Recognition for essential workers

Connie Arronis. Source: Supplied.

A Sydney community pharmacist has been nominated in News Corp’s Thanks A Million campaign

Connie Arronis, pharmacist manager at Illawong Discount Drug Store, is one of the first people to be nominated in News Corp Australia’s ‘Thanks a Million’ campaign, which it launched just a few days ago.

The campaign aims to “honour those who have put their safety and lives on the line keeping us safe”, inviting readers to show their gratitude to the essential workers who have kept Australia going through the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Arronis, who was nominated by an anonymous customer, told AJP she feels “very humbled and grateful” for the recognition.

“It’s a big honour for me. I don’t even know who it was [that nominated me], so for someone to take the time out of their day to do that is very touching. I’m very grateful for my job,” she said.

It’s been a difficult time working in pharmacy during the pandemic, confirmed Ms Arronis, who has been working in pharmacy since 2014 and at the Illawong DDS for over three years.

“Definitely with Covid it’s brought about many confronting situations and unprecedented challenges in the pharmacy, with customers being apprehensive about what’s going on,” she explained.

“It’s been a very demanding time for the team, it was confronting especially in the early days, but we’ve done our best to reassure each other and the customers with their enquiries,” she said.

Additionally there have been issues with patient stockpiling and “lots of pressure” with stock issues.

“We had massive backorder lists for basic items, as I’m sure other pharmacies did,” said Ms Arronis.

“But we’re doing our best and just working hard to get through it.”

She added, “We were very fortunate to not have any situations with aggression and other abuse to staff, so we’re very grateful in that respect that nothing like that happened to us.”

Her pharmacy has now administered nearly 700 flu vaccinations in store, which is their biggest year on record.

“It’s great to see people are taking on the health advice that the government has suggested and using pharmacy as an avenue for that,” said Ms Arronis.

Other frontline workers who have been named in News Corp’s Thanks A Million campaign include theatre nurse Souraya Farah and Victorian Covid tester Melissa Madden.

“This is your chance to nominate the kind, brave, selfless people who have gone above and beyond this year,” says the publication.

Nominate someone here

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