Wegmans pharmacists aren't just employees of Rochester's hometown grocery chain. They're also volunteers. It's not unusual to find them at a senior center or assisted living facility, helping older adults review their prescriptions and sort through their medications. The man behind this mission, is George Dreschler.
George retired from Wegmans more than a decade ago after a career as a pharmacist, and then director of the store's employee assistance program. In the late 1990's, with the help of Lifespan, he founded the Brown Bag Prescription Review Program. "I think it's wonderful," George says. "It makes me feel very good. I debated what I wanted to do as a volunteer, and I wanted to do something that would give back to the community. This is the best way I can do that."
The newest generation of Wegmans pharmacists know they owe George a professional debt. Ten years ago, there was no law that required pharmacists to talk with customers about their prescriptions. Seniors are especially vulnerable because they take the most medications. "It's so important that they know what they're taking," says Emily Semrau, pharmacist at the Chili Paul Wegmans. "It can be quite overwhelming. Having a relationship with your pharmacist can help bridge the gap."
Now in his '80's, George still oversees the prescription review program for Lifespan. He's always pushed for a strong relationship between pharmacist and patient, so that seniors may benefit.
Lifespan will host a free prescription review event on September 21st from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1900 South Clinton Avenue. You must pre-register to attend. For more information, call Mary Bath Gueldner at (585) 244-8400 ext. 128 or Marian Bauman-O'Dell at (585) 244-8400 ext. 210.