Kornak & Hamm Pharmacy owner Cathie Hamm was the recipient of the 2018 Excellence in Patient Care Award, presented by the BC Pharmacy Association on May 25. Photo submitted

Williams Lake pharmacist recognized for patient care during wildfires

“I just wanted to be part of what was happening.”

Cathie Hamm, a pharmacist and owner of Kornak & Hamm Pharmacy in Williams Lake, is the recipient of the 2018 Excellence in Patient Care Award, presented by the BC Pharmacy Association on May 25.

This award recognizes a B.C. pharmacist who has gone above and beyond for ongoing excellence in patient care in their professional pharmacy practice. During the 2017 wildfire season, Hamm ensured patients trapped in Williams Lake and surrounding areas could get their medications.

“What I’m most proud of is the focus on the client,” Hamm says. “To me, that’s what it’s all about. You do what you can for your patient every day. I make sure things are done right for them; it is my nature to care.”

Last summer as the wildfires burned throughout B.C.’s Interior region and Williams Lake was under alert, no shipments were coming in. Hamm and a friend drove to Prince George and back, making way through roadblocks to bring in required medications for patients trapped nearby. As the devastation continued to worsen, Williams Lake and the surrounding areas were forced into a mandatory evacuation. Despite nearly losing her own home, rescuing her animals and escaping with her family to safety at a friend’s home in Kelowna, Hamm felt a calling to return to town to volunteer during the state of emergency, servicing her patients, community and the surrounding areas.

She returned to an empty Williams Lake and opened up shop, first working alone then joined by other members of her team.

“I just wanted to be part of what was happening,” she says. “We all came together and we all made it through, we were there for each other.”

To see a video, which can be embedded on your website, and find out more about why Hamm won the award visit:https://www.bcpharmacy.ca/news/cathie-hamm

The British Columbia Pharmacy Association is a not-for-profit, voluntary, professional association of pharmacists and pharmacies. It represents more than 3,200 pharmacists and 900 pharmacies throughout B.C.

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