October 10, 2014
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Winn-Dixie store No. 697 Pharmacist Yogendra Ankiah, left, and store Pharmacy Manager Harland Greene, right. Photo credit: ki Media / N Naidoo​

The work that Bi-Lo Holdings stores do in their communities from a broad perspective have a positive effect on the people we serve. Food donations provide meals for many food-insecure households. Annual flu vaccines can save lives. Support of community non-profit organizations make life better for the communities we work and live in every day.

But often, the difference we make is one associate helping one customer. That was certainly the case on Aug. 18 when a Winn-Dixie pharmacy associate offered critical help for a customer and took the time to save a life.

Yogendra Ankiah, who works at Winn-Dixie store No. 697 in Tampa, Florida, saw 79-year-old Anastasia Demian struggling to operate a machine that measures blood pressure. He stopped what he was doing and asked her how he could help. Then he saw that her blood pressure registered 227/96 and he became alarmed. He asked her to sit, relax and wait a few minutes before taking her blood pressure again as he contacted her doctor.

Ankiah said he was presented with a challenge —Demian speaks Greek. But thinking clearly, he decided to use the convenient translation service offered in our stores to communicate with her.

“The patient did not speak or understand English at all,” he said. “I used the language line to get her information and a little history.”

Demian said she did not have transportation to go to her doctor appointments over the last yearand had been out of her blood pressure medication for several months. Her doctor confirmed she had a history of heart and blood pressure problems and suggested that Ankiah call 911.

“None of the paramedics spoke Greek,” he said of the paramedic team that arrived to help Demian. “They could not understand what she was saying, so I offered to get language line services so they could assist the paramedics… they could now communicate back and forth with the patient and better assist her.”

The patient was carried away on a stretcher waving and covering her heart to express gratitude as the paramedics thanked Ankiah for his great service and translation help. Demian was back in the Winn-Dixie Pharmacy the next day to fill her new prescription and to show her gratitude.

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