To be highlighted in public as a frontline hero is a huge win for community pharmacies, says pharmacist recognised by News Corp
Irfan Hashmi, a community pharmacist and proprietor from South Australia, has been highlighted by News Corp as a ‘local hero’ in its Pride of Australia – Thanks A Million campaign.
Mr Hashmi was recognised for going above and beyond for his community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist from Cumberland Park and owner of the Aussie Discount Chemist chain provided free medical deliveries, free flu vaccinations, hand sanitisers, masks, water bottles and other crucial health services to the most vulnerable in his community.
“It’s a huge win for the community pharmacies to be highlighted in public as a frontline hero, which will encourage other community pharmacists who already doing wonderful work in their communities,” Mr Hashmi told AJP.
“The challenges we faced were very demanding as we were going out in the community to do flu clinics and to carry out these services we needed to make sure we were prepared and all staff were trained.”
There were also further challenges getting locums in rural pharmacies to fill in from interstate.
Mr Hashmi’s pharmacy went to great lengths to distribute and administer flu vaccines to patients from minority backgrounds.
“In these times of uncertainty, we vaccinated international students and family members of recently arrived immigrants. We partnered with different community organisations and it was a rewarding experience as it helped us to connect to people from different cultures,” he said.
“The recognition by NewsCorp in Thanks a Million campaign is an achievement as a professional and gives us great pleasure to be able to be known for a service we provided free of charge.”
News Corp Australasia community ambassador Penny Fowler said: “We are proud to shine a light on the unsung heroes who selflessly stepped up to take care of our community through our darkest year.
“We thank them for their courage, bravery and sacrifice.”
Mr Hashmi is not the only community pharmacist to be recognised over the past year.
Connie Arronis, pharmacist manager at Illawong Discount Drug Store, was one of the first people to be nominated in News Corp Australia’s ‘Thanks a Million’ campaign in 2020.
The Thanks a Million campaign is now in its 16th year.