Leonard Chan started working in his uncle’s pharmacy, as a volunteer, when he was just a kid. Later he worked in local pharmacies in Mississauga, where he is from, as a part-time and summer job.
When he went to University of Waterloo in 2006, he took a science degree with a pre-health option, and then took a pharmacy degree in the co-op program. Between co-op placements and work in the field since graduating he has worked in a variety of settings, including hospitals and for Health Canada as a program officer in the medical marijuana division.
As his career has progressed he has focused on bringing some of the modern aspects of pharmaceutical medicine to an independent, community based practice.
“Out of all the places I worked, I always found myself drawn back to the community setting and always wanted to open my own Pharmacy one day. Pharmacists are the most accessible health care professionals,” he said, when interviewed a couple of weeks ago as he was putting the finishing touches on the new Inverary Pharmasave.
For the past three and a half years Leonard has been working at the Gananoque Pharmasave as a clinical pharmacist.
Taking the job in Gananoque meant moving to the Kingston area for Leonard and his wife Rachel. The proximity to nature has been a welcome change for the couple, allowing them to enjoy the outdoors more.
“We love the outdoors and often camp, fish and hike in our leisure. It was these hobbies which attracted us to the South Frontenac area as we often canoe at South Frontenac Park and in neighbouring lakes.”
Leonard knew that he wanted to open his own pharmacy at some point, and when he got to know the region a bit better, he saw an opportunity.
“We realised there was a void that could be filled by opening a pharmacy in Inverary, with all the surrounding areas such as Perth Road Village, Battersea, Sunbury, Davidson's Beach and Glenburnie which could potentially utilize our services. The Inverary area is also growing at a rapid pace with the construction of new homes and developments, two new commercial buildings and a recent return of the LCBO outlet.”
The new Inverary Pharmasave is located just south of the hamlet on the east side of the road at 3810 Perth Road, in a new building that is set back from the 24 hour automated gas station.
The pharmacy is open Monday to Friday, from 9am – 6pm. Leonard’s vision of the pharamacy is as more than place to pick up medications, vitamins and household supplies.
“We want to be a healthcare hub, where people come to get advice and utilize some of the services our Pharmacy has to offer,” he said.
Among the services that Inverary Pharmasave are bringing on right away are: smoking cessation counselling; travel health counseling to ensure people are fully prepared and take the right precautions when traveling out of the country; medalign to ensure medications are filled on schedule; and strep throat an urinary tract infection testing.
Also, the store offers MyDNA Personalized Medication Test.
“Everyone has a unique genetic profile determines how their body processes certain medications. Some people process certain medications too quickly and receive little or no benefit. Others process some medications too slowly and have an increased risk of dangerous side effects. The myDNA Medication reports can help us personalise treatment by selecting the medications and doses that may work better for individuals.”
Inveray Pharmasave is also committed to being part of the resurgence of local business in South Frontenac and rural Kingston. As he was setting up the store, Leonard asked around and used social media to find products he could use in the new store.
Among those that he found were farmacy bath and beauty products from Harrowsmith, Litsie Creations from Perth Road who make artisan fabric bags, will be providing flax seed heat packs and maybe epipen bags at the pharmacy. The pharmacy also worked with Westwood Rustic Living of Glenburnie who are making the exterior sign for the store, and Rust and Roses Design, or Elginburg, who make metal signs.
Opening a new store is a big step for Leonard Chan, and along with a baby on the way 2018 is a year of big, positive changes for the Chan family.