We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Michel Daher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Daher, how does your business help the community?
My businesses, Pax Pharmacy I and II, are independent owned community pharmacies. One is a regular walk-in style retail pharmacy, the other a closed door “Long Term Care” pharmacy. Both are unique in that they target a few key demographics. Both take student pharmacists to train, as I feel it’s important to educate the next generation of pharmacists who will eventually be taking care of me.
Our open door pharmacy works closely with the City of Hope National Cancer Center. When I took my board exams, I thought that would be the end of my hate-hate relationship with oncology, however I was mistaken. We are an important part of the treatment team in making sure patients get their medications covered, filled, and delivered on time. Dealing with the cancer population is extremely rewarding, but also extremely tough. It’s a blessing to be able to care for this population as they need a lot of help and their caregivers (sometimes family, sometimes others) rely on us to assist them heavily. Pax offers free delivery, free mail, free mail currier, and we deliver to the bedside/hospital so patients can get their medications with one less stop on the way home. The hardest part is we lose patients often. One thing I enjoy the most in this profession is the hands on care and the personal relationship I get to develop with my patients. It can be emotional in seeing others fight for their lives and it makes you ponder your own mortality. I truly believe I was placed here to help, regardless of the emotional toll it can be on myself and staff.
From our long term care side, we service nursing homes with specialized cards for medications, required forms for medication administration, and again free delivery and billing once monthly. This population is for those who have retired and also require specialized nurses or caregivers to attend to their health. Rather than a nursing home having multiple pharmacies or families deliver medications for each patient, it is on us to take care of the nursing home to provide simplicity for those caregivers. We cycle all medications to deliver once a month, with the exception being any stat medication like antibiotics or pain medications. It’s an honor to assist patients by packaging their medications in a simple manner, and delivering so it’s one less thing required to worry about.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business is family owned. I run this pharmacy with staff from my fathers pharmacy, meaning I have known some of my employees for about 20 years. We don’t believe in required automation, meaning if someone would like to use our automated services for simplicity, great, but it’s not required. A live person answers phones, help is always professional and courteous, and we pride ourselves on the relationships that have made us successful. I am here today because of my parents believing in me and allowing me to build my practice from just myself to requiring about 15 employees full time. I got here with a mix of skill, location, and luck. I credit my professors and preceptors for instilling me with a deep passion and knowledge about medications and therapeutics. I credit being in an area with people who want to work with a small “mom and pop shop” vs. a chain pharmacy, and I credit those with trusting me with their health and telling others to join us.
Ease is a very subjective term. My father told me once “never be afraid of competition” and I took it to heart. I love playing sports and have always had a competitive nature, so I just never allowed myself to be outworked. I am always trying to grow, always empowering my staff to help us grow, and trying to give back to the community as best I can.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents. My father was a pharmacist and I wanted nothing more than to follow in his footsteps. My mother always took my calls when I was panicked about an exam in school and was always there to support me emotionally.
Dr. Harleen Singh, PharmD. My mentor who trained me in Ambulatory care and was my residency director. Her guidance and friendship provided invaluable experiences necessary to get me where I am today.