Admired community pharmacist retires after five-decade career.
Newly retired as owner of Kroll’s Pharmacy in Surrey, Lorna Kroll worked as a community pharmacist for 49 years. In 1997, she and her pharmacy team took a bold step when they joined forces with BC Renal, creating what’s become a 25-year specialty in serving kidney patients in addition to the community as a whole.Pioneer of better serving patients in dialysis units
Dan Martinusen, who is chair of the BC Renal Pharmacy & Formulary Committee recalls, “Lorna was one of our original group of pharmacists who stepped up to help BC Renal improve the distribution of pharmaceuticals to our patients.”
He explains what that looked like for patients being treated in dialysis units: “Lorna was one of the first community pharmacists to visit patients in community dialysis units to counsel them in person and understand their needs. She developed a medication delivery system to dialysis units, which maintained confidentiality while improving convenience to patients, and was also timely and cost effective.”
Influenced by caring role models
Right from the beginning, Lorna had inspiring role models in pharmacy service and care. She recalls, “The decision to be a pharmacist was easy for me as it was something I knew about. I grew up in a pharmacy. I started out washing windows and sweeping floors. Dad bought the current pharmacy in 1972. I graduated from pharmacy in 1973 and came to work with mom and dad. Mom was not a pharmacist but a schoolteacher who left her career to work with dad after they married in 1940. I admired the relationship they had with their customers. It was always friendly and warm and caring.”
A broad legacy of care and education
Fast-forward to the 21st century, and Lorna’s values haven’t changed. Lorna says, “What I’m most proud of is the sensitivity and compassion my entire team at Kroll’s Pharmacy has towards our kidney patients.”
Lorna notes her pharmacy delivers medications three times a day to a trio of community dialysis units, which allows Lorna and her team “to see the patients and solve any problems they have. I love to sit with them during their dialysis and listen to what they have to say. I will miss my visits. To make someone laugh and to hold their hand if they are upset is what we are about.”
Dan says Lorna’s contributions extend into academia as well: “Lorna has partnered with me through the years to lecture UBC Pharmacy students to demonstrate the collaborative nature of hospital and community pharmacy to enrich the patient experience through seamless care.”
Lorna adds, “When I speak to the UBC Pharmacy students with Dan, I always emphasize that you have to have empathy for these patients. They have a very difficult disease and treatment that disrupts their entire lives.”
Thinking back on her pharmacy’s entry into dialysis care, Lorna recalls, “There have been so many advances in caring for kidney patients. When we joined in 1997, we were one of the first community pharmacies. It was learn-as-you-go. Over the years, an incredibly strong team developed.”
Lorna calls the BC Renal team, “the most devoted and amazing group of health care professionals. I am so proud to have been part of this.”
Regard for Lorna extends throughout BC. Dr. Kris Poinen, a nephrologist at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria says, “Lorna has been an exemplary pharmacist, role model, advocate and mentor. She has always treated me as family and has been instrumental in who I am today as both a clinician and a person. She’s had an amazing career and I wish her the best in a well-deserved retirement."
Dan adds: “She happens to be one of the nicest people I have had the privilege of knowing.”
Lorna may be leaving Kroll’s Pharmacy but the business’s commitment to kidney patients will remain. Lorna explains her colleague, Rasha Guirguis, will be taking over. “She has been with me for 10 years and has the same heart and mission for the pharmacy as I have.” Lorna adds, “I know that I have left behind a strong team with compassion and strong ethics that will carry on looking after our kidney patients. That is my legacy.”
We extend huge thanks to Lorna for all of her contributions to kidney care in BC. Her dedication to improving processes and to treating patients with empathy and compassion will have a positive impact for decades to come.
Clearly, Lorna’s career and her connection to patients will have a lasting impact on her as well. She says, “This is a very emotional move for me as I love what I do and will miss it with all my heart.”
For BC Renal medication, pharmacy and formulary information, see:
For patients: Medication
For clinicians: Pharmacy & Formulary