NorthShore Health Centers is always growing and seeking ways to make affordable healthcare more accessible around the Region. One of their most recent focuses is expanding their number of pharmacy locations, so that patients in Hammond, Merrillville, and La Porte no longer need to travel to get their 340b-priced medications thanks to brand new pharmacies inside each of those community’s NorthShore clinics.
Of course, with new locations comes a need for more expert staff to take care of every patient’s needs. Felicia Kedziora is one of those team members – having joined the crew early this year. Primarily based out of the Merrillville location, she thrives on helping patients understand their medicines.
“Most of what I do is talking to patients,” she said. “It’s making sure they get their medications, ensuring that everything is correct, that they understand what they’re taking."
Before coming to NorthShore, Kedziora had worked at a corporate pharmacy and saw the stress that high-prices and inflexible payment solutions caused patients. NorthShore is different, and for her it never gets old to see patients' relief at the affordable costs.
“It was saddening to see people rack up credit card debt or go without important medications because prices were so high because of their insurance,” she said. “At Northshore, being a 340b pharmacy with a sliding scale of prices, that doesn’t happen. Helping these patients feels amazing, it’s great to see them get what they need without going over hurdles. We don’t have to fight to get these patients what they need.”
She is also continually impressed by just how convenient it is to have the pharmacy located in the same building as the clinic.
“Every time a patient realizes there’s a pharmacy here, you see how excited they get,” she said. “It’s great to see their faces light up and how excited they are about it, it’s one of my favorite things about working at this location. The clinic’s been here for a while, but the pharmacy is still pretty new, so I get to see that a lot.”
Michael Wichlinski, RPh., is the director of NorthShore’s pharmacies that recruited Kedziora on a recommendation and has been impressed by just how much she embodies their philosophy of patient care.
“Her positive and caring approach to helping people has made her a perfect fit,” he said. “Embracing the NorthShore mission and exemplifying it in your everyday work is exactly what the pharmacy strives for, and Felicia is a great example of that.”
Kedziora has found a lot of joy in working with likeminded people who love what they do and helping patients.
“The entire team at Merrillville is full of amazing, caring people,” she said. “It’s just wonderful coming in to work every day.”
Back in October, NorthShore hosted a costume contest for Halloween – which Kedziora won for her hand-sewed “Hobbit” costume. She was surprised when her boyfriend, Dan Meyer, took the chance to turn her workplace festivities into a much bigger occasion.
“I went through my day, not suspecting anything until I got home,” she said. “That’s when he decided this was his one opportunity to propose to me, dressed as a hobbit, with the One Ring [from Lord of the Rings], which he’d made himself after my jeweler friend coached him.”
NorthShore Health Centers are in the process of adding two more pharmacy locations, one in DeMotte and another in Chesterton by the summer of 2022.To learn more about NorthShore, visit northshorehealth.org.