Michelle Gray, of Kimberley’s Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy, has been recognized by the Professional Compounding Centres of America (PCCA) as their 2022 Canadian Pharmacist of the Year.
Gray has more than 25 years of experience in the field and first opened Gray’s Pharmacy in Kimberley in May of 2013. Gray said she has created the type of work place that allows her to practice pharmacy to her fullest scope of practice, and described the work environment there as one of teamwork, caring and empathetic staff.
“I created various consulting rooms to ensure privacy and allow for a trusting relationship to develop,” Gray said. “I support and develop my staff for their confidence and satisfaction and ability to create the supportive environment our customers have come to expect.”
The PCCA, Gray explained, values and supports independent pharmacies and allows membership solely from dedicated independent owners who are passionate about developing a compounding business in order to serve their patients’ needs.
The Canadian Compounding Pharmacist of the Year award goes to a pharmacist who exemplifies practice innovation, a commitment to education — who strives to support the education of their staff as well as their practitioners and patients with problem solving skills and outside-the-box thinking.
“I was completely surprised by being the recipient of this award,” Gray said. “I thought the winner would know. Then when they announced the winner they played a video collection of many people congratulating me – and had recorded these video testimonials about 6 weeks prior.”
She said all her staff, her family and numerous peers from around the Kootenays all recorded testimonials for her, and although they’d all seen her in the weeks leading up to the award, no one let anything slip, so she was very surprised.
“I am passionate about helping people and using every tool I have developed,” Gray said. “I am proud that my ongoing efforts have been recognized and hope it inspires others to follow my footsteps.”
Gray was recognized at the PCCA Marketing Symposium in London, Ont. earlier in September. It was the first time attending the conference in person for her and her colleague Tiffany Berg. They did a presentation at the Marketing and Sales Symposium, discussing how they’ve been utilizing Black Press Media Impress Articles to create a narrative with the readers in order to foster trust and connection.
They commented on the effectiveness of these articles and the 15-second radio ads that they’ve been running for the past year. She said these have significantly increased the number of people who sought help for the issues she spoke about in the ads, as demonstrated by the number of consultations she booked.
“We found it rewarding after our presentation to have many of the attendees have follow up questions for us and felt that we contributed to their ability to grow their business,” she said.
One of the biggest takeaways from the conference was learning from author Gair Maxwell about making experimental action plans rather than making marketing plans.
“Overall, I am overjoyed to be recognized to be the Canadian Compounding Pharmacist of the Year and to be part of the fabric of the ‘Best Small town in BC’ — Kimberley,” Gray said.