharmaChoice is celebrating its first anniversary throughout the month of June by offering weekly specials.
From now through June 14, all over-the-counter brand-name products are 20 per cent off. From June 17-21, all home healthcare products will be 20 per cent off. From June 24-28, all in-stock sunscreen, insect repellent and travel-sized products will be 25 per cent off — perfect for stocking up before summer adventures.
Through the entire month of June, West End Family PharmaChoice is running a huge “buy one, get one 50 per cent off” promotion on their house brand Option+ products, which include everything from over-the-counter medication to shampoos, body lotions, first aid and suncare products, hair and nail accessories, facial and toilet tissue.
Sodhi says it’s been “hectic but fun and enjoyable” running two locations 10 minutes apart. Their Truro location is twice the size of their health centre in Bible Hill, so they’re able to offer a wider selection of products — especially home healthcare products.
Ellis and Sodhi are both dispensing and injection-certified pharmacists, and Ellis is also a Certified Diabetic Educator who works with patients to help them manage their diabetes.
“If you have diabetes, having a Diabetes Educator on your care team provides additional benefits — especially if you take insulin and require adjustments in between appointments with your doctor,” says Ellis.
She says they’ve been “quite pleased with the traffic coming through the store thus far,” and are certainly hoping for more business in the coming months. While some people wonder if they need to be patients of one of the physicians in the building to access the pharmacy, Ellis says that’s not the case.
“We’re here for everybody, and we’re not exclusive to the patients of physicians in this building. Prescriptions can be easily transferred here from any pharmacy,” says Ellis.
Both West End Family PharmaChoice and Village Family PharmaChoice are part of the PharmaChoice banner, which has more than 850 stores across Canada. Sodhi feels West End Family PharmaChoice’s name reflects its location “in the heart of Truro,” as well as the family-focused care that comes with being part of the PharmaChoice group of independent pharmacies.
“When you become a patient at one of our pharmacies, you become part of the family,” says Sodhi. “We will help you in any way we can — just like family!”