The Tower Drugs staff family: Proud supporters of Independent Living Association
By Kelly Kass, Contributing Writer
If you attend ILA’s Annual Golf Outing, you’ll often see a familiar name adorning our display of dedicated sponsors: Tower Drugs.
Danny Askari is the Founder and CEO of the Queens-based independent specialty pharmacy, which has been supplying medication to ILA’s Individuals for more than a decade. He and his team of 12 employees provide a comforting, reassuring voice at the other end of the line when ILA clinical staff call to fill a prescription. “Our team is friendly and we care,” Mr. Askari says. “We’re proud of the excellent rapport we’ve built with ILA’s nurses, Approved Medication Administration Personnel (AMAP) staff, and house managers.”
As a pharmacy owner, Mr. Askari is committed to providing excellent service, competitive pricing, prompt daily delivery, especially to Agencies like ILA that deliver essential services to Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “We treat every one of our group homes like they are the only one, and what sets us apart is the fact that we tend to customize our service to the needs of our clients,” he explains.
Even in the most challenging times, Mr. Askari and his team are ready to serve the community. During Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Tower Drugs was one of the only pharmacies that were open, powered by their own generated electricity, enabling them to serve ILA and other customers. “It was truly a blessing. We made sure all of our clients received their much-needed medications,” Mr. Askari remembers.
In addition to their warmth, courtesy, and accessibility, Mr. Askari and his staff are also on the ball when it comes to prescription orders. “An ILA nurse recently commended us on our communication. She stated that what sets us apart from the rest of pharmacy providers is the fact that we notify the facility nurse every time there is a medication change. We call to verify if it’s an intentional change or a physician’s error,” Mr. Askari says. “We don’t blindly fill new prescriptions without verification!” he explains.
A stellar work ethic and caring demeanor makes Mr. Askari and the Tower Drugs team a perfect fit for the long-term care (LTC) and assisted living industries he serves. He also comes from a family of pharmacists, so you could say pharmacy work is in his blood. “In these arenas, you have to set yourself apart from the rest. I strive to provide the things that are important to an organization,” he points out.
For busy clinical staff at ILA and other Agencies, speed and efficiency in delivering medication is key, which is why Tower Drugs sorts and organizes its medication cards alphabetically for fast and efficient verification by staff receiving the delivered medication. “Everything is rubber-banded, in order,” Mr. Askari explains. “We customize our service in favor of accuracy, efficiency, and ease for the LTC facility staff. We want the facility staff to be happy to see our pharmacy bag,” he says.
With enhanced efficiency, comes impressive technology. Tower Drugs uses state-of-the-art equipment to multi-pack medication, which helps reduce dispensing error, boost productivity, and increase compliance. The pharmacy also utilizes a Robust Online System enabling each facility nurse and AMAP staff to view patients’ medication profiles and monitor the supply of medications that are available.
A Shared Mission
ILA’s mission of providing extraordinary care to Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities is close to the heart of Mr. Askari and his wife, Jessica. When their son, Ethan, was 15 months old, he was diagnosed with developmental delays/disability and receives services to the present day. “We connect with ILA,” Mrs. Askari explains. “We value and connect to the valuable benefits ILA provides to Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The partnership we have is real.”
Ethan is now 19, functioning at a high level while being guided on a loving, positive path by his parents. Mrs. Askari’s experience in being a parent of an individual with an intellectual disability has led her to have an active role as a parent member with her local school board on Long Island, ensuring that parents of special needs children get the services they need for their children to thrive. “Education and research are essential, but that’s not enough. I place myself on the other side of the table to resonate with parents on a personal level so that they can benefit from my own experiences,” Mrs. Askari says.
Together with her husband, she is committed to supporting ILA so that Individuals can continue to receive the best possible care. “ILA is a tremendous resource for families. If ILA needs anything, we go above and beyond to help,” Mrs. Askari explains.
The Askaris are proud supporters of this year’s 16th Annual ILA Golf Outing, an event that they always look forward to. The Askaris are Tournament level supporters of the Outing. Mr. Askari says, “It’s a great outing. ILA does a wonderful job. And it’s nice to put faces to the voices you hear on the phone!”
Thank you, Danny and Jessica Askari, for your continuous support of ILA!