Since 2007, Arvada Pharmacy and Medical Supply has served the Arvada community at 10382 Ralston Rd. We talked to Arvada Pharmacy’s Ukrainian-born owner, Julia Ukhnovsky, about their unique services, how the war has directly impacted her international staff, and ways Arvada can offer support.
How did Arvada Pharmacy get started?
Julia Ukhnovsky: This pharmacy has been at this location since 2007, but we rebranded it and changed the name to Arvada Pharmacy in 2019. We love Arvada and wanted the pharmacy to share the city’s name.
How did you and your partner get started in this industry?
The pharmaceutical industry has always been a passion of mine. And when my partner and I met 15 years ago we made it our goal to own and build our own pharmacy. We have been blessed to see our dreams come true.
What services do you offer and what sets you apart?
As a privately-owner community pharmacy, we offer a variety of services, including long-term care and programs for patients who don’t have insurance. We accept all insurances for pharmacy products and we have a wide range of all supplemental products that you can get without prescriptions. We offer vaccinations and, of course, the filling of regular prescriptions. We always offer free consultations and are more than happy to answer medical questions that our customers have.
We are looking forward to opening a new chapter of our business, which will be a compounding pharmacy. A compounding pharmacy is a special type of pharmacy where we create customized medications that are prescribed to meet unique situations. For example, if the pharmaceutical market cannot offer you something that you particularly need, or if you cannot take traditional medication because of some allergies, we can create something specifically for you. We are building the lab and we will be done with construction soon.
What else makes us different? We deliver for free, we are local, we are always open and people in the Arvada community know us on a personal level. We are proud of Arvada and love this community.
I noticed you also have international products?
We do offer both American and international products. And because we speak multiple languages, we are able to offer multiple perspectives and medical solutions.
What have you learned about the community and the people of Arvada?
I have learned that the Arvada community is great and the people who live here are awesome. They are really open-minded and intelligent. People here are supportive of each other and the community is tight, which I love.
You have a very diverse, international group here. Can you talk about where everyone is from?
My business partner is from Nigeria, the head of our medical supply department and our marketing manager are both from Russia, and I am from Ukraine. Two other women were born here but they’re Russian-speaking. We have a woman from Mexico and a driver from Central Asia. We are proud of our international backgrounds as we believe it makes us a stronger team.
When the war in Ukraine first started, what was the reaction of the team, both here and for your families internally?
It all started early in the morning on February 24th. When I heard about the attack on the news, I was in complete shock because all my relatives live in Ukraine including my mom, my sister, and my nephews. It was unexpected and scary, but Ukrainians take it seriously and started to fight. It is really hard for me to talk about, especially because it’s still going on.
How is your family?
My mom was able to travel to the US and is living with me. And my sister was able to escape. But all of my other relatives are still in Ukraine. They sleep in a bomb shelter every night. It’s really hard to see the pictures we see every day, the news articles, the speeches by authorities. My words cannot even describe how I feel – entire cities have been demolished.
It must be incredibly difficult to run a business right now when you’re so far away and everything seems normal here.
It’s a real tragedy. Fortunately, a lot of my friends were able to leave Ukraine – they are now refugees. Some of them are in Germany right now. Some of them are in Poland. And we spend a lot of time, energy, and money to support them.
Can you imagine losing everything in one moment? You had a really good house and the Russians come in and demolished everything that you spent 20 years building. You have to pack your backpack in 10 minutes and leave, otherwise they will kill you. So, you don’t have anything — just your kids and a backpack and you are in the middle of nowhere and you don’t know where you will sleep at night and what you will eat tomorrow, or if your kids will have a school to attend. A lot of people lost their jobs. They don’t have any money to survive and they don’t even have the opportunity to get a new one because they don’t speak the language of the country they escaped to. It’s horrible.
I spoke with my best friend this morning and she’s in Germany right now. I was able to send her some money and it is the only money that she has right now. A nice German couple gave has allowed them to stay at their apartment – six people in two bedrooms.
How can the Arvada community support you?
We are accepting financial donations and medical supplies which we deliver to Ukraine. The support we have received from the wonderful people of Arvada is beyond anything I could have imagined. The support this community has shown the people of my country is amazing – they have no connection to my country and they are offering to help without hesitation. It is absolutely beautiful. I really appreciate it. Even the smallest box of band-aids means a lot – it means you are supporting my country in its greatest time of need.
We have a nonprofit organization, Ukrainians of Colorado, which united all of us here. We’re going to rally at the Capitol and do some fundraisers to collect as much money and supplies as we can and deliver it to Ukraine.
We have already shipped 50 pallets of medical supplies to Poland. We also shipped 100 packs of high-grade medical and wound care supplies directly to the Ukrainian Army. We are hoping that our efforts in Arvada and help save a soldier’s life in Ukraine.
Arvada Pharmacy and Medical Supply
10382 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80004