William Poggemiller, left, Managing Partner of Rimbey Guardian Drug Mart, is leaving the pharmacy for a new job with Alberta Health Services. Interim pharmacist John Minkov, right, will be working alonside prescribing pharmacist Emily Wong until a permanent replacement is found. Leah Bousfield photo.
After five-and-a-half years as managing partner of Rimbey Guardian Drug Mart, pharmacist William Poggemiller has made the tough decision to leave community pharmacy.
“This has been a really hard decision for me, and I’m going to miss everyone. But my new job with Alberta Health Services will allow for a better work-life balance, and hopefully less stress. When you’re a small town community pharmacist, the work never ends,” he says.
William moved to Alberta from Ontario in August 2017 and took over the managing partner role from Patrick Rurka in December of that year.
“As a first-time manager I had a lot to learn. I was very lucky to have five months of mentorship from Patrick Rurka, and from Rubicon Pharmacies, which was a pharmacist led ownership group.”
Because pharmacists in Alberta have a larger scope of practice than pharmacists in Ontario, William also had to earn his prescribing pharmacist authorization. Developing those skills helped make a real impact for Rimbey residents.
“It’s a privilege to be part of a patient’s health care team, and that’s something that’s very special to every community pharmacist. A patient may ask for clarification on something the doctor said, or have questions they didn’t feel comfortable asking,” he says. “It’s a beautiful thing to see a patient through their healthy years, and to keep them as healthy and comfortable as possible as they age. Sometimes family members will even bring in flowers when a loved one passes on to thank us for our care over the years.”
5 years, many accomplishments
The staff at Rimbey Guardian Drug Mart have overcome a number of challenges over the past five years as well. There was the banner change from ‘Value’ to ‘Guardian,’ retirements and maternity leaves, new pharmacy openings, and of course, the pandemic.
“I had to lay people off and then rehire them, there were drug shortages, and then when we first got the vaccine I was giving 100 shots a day. Many of our patients weren’t tech-savvy enough to book appointments online, but it was a fun challenge to find ways to ensure they had access to care.”
William’s new job will have him filling in at hospital pharmacies throughout Central Alberta, so if you run into him, be sure to say hello.
“This is a really special community, and I want to thank everyone for their kindness and support over the years.”
Meet interim pharmacist John Minkov
While William’s replacement is being found, pharmacist John Minkov will be working alongside prescribing pharmacist Emily Wong. John has three years of community pharmacy experience, and graduated from the University of Alberta in May.
“So far it’s been going well — everyone’s been very welcoming, and I know it will only get better as I get more familiar with patients. I know I can make a positive impact in people’s lives here,” John says.
John lives in Sylvan Lake, and also works at a pharmacy in Innisfail. When he’s not working, he enjoys watching sports like soccer, hockey and basketball, and getting out on the lake (he’s dreaming of buying a jetski).
“I was ready to leave the big city and try something new. I’m really enjoying living in Central Alberta, and could see myself being here for a long time.”
Find the dedicated staff of Rimbey Guardian Drug Mart at 4917-50 Ave., open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Free delivery is available to many surrounding communities on a weekly basis. To keep up with the latest news, follow them on Facebook.