Recently, I was having dinner with some people when one of our dinner companions started recounting a harrowing story he went through during his daughter’s illness. Amid the insurance rigamarole, tests, surgeries, waiting and crying, there was a surprising bright spot: the patience and support from his local retail pharmacy.
The diner had us rapt with stories of the dedication and knowledge of the pharmacy employees as well as their support during the entire ordeal. It was a moving moment. His daughter has recovered nicely, and the man is eternally grateful.
I remembered that story when we were planning this month’s cover story on the community impact of retail pharmacies. Sure, pharmacies provide scripts, flu shots and other important services, but the industry as a whole does a lot more for the communities they serve. Many have programs built around service to the community, including supporting local charities, creating educational programs, setting up scholarships and doing free health screenings in underserved neighborhoods.
This month, we are looking at other initiatives that are on the table. “Increasingly, those efforts have focused on diversity, equity and access to healthcare resources as retailers seek to play a role in improving health outcomes in disadvantaged communities,” our contributor writes. “Sustainability also has become more and more important, as many consumers — especially millennials and Gen Zers — now expect companies to take aggressive steps to minimize their impact on the environment.”
Battling on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the approach that retailers have taken toward their community-focused initiatives, the story says. As a result, retailers are thinking about the makeup of their staff as well as the effects of their environmental footprint and social justice stance.
But our cover story merely scratches the surface. We would need more pages and more time to tell you all the ways. And we plan to do just that, but we need your help. We want you to send us personalized stories of individuals or stores that went above and beyond, or even initiatives that made a difference for customers and society in general. We know you have stories, and we want to hear them.