Job Title: Co-founder and Director of Mint Health + Drugs
Ron Wai’s parents gave him some memorable advice when he thought of getting a business degree. “They said: Why don’t I do something specialized and meaningful to the community? It shaped my career because I chose pharmacy,” says Wai.
Today, Wai’s company, Mint Health + Drugs, consists of 13 pharmacies, three travel health clinics, one social enterprise and one non-profit across Alberta. He continues to follow his parents’ advice by being specific with his company’s core values. Wai calls himself a “social entrepreneur,” which means he’s focused on programs that nurture the community.
Mint Health + Drugs helps some of the most vulnerable clients in Alberta, who struggle with addiction, mental health and chronic diseases.
“I always established this philosophy: We need to serve our community. If there’s a way to help, then we need to do it,” says Wai.
Wai co-founded a social enterprise that grew into what’s now Alberta’s only 365-day-per-year HIV outreach team. The company also has its own non-profit, Mint Communities, working in collaboration with social agencies to house over 100 clients experiencing homelessness.
Mint Health + Drugs partnered with TELUS Health, Boyle McCauley Health Centre and The Mustard Seed Edmonton to run a mobile health clinic van outfitted with healthcare workers. Wai also led the creation of the Mint COVID Response Team in Edmonton and Calgary that assists homeless individuals vulnerable to COVID-19.
The list of awards won by the company are numerous, but one stands out in Wai’s mind. In 2019, it won Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Culture Award, selected by Waterstone Human Capital, and received top marks for corporate social responsibility. It was a point of pride because for him, running his company is about ensuring every-one involved is impacted in a positive way.
Alberta’s move back to Step 1 did not include the closure of schools.
Meanwhile, Ontario shut its schools as COVID numbers increase.