When Myles Haverluck started the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy some 40 years ago, the focus was on providing comprehensive and high-quality customer service. That focus remains today.
By donalee Moulton
Photos by Todd Pederson
Delivering on the promise made in 1979 requires a cohesive and committed team. “None of us can do this by ourselves. Together we work to meet the needs of our customers,” says Haverluck, the Dauphin, Manitoba pharmacy’s chief executive officer.
Going the extra mile for the roughly 20,000 customers in the pharmacy’s draw area is second nature for the team. Many of the staff have certification in areas such as orthotic filters, asthma education, and smoking cessation. “We started doing mastectomy fitting, for example, because no one else in the community offered this. We were trying to fill a need,” says Haverluck.
Half of the pharmacy’s 10 pharmacists have also travelled to Houston for specialized training through the Professional Compounding Centers of America. “There is a demand for this type of service,” says Haverluck. “When an off-the-shelf medication won’t work, we can create a compounded version. Working with a patient’s doctor, we make a medication from scratch to meet specific needs.”
Drug shortages drive demand for alternatives, and older patients, including those in personal care homes, often prefer transdermal creams or liquid medication to pills. Compounding also comes in handy when patients need a specific strength of a medication that isn’t commercially available or have allergies to preservatives, perfumes, flavours and dyes. The Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy team can also replicate many medications that are not available anymore. “There are lots of cool things you can do,” says Haverluck.
Some of those include preparation of hormone treatments for both men and women. Under the direction of a physician, the pharmacy team can compound hormone creams, troches, capsules, suppositories and other dosage forms to help balance hormones. As well, the pharmacists can make small-dose forms, low-dose forms, and flavoured dosages for children. They also work with local doctors to help treat pain. “We can take oral pain medications and make them into one that can be rubbed on the skin and go directly to the sore joint,” notes Haverluck. “We can take medications that are usually reserved for injections and use them topically to treat painful nerve pain or neuropathic pain conditions.”
While the options are numerous, and patients appreciative, the financial benefits of compounding are not as positive – and that’s just fine with Haverluck. “I didn’t go into pharmacy for money. It’s about much more than that,” he says.
A pharmacy built on a caring philosophy
The University of Manitoba pharmacy graduate has a personal philosophy that has guided him since he first opened his store in 1979. “I want staff to feel, ‘This is where I want to work.’ I want customers to see us as a pharmacy that cares about our community.”
The latter is evident in numerous ways. The pharmacy, the only independent and the largest in the area, is a familiar face in the community. It regularly sponsors local events such as the Manitoba Curling Tour Championship, held earlier this year. Most of the pharmacy staff are also residents of the community and take pride in their roots. “We live in Dauphin and care about Dauphin. We try to give back,” says Haverluck. “It’s home.”
Giving back is also the philosophy that drives customer service. Needs are identified – and met. The pharmacy, for example, expanded to meet patient needs. It is fully wheelchair-accessible with automatic opening doors from a spacious foyer that connects it to the Dauphin Medical Clinic. For customer convenience, there is a walk-in clinic located directly in the pharmacy as well as a new compounding lab where patients can watch the pharmacy’s compounding specialists make their custom prescriptions. A spacious private room is available for fittings of mastectomy products, compression stockings and other orthotic supports.
“Our new facility was built to show our confidence in Dauphin and the surrounding areas. We are moving forward to serve our customers better,” says Haverluck.
Medication delivery is another example of that customer commitment. To enhance convenience, the pharmacy now has two drive-thru windows so young children don’t have to be removed from car seats and patients with mobility problems or those feeling ill can remain in the comfort of their cars. Free delivery of medication within the Dauphin city limits is available seven days a week, while a free rural delivery network operates Tuesday through Friday.
“We’re selling the same products as other pharmacies. What’s different is how that product is provided and the service that surrounds it,” says Haverluck. “That personalized, professional service is what defines us.”