The crowd at the December Senior Holiday Luncheon couldn’t have been happier. The food at the Senior Holiday Luncheon was excellent, there was a raffle, several attendees got on the stage to hustle along Hustle Class instructor Lady P, many joined Grandmont Rosedale resident Cora Duncan-Foster in some yoga, and all left with a goodie bag, compliments of United Pharmacy Rx, 15808 Plymouth Road. Hosted by GRDC’s Crime Prevention Task Force, this was the second celebration of Grandmont Rosedale’s seniors. The first celebration was so well-attended, GRDC’s Community Engagement Manager Kitty Yarbrough had to move it to the North Rosedale Park Community House, a venue that could accommodate the large crowd.
There are several details to hosting such an event, and much of the workload was eased by Omar Hashem’s offer to provide the food and goodie bags. Omar is a licensed pharmacy technician and owner or United Pharmacy Rx. He has a great deal of experience in hosting successful senior events. With a commitment to providing Detroit seniors with personal care, Omar and Dominique Weaver-Jimerson, the Human Resources Manager of United Pharmacy Rx, hold monthly events at four senior apartment buildings in Detroit and Highland Park. While these events regularly feature food, music, and giveaway bags, Omar’s focus is to establish relationships with the seniors he sees. “So often people in the health care industry are so focused on volume,” Omar says. “What we provide is nothing fancy. It’s customer service.” Building relationships takes time, though, which is not something many people in the health industry have a lot of.
BUILDING TRUST, BUILDING COMMUNITY
Omar understands that time and consistency are needed to establish trusted relationships with customers. Seniors are aware that they can be vulnerable in a number of ways, and so they sometimes hesitate to start new relationships. The best way Omar knows how to establish relationships is to spend time with people in a place where they feel comfortable doing something they enjoy. Omar brags that his employees are “friendly, helpful, and smart. We all know our customers’ names. And they know ours.” The event at the Community House was a little unusual for Omar as most of the time he and Dominique host social events in the community room of senior housing buildings. The Community House is a social center of Grandmont Rosedale and a lovely place to have a party. “The luncheon was a wonderful success,” says Kitty. “United Pharmacy Rx’s contribution of food and goodie bags was awesome! The guests loved it!”
GETTING TO KNOW GRANDMONT ROSEDALE SENIORS
Omar learned his particular approach by paying attention to what didn’t work. “When I first started going to senior buildings, I didn’t know what to expect.” Early on, Omar visited the buildings with a doctor who “gave a spiel. It was too aggressive.” The seniors were not interested. The next time, Omar began by speaking with the service coordinator of the building to ask what the residents needed. Omar held a social event with food, music, bingo, and no sales pitch. Then he came back the following month, and the next. Slowly, over time, the residents came to trust Omar and he learned what they needed and wanted in their pharmacy. “It’s about the people, the community – about solving problems and issues together,” says Omar. By the time Omar came to Grandmont Rosedale to help out with our Senior Holiday Luncheon, he knew that “the community will teach you what they want and need, but you have to be present and patient to learn.” The Senior Holiday Luncheon was an afternoon of good food, good company, music, movement, and building community with our seniors. Creating community takes time. United Pharmacy Rx is not in a hurry.
You can contact United Pharmacy Rx at 313.836.2222.