New pharmacy open for business

Duane Hicks

The Rainy Lake First Nations Pharmacy has opened its doors at the Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre on Couchiching.
A partnership between the Rainy Lake Tribal Development Corp. and pharmacist Edwin Bruyere, the new business had a soft opening last week but held its grand opening this afternoon.
In an interview this morning, Bruyere said he’s been very pleased with the response from the public so far.
“So far, it’s exceeded the expectations I had,” he remarked.
“I didn’t set the bar very high because I don’t want to get my sights set too high,” he admitted.
“But it was definitely more productive than I thought it was going to be, so that’s encouraging,” Bruyere added.
In addition to pharmacy customers, Bruyere said many people have been coming by just to see the place and show their support.
“I knew there was support there, but it’s quite visible to me now,” he noted.
The new pharmacy helps make the health access centre a place for “one-stop shopping.”
But Bruyere stressed the pharmacy is like any other one, and is “for anyone”—not just people utilizing the health access centre services.
It is open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and again Friday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
The Rainy Lake First Nations Pharmacy has been built as an expansion onto the health access centre. It has an entrance connected to that building, as well as a separate one outside.
The 800 sq. ft. business consists of a security area, dispensing area, preparation area, and counselling office.
The business was built by local contractors True Line Construction and Trevor Strom Contracting.
In addition to being a new chapter in Bruyere’s career, the venture also helps diversify the Rainy Lake Tribal Development Corp.’s investments.
As well, it addresses some of the concerns raised by a 2007 economic impact study which indicated Rainy Lake First Nations should try to retain some funds within the community instead of just being consumers.
The RLTDC’s other economic investments include the Landmark Inn in Thunder Bay, Rainy Lake Tribal Contracting, Rainy Lake Logistics, and Rainy Lake First Peoples Insurance.