Sage Pharmacy 2023-2024
2023-2024 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award Winner
Yorkton pharmacist wins provincial award for First Nations business success.
Melody Kelts has been chosen by the Saskatchewan Indigenous Enterprise Foundation Inc. (SIEF) as its winner of this year’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. She is a pharmacist and owner of Sage Pharmacy in Yorkton.
Kelts demonstrated drive and determination to achieve success in her educational and entrepreneurial journey. These are characteristics that SIEF looks for when selecting the winner of this annual award. Kelts was announced the winner at SIEF’s annual general meeting on November 9 at Dakota Dunes Resort and Casino at Whitecap, Sask.
“My dream of pharmacy ownership started while I was still a university student,” said Kelts. She convocated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2011 and has worked for the past twelve years in community pharmacy. It took her over ten years and a few attempts to find the ideal space in Yorkton and secure the capital she needed to open the pharmacy she envisioned.
Sage Pharmacy opened its doors in 2022 just in time to fill a local gap during the Canada-wide shortage of liquid acetaminophen, ibuprofen and amoxicillin. It was the only pharmacy in the Yorkton area with the knowledge, equipment, and infrastructure to compound the medications.
Kelts recognized others in the Yorkton area could benefit from having a compounding pharmacy closer to where they lived. “The next closest pharmacy that does this level of compounding is in Regina,” said Kelts, who knows from personal experience how having to travel to Regina for a prescription can delay a person’s treatment by a couple of days. While some pharmacies opt to have specialty compounds shipped from other areas in the province, Kelts hopes that more people choose the local option.
“I wanted to give back to my community and provide a much needed service to prevent delays in treatment,” said Kelts, a member of the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation in Ontario who was raised in Yorkton.
It was also important to her that she create a space that offers health, wellness and pharmacy services in a culturally safe and respectful environment. Kelts welcomes people needing medication and advice for both western and alternative therapies. She meets them where they are at in life and their healthcare journey to provide them individualized care and attention, even helping them to access other services in the community to ensure their physical, emotional, spiritual, environmental, and social needs are met.
“We are a full-service pharmacy offering all prescription medications as well as specialty compounding,” said Kelts.
It was through her relationship as a client of SIEF that Kelts learned about the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. SIEF has been awarding its Entrepreneurial Spirit Award to First Nation entrepreneurs each year since 2011. First Nation business owners/operators can apply for the award or be nominated. The award goes to an owner/operator who has been in business at least one year who demonstrates their business is viable and sustainable. The business must also have a focus on First Nation business/economic development.
Pharmacist/Owner of Sage Pharmacy