June 2020


June 4, 1940. War had broken out in Europe. England faced almost certain invasion. Faced with an existential threat, newly elected Prime Minister Winston Churchill grappled with the demons of capitulation and war. Churchill wrestled with a decision bigger than himself. In order to ease his mind and set the course for his nation, he did what any reasonable man would do. As doubt and fear swirled in his mind, he took to the streets of London. Churchill spoke to the people who would suffer the consequences of his decision, the people of England.

What resulted from Churchill’s discourse with the rank and file of London was a sense of resolution, a dedication to a principal and a course of action that would ultimately save the free world. That June day, Churchill walked into Parliament and delivered a speech that galvanized a country. Churchill’s words, “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,…” are a testament to the strength of will and determination of all of humanity and ring true even today. There are no problems we cannot conquer together.

Things in the world today seem as insurmountable as an impending world war did in 1940. COVID-19 has devastated our healthcare systems and decimated our practices. Civil unrest and protests have led to deaths and property destruction. Peaceful protests have begun to raise awareness of age-old problems that need and must be addressed if we are to advance as a peaceful, civilized society respecting the rights of all citizens. While the problems are large, global even, as pharmacists our path is clear. Take care of patients. Every person is deserving of our care.

In the age of COVID, large gatherings whether peaceful rallies (such as one I recently attended in my own hometown), or family gatherings and even church services expose our patients to increased risk.  We must do our best to inform patients of risk, support them as they make a risk/benefit decision, and be there to care for them no matter their course of action. We must be resolute, dedicated, and diligent. Focus on longitudinal care that incorporates all social determinants of health. If we can do that, perhaps we can rise to the occasion and this time of pandemic and social upheaval be deemed, as Churchill said in a June 18, 1940 speech, “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that ………….they will still say, “This was their finest hour.”

Thank you for taking care of patients through thick and thin, good and bad, calm and turmoil, often with disregard to your own well being.

I’m proud to be among your ranks.

Richard Logan, Jr. PharmD


Richard Logan, Jr. PharmD, community pharmacist, community pharmacy advocate, and ESPhA founding member