When Community Living Sarnia-Lambton calls, Amgad Kiwan answers.
“Anything urgent, everybody has my cell phone,” said the pharmacist and owner at Sarnia Pharmacy.
Since 2009, he’s helped provide medication administration training for Community Living employees, responded when emergencies arise, done regular visits at the residences the agency has for people with disabilities, and conducts medication reviews, said Shannon Grimme, a supervisor at two of the agency’s residences .
“Amgad has gone out of his way to ensure that we have direct access to him 24/7, even on holidays, when I’m sure he’d much rather be focusing on his family than work,” she said in prepared remarks.
“That is commitment,” she added.
Grimme nominated Kiwan for this year’s Hero Award that recognizes organizations and individuals for contributing to more inclusive communities.
Asked why he’s continued with his commitment to Community Living over the years, Kiwan said he feels it’s a good thing to do
“I like to work with these people,” said the Egyptian native who moved to Canada with his family in 2005.
Kiwan is “a real gift to Community Living and all our residents and staff,” said Community Living Sarnia-Lambton executive director John Hagens.
“He comes out any time and is able to be consulted with any time,” he said, noting Kiwan also knows most staff and residents by name.
“So that’s a phenomenal gift to us and well beyond the day-to-day calling you would expect from any pharmacist,” Hagens said.
Kiwan’s award was part of the return of Community Living’s Mayor’s Luncheon at the Royal Canadian Legion branch Friday in Sarnia after three years off because of COVID-19.
“It felt good to be able to see everyone,” Hagens said, noting many local politicians were in attendance at the event first held in 2003, designed in part to help push for more inclusivity for people with disabilities in the community, including encouraging employers to hire.
“We still have (a) ways to go … but the more we support (people with disabilities) and include them in employment activities, the more we become an inclusive community for everyone,” Hagens said.
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley has been recognized before for his role in supporting the cause.
There has been progress, but needs to be more, Bradley said Friday.
“We’re not urgent about,” he said, noting aims to make Ontario fully accessible by 2025 are “not even close” to being realized.
“We need to get governments to move quicker and faster on doing the things they need to do,” he said.
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