Curve Lake is a First Nations community, half an hour north of Peterborough, Ont.
People who live there no longer have to go all the way into the city when they run out of their medicine and need a prescription filled.
They can get their medicine from a machine, similar to a vending machine – except that what comes out isn’t pop or candy, it’s pills.
Curve Lake gets a lot of snow in the winter. In bad weather, it can be difficult for the community’s residents to get to the nearest pharmacy if they run out of their medication.
Now, they can go to the community’s health centre and use a type of vending machine.
Using a telephone handset and a video screen on the machine, users can speak to a pharmacist (who is located in Oakville, Ont.).
“It’s the same experience as when you go to your regular pharmacist,” Elizabeth Young, a spokesperson for PharmaTrust, the company that put the machine into the health centre.
The patient tells the pharmacist what they want, and they insert their prescription into a slot in the machine where it is scanned and sent to the pharmacist in Oakville, who checks it and fills the prescription.
Users also have to present their photo ID (for instance, a driver’s license) and pay for the medication using a credit card.
Then, their pills are dispensed. The customer opens a little door in the machine and picks up their medication.
The whole transaction usually takes about five minutes—which is just as fast, or faster, than going to a live pharmacist.
“We now have immediate access to professional pharmacists who will provide care to those who need it,” said Curve Lake’s Chief, Keith Knott. “This is a great day for the people of Curve Lake First Nation.”
The company has five machines in operation in Ontario, with plans to add 13 more by the end of the year.
By Jonathan Tilly
The idea to use vending machines to dispense prescriptions is very creative. Where else might we see vending machines with video screens replace traditional stores? How has technology changed the places you and your family shop?
Reading Prompt: Elements of Style
Every paragraph in today’s article contain only one or two sentences. How do short paragraphs affect the way readers understand (comprehend) texts?
Identify some elements of style, including voice, word choice, and different
types of sentences, and explain how they help readers understand texts (OME, Reading: 2.4).
Identify various elements of style – including word choice and the use of similes, personification, comparative adjectives, and sentences of different types, lengths, and structures – and explain how they help communicate meaning (OME, Reading: 2.4).
Identify various elements of style – including foreshadowing, metaphor,
and symbolism – and explain how they help communicate meaning and enhance the effectiveness of texts (OME, Reading: 2.4).
Grammar Feature: Em Dash (–)
The em dash is a punctuation mark that can be used to tell readers extra information at the end of a sentence. Twice in today’s article it is used in that way.
“They can get their medicine from a machine, similar to a vending machine – except that what comes out isn’t pop or candy, it’s pills.”
“The whole transaction usually takes about five minutes—which is just as fast, or faster, than going to a live pharmacist.”
In both instances, the em dash separates the extra information from the main idea of the sentence.
FYI How wide should an em dash be? The width of the letter ‘M’; that’s how it got its name!
Place an em dash in the sentences below.
1. The music my mom listens to is terrible which isn’t a big surprise.
2. Kylie thinks all birds are beautiful Blue Jays, Cardinals, Robins among them.
3. Eli’s chicken pox aren’t that bad except he always scratches them!
4. Monica knows the rules no gum in class.