Jeff Digre, Pharmacist, at home with his wife Monica Digre, Teacher, at home with their two children.
"I am a Pharmacist in a diverse community retail setting. My interactions run the gamut, from immigrants and refugees navigating a new world, to disadvantaged low-income Americans living day-to-day; from young urban educated professionals, to older Minnesotans whose grandparents lived in these neighborhoods back before the interstate divided the communities.
I wish people better understood that pharmacists are on the side of people they serve. We are here to protect you from the predation of businesses, which history has shown will sell you products and information that can be misleading and detrimental to your health and well-being. In my view, the role of the pharmacist in the community is to empower every person to achieve optimal quality of life and longevity through appropriate use of safe and effective medicines. Safety and efficacy are what guide every decision and interaction in my day-to-day work.
My older colleagues were instrumental early in the pandemic in helping prepare me for how I would change as a pharmacist. I remember conversations on how it was becoming clear that the pandemic would be a life-changing event - an event that would change how we practice and lead in the community. The pandemic immediately forced me to take a strong leadership role in my workplace. Everyday at work I would consider every action I took as leading-by-example. In my opinion, my employer was slow to react and change to new information, which caused a lot of internal frustration and anger.
I chose to focus on what I could do in my small corner of the world: I advocated for early adoption of mask-wearing in the workplace, I communicated with patients and providers on the need to safely ration medications that were in danger of shortage due to panic buying, I focused on countering misinformation in the community and workplace, and I helped patients navigate a health care system that had become even more complex amid the pandemic."