Med-I-Well Celebrates 25 Years

February 8, 2022

Med-I-Well Services is celebrating its silver anniversary in 2022.

It’s been quite the journey for founder and pharmacist Lucio Fabris whose career has been driven by the genuine desire to help people.

Lucio Fabris, founder, Med-I-Well Services.

The sense of duty – and desire – to support people was instilled in him as a young boy growing up in the small mining town of Creighton. It was a place where everyone knew everyone. Where help from a neighbour was only a knock or call away.

“If someone in the town was sick, my mom was right there,” recalled Lucio. “She would send something or call and ask if they needed anything. With my dad, if someone needed something done, even if they called and we were having dinner, he would jump up and say, 'I’ll be right there'.

It was this nurturing environment that lead Lucio to study pharmacy right after high school. He would go on to work in community pharmacy for five years. During this time, he saw a discouraging trend.

“I realized that many people were on medications, many were not taking them properly, but more importantly, I saw that we had reached the point that if someone had a problem, we’d give them a drug,” he said.

He looked to make a difference as a volunteer. He presented to the elderly about proper medication use and then to students about the perils of drug abuse.

It was during this time that an opportunity at the hospital came up and Lucio became the Director of Shared Pharmacy Services at the former Sudbury General Hospital, Memorial Hospital and Network North.

While he was in hospital pharmacy, Lucio witnessed another troubling trend: people presenting to the emergency room only to return days, weeks or months later with the same problem.

He started a home pharmacy program that would make a positive impact on the lives of many Sudbury residents.

“When I was living in Creighton, you would visit the doctor in their office but many times, they would visit you at home,” recalled Lucio. “People can’t portray the challenges that exist in their home at a clinic. But when you go into their home, it’s right there for you to observe.”

Finding solutions and bridging gaps became a mission for Lucio, who later formed the Acute Care Research Group, a group consisting of one research nurse, four physicians and Lucio, looking to solve the hospital’s acute care problem.

“The research work we did was based on trying to find ways to improve care, in particular the emergency department,” explained Lucio. “Through data, we identified high risk people who may benefit from intervention. The outcomes were significant because we were reducing emergency room visits and hospitalizations.”

During his time in research, Lucio started consulting for hospitals, helping to develop drug formularies and protocols with health care facilities across Northern Ontario.

“I feel very lucky that I got to do all that,” he said. “All those experiences have followed me into what we are doing now.”

But still, Lucio felt there was more he could do in terms of integrating wellness into traditional medicine. He wondered why medication and living a healthy lifestyle were not part of the same approach.

“To me, that was a big missing link,” he said.

Then another door opened in 2002 when Lucio met with executives from then-named Falconbridge, now Glencore's Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, who wanted support with their drug plan. They heard about Lucio’s expertise and asked him to meet them at the table.

“When I was there, I told them I had some ideas, they were different and unique, that I had a different approach, but one I was confident that would work,” said Lucio. “I asked them for a clean slate. I would analyze everything and come back with a plan, although it would be different than what they were used to."

The company approved his proposal and once implemented, results were immediate. That success paved the way to the introduction of more initiatives and eventually, the integration of wellness and medication management into a workplace wellness program.

“When you put the whole package together, we have been able to see some incredible results in terms of helping people improve their health,” said Lucio.

As the programs evolved, Med-I-Well added to their team, with Lucio’s son Gregg as Operations Manager in 2012 and daughter Kristina as Director of Wellness in 2015. Today, Med-I-Well employs 8 full-time health coaches.

“We are fortunate to having an amazing team of qualified and committed people,” said Lucio. “I do believe we have kept the person at the centre of all this. We do everything we can to help that person and we do it in a way that makes sense to them.” 

The Med-I-Well team in 2022.
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