Hannah Mann always thought her career path was laid out for her. Finish her degree in hospital pharmacy, find a job in inner city Perth and live out her ambition of providing medicine to those who require it. That was until she headed north on a work placement trip to the coastal town of Broome.
Within two weeks, Hannah decided she had found her calling to help people who truly needed it and with that, packed up her life in Perth and settled into the rural Kimberley region of Western Australia - playing the crucial role of a community pharmacist specialising in Aboriginal health.
Fast-forward almost a decade and Hannah is now a director of ANZ customer, Kimberly Pharmacy Services. With outlets in Broome, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and Kununurra, Hannah and her staff provide medication and education to patients and health professionals across more than 20 remote communities.
While Hannah’s passion is a crucial element to the success of her business, her model is centered on engagement with patients and clinics to help understand the demands of all those involved.
“It really is the community engagement model of business around uncovering the need, understanding the barriers for people living in remote areas and getting personal input from patients, doctors and health workers,” Hannah says. “And considering - what would a pharmacy designed specifically for your community look like?”
A personalised approach
This enables pharmacies under the umbrella of Kimberley Pharmacy Services to be tailored to specific communities, allowing each individual service to respond directly to the grass roots issues affecting the people in their area.
As a result, information on medicine, nutrition and wellness can be dispersed to rural locations alongside specific medication - providing isolated communities with access to health services previously unattainable.
Despite facing a multitude of challenges around the safe delivery of mainstream medicine to remote areas, Hannah’s determination to get it right is symbolic of the success of her business.
For rural communities, Hannah says if healthcare isn’t delivered well, it can have a domino effect on the whole community. “If we can’t get medications to patients in a safe manner, that are correct and patients can understand and take, what’s the point?”