Lights Of Hope

Medical Arts Supports Lights of Hope Campaign


The annual Lights of Hope campaign was a success thanks to the number of generous donations from the community.  The Religious Hospitalers of St. Joseph Health Centre of Cornwall Fund raises funds to support and improve services at the St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre.  As in passed years, Medical Arts Pharmacy has made a generous donation to this  initiative.

Lights Of Hope-2017-2


Our Brand – Our Story

Medical Arts: Community pharmacy with a “difference”

Stepping through the doors at Medical Arts – the locally owned, two-location pharmacy launched in the 1950s – one immediately notices a difference. It’s the pharmacists. They’re up front and at eye level without having to walk through aisles of groceries, gift items, greeting cards or cosmetics.

“That’s because our focus is entirely healthcare,”
says pharmacist Harry Haramis, as he begins to explain differences “unseen” by the naked eye.

Broadly, Medical Arts has two healthcare business units: The community pharmacy team (what you see when you walk in through the door) and the nursing home team, which you never see because it’s active in a private workspace dedicated to serving 18 personal care residences.

“Personal care residence” refers to the many kinds of facilities Medical Arts serves: Long-term and complex care – such as St. Joseph’s on York – as well as retirement homes and Cornwall Hospice. Medical Arts specializes in all these, supporting nursing teams and residents in Maxville, Cornwall and Akwesasne. But the pharmacists also make house calls for people who need help in their private homes.

In total, Medical Arts serves hundreds of customers daily. No wonder the pharmacy employs more than 50 people, including six fulltime pharmacists, some of whom are also certified geriatric specialists, diabetes educators and menopause consultants.

The Medical Arts “difference” becomes even more tangible after touring the compounding lab and the sterile intravenous preparation lab, the latter that can reduce the burden on the hospital’s ER by keeping people “out” of the hospital.

“Imagine how stressful it would be to transport a frail, elderly person from their long-term care bed, by ambulance, when what they need is IV hydration or an IV antibiotic, says pharmacist Josée Lemay. “We’re on duty 24/7/365, and because we live locally, we can attend a life-threatening crisis very quickly.”

It’s a fascinating tour, but to wrap it up, pharmacist Suzie Pilon talks about the team: People are aware of pharmacists’ expanded scope of practice, which includes everything from prescribing to administering vaccines. But our pharmacists would not be able to fully embrace these responsibilities if it weren’t for the registered technicians who are accountable for much of the work pharmacists used to do.

Medical Arts is also the only pharmacy from Brockville to Valleyfield that serves the needs of hundreds of people in SDG who live with ostomies, and the first to launch a bilingual ecommerce website:

golf bags

A Thank You from the Alzheimer Society

Medical Arts Pharmacy recently participated in the 17th Annual Alzheimer Society Golf Tournament. Here is what they sent us:

On behalf of the entire staff of the Alzheimer Society of Cornwall & District, along with the many families, caregivers and those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, we offer our heartfelt thanks for your generosity and support for our 17th Annual Alzheimer Society Golf Tournament this past weekend. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to raise over $21,000!

Revved and ready to use Drive-Thru

If it’s at Medical Arts, there are KEYS for success

Vroom, vroom. From coffee, to donuts, banking and dry cleaning, we live in a drive-thru world. Do you know you can even get married in a drive-thru? It’s true, but only in Las Vegas.  So if drive-thru is so common, why did Medical Arts Pharmacy pull down its drive-thru sign at 13th St. last week and put up one that says One Hour Rx? Don’t pharmacists just count pills, slap on a label and hand it out the window?

“That’s a widely held misperception,” says pharmacist Harry Haramis.    “We have computer technology and technicians to count pills.”

Haramis explains that changing the drive-thru sign was a business decision based on evidence from pharmacies and customers all over North America. It turns out drive-thru has proved a bit of a misnomer and in certain situations can cause undo stress on both pharmacists and customers.

“Pharmacy services are individualized,” Haramis says, adding that businesses best suited for drive-thru are those that have standardized products – like donuts – that require no instructions for use.  “You can imagine that helping a person learn to inject their insulin, measure their blood sugar, or use an asthma inhaler means face-to-face discussion is essential,” says Haramis, “And these are situations where coming  inside the pharmacy is important.  However, if you’ve been using your insulin or your inhaler for a long time, picking it up at the window is perfectly fine.”

In other words, a pharmacy drivethru is best suited for

  • Dropping off new prescriptions,
  • Picking up one’s regular prescriptions.
drive-thru widow
1 hour Drive-Thru window at Medical Arts Pharmacy, 13th Street Cornwall, ON

That’s why the service has been renamed One Hour Rx. It means that rather than waiting at the window, customers must return at the appropriate time.  But does that mean it takes longer to get a drive-thru prescription filled? The answer is No.

“All prescriptions are treated equally,” says Haramis. “Our goal with One Hour Rx is simply to help manage customer expectations so people
aren’t frustrated by having to sit in their cars in a line up outside the window.”

And this is because there are many steps involved in preparing a prescription, as well as many people and technologies employed along the way.  Some of the steps that require a pharmacist’s expertise involve:

  • Translating the doctor’s orders (drug, dose, timing etc.)
  • Reviewing the person’s computerized medication history,
  • Assessing whether there are any drug allergies or drug interactions,
  • Investigating whether special packaging is required, and
  • Determining whether the medication is covered by insurance or paid for by the government.

Bottom line, says Haramis, a pharmacist’s role is to ensure the best  and safest use of medication, and quality takes time.

Remembering Rodolphe Struthers 1926 – 2016

rodolphe struthers


Rodolphe Struthers was born in Cornwall, Ontario on January 9, 1926. He was the sixth child of 10 children. In October 1944 he joined the Canadian Army and served in Canada, the United Kingdom and Continental Europe until September 1946.

After leaving the armed services, he returned to his former job as a delivery boy at Ruest Drug Store. He next took a clerks job at Tamblyn’s Drug Store. In 1950, he married Rita Fortier, and with her encouragement he continued to work at Tamblyn’s Drug Store while taking the necessary correspondence courses to enter the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. In 1954 he received his Bachelor of Pharmacy and promptly sent a telegram to his wife stating, “Rita stop working, I’m graduating!” By then they had two children and over the years three others followed.

After graduation, Rodolphe accepted a pharmacist position with McNabb’s Drug store in Cornwall. Following Mr. McNabb’s passing, his wife offered Rodolphe the business which he operated under his own name as “Struthers’ Pharmacy”. During these years, Rodolphe and Rita had a custom home built on Guy Street where they raised five children.

In the 1970’s, Rodolphe accepted a partnership with Medical Arts Pharmacy, which at the time, operated four locations: the Pitt Street store, the Montreal Road store, the Maxville store as well as a clinic in Akwesasne. Sharing a business meant Rodolphe was now able to enjoy a little more time off for a good game of golf. Rodolphe’s three daughters had student jobs at the stores along with lots of fond memories of the people they served and worked with. At 63, Rodolphe sold his share of the business and retired. He enjoyed being part of Medical Arts Pharmacy and the many people he encountered and worked with.

For many years following, Rodolphe continued to be an active member with his church and committees. Together, Rita and Rodolphe enjoyed golf, traveling and many special gatherings with family and friends. Rodolphe was happiest when he could get away to his workshop where his woodworking projects were built and later treasured by his children and grandchildren.

In his later years, Rodolphe was afflicted with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and sadly in 2015, after 65 years of marriage with Rita, their home was sold and Rodolphe was admitted to the Pearly and Rideau Veterans’ Health Care Centre in Ottawa. Rodolphe passed away at 90 years of age on June 30, 2016 surrounded by his family.

– Submitted by the Struthers family