Co-Op City Pharmacy’s Makhover brings heart to community

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Co-Op City Pharmacy’s Makhover brings heart to community

By David Salazar - 08/07/2017
For Bronx, N.Y.-based Co-Op City Pharmacy’s Biana Makhover, Cardinal Health RBC 2017 kicked off with a surprise. Under the guise of filming stock footage, Cardinal Health had earlier visited her pharmacy and talked to her patients. They then screened the resulting video, “Heart of a Community,” at the RBC 2017 Opening Session on Thursday, July 27.

“This year at RBC 2017, we decided to spotlight independent pharmacists’ commitment through one pharmacist's story,” Cardinal Health SVP of independent sales, Steve Lawrence, said when he introduced the video. In the video, one of Makhover’s patients, a man named Joseph, shares the story of how Makhover’s counsel as a pharmacist helped him recover from an addiction to prescription painkillers.

“I've known Biana for five or six years, and the Co-Op City Pharmacy helped me get to a point in my life where I didn't want to live the way I was living because I was stuck on pain management medication,” Joseph said. “Whenever I went in there, I felt such a trust with them — they accepted me for who I was. Biana was the best thing to happen to me when I was going through what I was going through. That pharmacy, wholeheartedly, helped me get to where I'm at today.”

Other patients interviewed highlighted Makhover’s efforts to personalize a patient’s medication to improve adherence, including one caregiver who said Makhover made taking upward of 10 medications a day as easy as possible for the caregiver’s autistic granddaughter. Another patient detailed the way Makhover consoled her while she filled a prescription following her husband’s death, encouraging the pharmacy staff to console the patient as well.

“She filled the prescription. But she came out, kissed me and hugged me, and told me if I needed them for anything to let her know,” the patient said. “And then everybody came from behind the counter, surrounding me. It was something I really needed at the time.”

When Makhover took the stage, she said that providing care to patients beyond filling their prescription is as integral to improving their health as providing their medications — particularly as an independent pharmacist.

“I could’ve worked in a chain. I could've worked in a hospital, but the thing about private retail is that it's person-to-person,” she said. “Medicine is a cure, but care in conjunction with medicine is in my opinion the true cure. It makes me feel good to know that I can actually bring some relief to somebody's life.”

She also told attendees that the work independent pharmacists do collectively had the potential to bring positive changes to the world. “As caregivers, I think we all need to focus on giving that care and not just filling medications,” she said. “I think if -collectively - we all show compassion, which we are all born with, I think it would make not only our world a better place, but our country's health much better.”

Indeed, Lawrence noted that Makhover’s story, while exceptional, was also an example of the work that independent pharmacists do every day.

“There's one thing that unites all of you — your unwavering dedication to your patients,” he said. “Every day you demonstrate a level of support and commitment that elevates health care in your communities.”

Photos courtesy of Alabastro Photography

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