Alison Desjardins, Ozturk Pharmacy Business Leadership Award 2022

Alison Desjardins, Ozturk Pharmacy Business Leadership Award 2022



2022 Winner of

The Ozturk Pharmacy

Business Leadership Award:


Alison Desjardins




Alison (Whitaker) Desjardins grew up on a farm near Erickson, Manitoba.  After high school she attended the University of Manitoba and earned a B.Sc. in 1992 and a B.Sc. (Pharm.) in 1995.  A Senior Co-Stick in her fourth year, she also did well academically, earning the University Gold Medal among other awards.


Upon graduation she worked at two Shoppers Drug Mart locations in Winnipeg, where she completed the Associate Development Program and met Steve Desjardins, her future husband and business partner.  Soon after their marriage in 1998, Alison and Steve moved to Brandon where Alison was employed by Bill Couling at Clinic Pharmacy.  In 2000, Alison and Steve became co-owners of Birtle Pharmacy, along with Tracy Lelond-Young and Nick Young.  The partnership was a good fit for six years, during which time the two pharmacists took turns working and having babies.  Alison and Steve, now parents of three sons, became sole proprietors of Birtle Pharmacy in 2006, with Alison managing the dispensary and Steve managing the front shop and doing the books.  Kristin Lane was hired as a staff pharmacist in 2007, and Jenna Badger rounded out the pharmacist roster in 2016.  In 2014, the pharmacy moved across the street to a brand-new building that Alison and Steve designed. 


The pharmacists have been busy offering expanded services ever since, including injections, prescribing for minor ailments and smoking cessation, and most recently offering rapid COVID tests for travel purposes.


Alison's favourite things to do outside work are to travel, and to plan the next trip.  She loves seeing new places and learning new things.  Being a pharmacy owner in a small town means the work is never done, but having a vacation to look forward to makes it all worthwhile.