Report and video by Alicia Fox
For the last two years, the Bruderheim Town Council has been tireless in its efforts to better the lives of local residents.
Its most recent initiatives opened the doors to a new pharmacy in town, which has an attached clinic as a potential space for a new physician.
On Sept. 9, Bruderheim Town Council and residents came out to show their support for Ehab Mohammed, pharmacist and owner of Bruderheim Pharmacy, at a celebration of the grand opening and ribbon-cutting of the community’s new pharmacy.
Patty Podoborozny, Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Bruderheim, said they have been looking at what avenues should be taken in their efforts to bring a doctor to town, which is one of Council’s key objectives.
“It’s not just about finding a pharmacist,” Podoborozny adds. “It’s about finding the right person.
Mohammed is currently working on his Additional Prescribing Authority (APA), which will allow him to write new prescriptions rather than just fill them in an emergency situation, let him adapt dosage as needed, or renew regular prescriptions on the drug list.
He expects his APA will come through within a matter of weeks. Meanwhile, he will keep his prices reasonable and his service excellent, even if it means home-delivery.
“I will go above and beyond,” he said.
The short jaunt downtown is much better than the previous option of a 20-minute trip to Fort Saskatchewan or 10-minutes to Lamont, especially for single-vehicle families or seniors who cannot drive. These are also the closest locations of a physician, and according to other towns in a similar situation, having a pharmacy to support those physicians is crucial.
“We want to be able to keep people in the community longer, and the only way to do that and be sustainable is to provide basic services of life,” Podoborozny said, adding they have also connected with their MLA who has been active in advocating for them.
Resident Amanda Oldfield-West said she has loved the convenience of having a local pharmacy.
“I don’t have to load up my three kids and I get to save money on gas,” she said, adding a local doctor would be very beneficial.
The Town has also partnered with the Primary Care Network (PCN) to bring in a variety of educational sessions into the community, which add to the services available to not only the 1350 residents but the surrounding rural area as well.
For a doctor looking for a part-time position in a staffed and fully-equipped clinic, provided by the Town, Bruderheim may be the perfect location.
Judy Schueler, deputy mayor, says rural communities provide a quality of life not found elsewhere.
“It’s not all about money, it’s about lifestyle now,” she said, adding a work-life balance is becoming increasingly important. “I think that’s what this (opportunity) will probably give somebody.”