In a community as small as Tumbler Ridge (less than 3,000 inhabitants), Tumbler Ridge Pharmacy owners Charissa Tonnesen and Mike Ortynsky enjoy a “captive” audience. “Being the only pharmacy in town has its advantages, the main one being we interact with our customers in the community as well as in our store,” says Tonnesen. “Because of this close association, we can deliver health care effectively and efficiently. We also enjoy a strong working relationship with Tumbler Ridge’s other health care professionals.”
Tonnesen and Ortynsky have developed a “pure” approach to their profession, meaning Tumbler Ridge Pharmacy is just that: a health care resource for prescription-filling and health-related products and services. Tonnesen says, “Other businesses in town do retail. We’re concerned exclusively with the individual’s wellbeing.”
Tumbler Ridge Pharmacy is all things pharmaceutical, period. “Hair dyes, greeting cards, candy – those things can be purchased elsewhere,” says Tonnesen. “Our strength is working with local physicians to take care of health needs - everything from sport injuries to late-life health issues.” Although their store is small, Tonnesen and staff pharmacists Nay and Yeosmize can handle most product requirements via an efficient ordering system. “For example, if you need a wheelchair, we don’t stock them regularly but we can order one,” she says. “We’re a one-stop shop for health care.”
• Cough, cold and herbal products • Ambulatory aids • Bandages and sport braces
Tumbler Ridge has a healthy population balance of the young and old and in between, so Tonnesen and Ortynsky’s services cover the gamut of health care needs. Their pharmacy, which was renovated ten years ago to accommodate a pleasing visual decor, a peaceful waiting area and private counselling room, is a welcoming destination for everyone.
Tonnesen says, “As long-term, respected members of the community, patients come to us not just to fill prescriptions but to seek advice about medications, or to ask for specific compounds, or to plan their long-term health – the latter of which is the reason Mike and I entered this profession to begin with.”
Tumbler Ridge Pharmacy is licensed by the College of Pharmacists of BC. The pharmacy manager is Charissa Tonnesen. Pharmacy practice issues may be reported directly to the College of Pharmacists of BC via their website.