Gem Drugs holding health fair, ribbon cutting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 21, 2010

By David Vitrano


RESERVE – Although the store has been around for 33 years, Gem Drugs in Reserve will be celebrating its new lease on life Friday with a ribbon cutting ceremony and health fair.

That new lease on life comes courtesy of Randy Mire who, along with Lyle Bulger, became the new owner of the local pharmacy in March.

“One of the reasons I am most excited about owning Gem Drugs is for the difference I can make in the community’s health and wellness,” said Mire.

Mire said he was familiar with the pharmacy’s reputation — his family is from Gramercy, where a second Gem branch is located, so when he heard about the opportunity to become an owner, his interest was immediately sparked. He said he hoped to build on the store’s good name and use it as a launching pad to do more good locally.

According to Mire, the community has welcomed the new owners.

“It’s been a great transition,” he said.

Mire said one of the areas where he hopes to make a difference is in that of diabetes. According to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, 10 percent of Louisiana residents have been diagnosed with the disease, and African Americans, with a 13.7-percent diagnosis rate, are the most at-risk demographic.

Mire said Friday’s event will kick off with a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom has already said she will come out and lend her support.

The rest of the day will feature sugar-free snoballs, food, giveaways and free basic blood screenings. The fair will last until 3 p.m. The pharmacists and other staff will also be on-hand to answer questions.

Mire said he hopes to have more health fairs in the future and said Gem Drugs offers a full range of services every day.

But knowing time is of the essence when it comes to one’s health, he thinks everyone should come out Friday just to see where his or her own health stands.

Said Kanoa Mire, who handles marketing and oversees the office at the pharmacy, “Everyone can benefit from basic health knowledge.”