Emily Onyekwelu has a passion for helping people. A pharmacist for more than 30 years, she loves educating individuals about not only prescription medication, but also alternative healthcare remedies. At the new E-Z Healthmart Pharmacy in Sanford, Emily won’t be just providing top-notch pharmaceutical services, she will also be getting to know her customers and offering additional services to help improve their overall quality of life.
“We want to offer extra attention to our customers,” Emily says. “People come to us to fill prescriptions, but we have a lot of walk-ins with various concerns about their health and appearance, and we try to offer a variety of products and services to assist them.”
Some of the services E-Z Healthmart Pharmacy will offer include private consultations, long-term care services, diabetic kits, free blood pressure monitoring, travel vaccinations, flu shots and immunization, medical adherence services, medical equipment, and free home delivery. Emily’s pharmacy is also a certified PCCA Compounding Pharmacy, which means the staff can prepare, mix, alter, and package medication for a medication delivery device in accordance with a licensed practitioner’s prescription or medication order.
“It’s an initiative based on the practitioner-patient-pharmacist-compounder relationship in the course of professional practice,” Emily explains. “It’s an innovative way for us to customize medications to fit the needs of our patients.”
The art of compounding utilizes modern medicine while still holding true to the roots of the profession of pharmacy. Emily and her staff can produce unique dosage forms based on patient preferences and restrictions. Examples include dye-free, preservative-free, alcohol-free, and/or sugar-free forms of medications. The pharmacists at E-Z Healthmart Pharmacy are trained in compounding a wide variety of ointments, gels, syrups, suspensions, suppositories, capsules, and other formulations that can make medications easier to take and address special health problems.
“Some individuals have dietary restrictions or can’t swallow medication in pill form,” says Emily. “We provide them with viable options based on their licensed practitioner’s prescription.”
Emily first brought the boutique retail pharmacy concept to a community in New Jersey years ago, but her Sanford location has been in the works for a while. Last year, she and her husband finally made the move.
“We have family in this area, and we love the quality of life here,” Emily says. “I’m keeping the store in New Jersey and will travel up there from time to time, but this is our home now.”
Among the myriad services provided at E-Z Healthmart Pharmacy are elemental tests for walk-ins with possible respiratory conditions, urinary tract infections, colds, the flu, allergies, and more. After tests are administered, the pharmacist will recommend over-the-counter remedies or, if a condition warrants, refer the client to a doctor. Other health products are also available, including cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins, and supplements.
“We talk to our customers about what their concerns are, how they feel, and what options are available to them,” says Emily. “How people think they look is an important factor in their overall happiness, and that’s why we provide cosmetic products and advice. You need to feel good, but you need to feel good about yourself, too.”
For Emily, her pharmacies are an entrepreneurial endeavor, and as a business owner she must wear that hat, but what makes it all worthwhile to her is engaging with people, hearing their concerns, and providing options for making them look and feel healthy.
“I love that I can bring my experience as a pharmacist to the table and offer solutions for overall health and wellness,” she says. “Yes, people need medication, but sometimes variations of these remedies are more beneficial for certain individuals, and we’re here to ensure they get what is best for them in the end.”