Supporting communities through the pharmacy


Clockwise: Kalpna Patel, Jane Angel, Mark Butera, Leslie Knauer

The efforts of four individuals underscore how Ahold approaches community pharmacy, showing that the company’s pharmacists are willing to do what it takes to help people stay healthy.

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Jane Angel, a pharmacist at Ahold’s Stop & Shop store in Hicksville, N.Y., is a certified diabetes educator who conducts in-store diabetes management classes and regularly consults with diabetic patients when they pick up their prescriptions.

In addition, she has been a longtime proponent of medication therapy management, having received her MTM certification from the American Pharmacists Association in 2010. Since then, Angel has been doing MTM consultations in her store and remotely for other Stop & Shop pharmacies in Connecticut and New York.

“Jane is fully committed to her patients, and it shows! Her enthusiasm and effort set her apart. We’re so proud to have Jane as a part of our team,” VP pharmacy Brad Dayton said.

Meanwhile, Kalpna Patel, a pharmacist at the Giant store in Gaithersburg, Md., who also has diabetes certification, is referred to by Dayton as “one of our shining stars of patient care and customer service.”

A prime example of this, he said, is her work with a local nursing home in which her pharmacy fills and delivers prescriptions to patients and does periodic “brown bag” medication reviews for the residents.

In addition, Patel is part of the Maryland Department of Health’s Disaster Relief Team, providing mobile pharmacy services in an emergency; is a preceptor at the University of Maryland and Howard University; and talks to middle and high school students interested in a pharmacy career.

“Kalpna embodies everything a pharmacist should be,” Dayton said. “She is committed to her patients, her students and her profession.”

Another Giant pharmacist — Leslie Knauer of Hellertown, Pa. — is described as being passionate about patient care. She has earned certifications in patient-centered diabetes care and anticoagulation, and regularly hosts in-store classes on diabetes, talks extensively with patients about their conditions and, for the past few years, has assembled and distributed gift bags to her diabetic patients during American Diabetes Month.

Recently, Knauer began offering free glucose, blood-pressure and cholesterol screenings, as well as free vaccination reviews.

“Leslie is one of our most passionate pharmacists, and it shows in her approach to patient care,” Dayton said. “She is proof that pharmacists can do much more than just dispense prescriptions.”

That same willingness to go the extra mile can be found in Mark Butera, pharmacy manager at the Stop & Shop in Westfield, Mass.

“What sets Mark apart is his commitment to the community,” Dayton said, focusing on Butera’s passion for educating and helping children and students.

For example, he said, Butera created a “Be a Hero” program in which he teaches preschoolers how to use an Epi-Pen and inhaler, and how to recognize symptoms of low blood sugar.

At the grade and middle school levels, he has participated in numerous career days, letting students experience a pharmacist’s duties by crushing chalk in a mortar and pestle and mixing creams and ointments. For high school students, Butera has served as a career mentor, bringing students into his pharmacy to observe his day-to-day activities.

At the college level, he is a preceptor for the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.

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