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Alumni Help First Responders

Published on 25 June 2020

In response to social distancing recommendations, Brooke (Lawrence) Aldrich, Pharm.D. ’12, and Nathan Aldrich, Pharm.D. ’12, pharmacists and owners of Lawrence Drug and Compounding Lab, are making changes to help their community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To continue to provide services to their community while protecting the health and safety of their staff, the pharmacy has condensed its hours to provide more time for sanitization.

“We have been encouraging our patients to utilize our delivery service or curbside pickup option,” Nathan said.

Also, a friend of the pharmacy sewed masks for the entire staff to ensure they were protected while serving patients.

“We have a friendly community atmosphere here,” Brooke said. "We know our patients by first name, and we’ve seen an outpouring of community support during this time."

Each week, the pair fill a whiteboard in the breakroom with comments from patients who are grateful for their team’s hard work.

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“It’s nice to see positive feedback on the board and it gives our team a chance to see how much they are appreciated,” Brooke said. “It’s a morale booster during this time to know that we are making a difference.”

The Aldriches acknowledge that social distancing has made it difficult to maintain a personal approach, but through outreach phone calls and creative methods, they have been able to maintain the friendly spirit rooted in their pharmacy operations.

“When we fill a prescription for our patients, we check in to see how they are holding up during this time,” Nathan said. “Even if they aren’t actively receiving medications from us, we are calling to check in because we know some of our patients are at home alone, and they may need someone to talk to.”

Brooke added, “When our patients come into the pharmacy, they tell us all about their lives, and it’s a place to socialize. Through the outreach calls, we’re able to continue to be there for them.”

In addition to making outreach phone calls, the pharmacy is hosting a hand sanitizer drive for first responders in Springfield and Ozark, Missouri.

“We started out wanting to compound hand sanitizer for the community at a price that was affordable for everyone,” Nathan said. “Once Brooke heard that the fire department, which is located behind the Springfield store, didn’t have any hand sanitizer, she had the idea of asking customers to name their own price when purchasing a bottle of our compounded hand sanitizer and using the profits to go toward making additional hand sanitizer to donate to first responders.”

Since they began, the scope of the fundraiser has expanded with the community’s support. The pharmacy has donated 1,100 bottles of hand sanitizer to the local police, fire and emergency medical service departments in Ozark and Springfield, Missouri.

“We have a lot of awesome patients who have stepped up to the plate and helped make our donations possible,” Brooke said. “It has been fun to see the people at home get excited and engaged in the community without leaving the house.”

Obtaining materials has been challenging, but with support from their community, the Aldriches have been able to acquire the necessary supplies to produce hand sanitizer to donate.

“A lot of people want to help, but don’t know how,” Nathan said. “Not everyone can sew a mask or volunteer at the hospital, so the best thing they can do is to stay home and stay safe. Luckily, we can help with this need, and we felt called to step up and do what we can.”


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