Celebrating Pride Month: Meet Tom, Central Processing Pharmacist
Each year the month of June commemorates Pride Month, which is an opportunity to celebrate and honor the people and events that have contributed to progress for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community. At Giant Eagle, we’ve made great strides in our support of the LGBTQ+ Community. We are honored this year to be recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.” Click HERE to learn more.
In honor of Pride Month, our GE Proud Business Resource Group (BRG) is excited to highlight several of our Team Members all month long! This week, we're thrilled to introduce Tom, Central Processing Pharmacist at Giant Eagle Pharmacy's Central Processing Center in Freedom, PA.
What is your job title? And what do you love most about your job?
I’m a Central Processing Pharmacist at our Pharmacy Central Processing Center in Freedom, PA.
I’ve been in a lot of different roles throughout my years at Giant Eagle. I started as a Video Clerk back in our “Iggle Video” days, and when I got into pharmacy school, I migrated over to the Pharmacy to be an Intern for 4 years. After graduating, I’ve managed, staffed, and floated to many different pharmacies in the Greater Pittsburgh region.
In my current job, I love that I still can interact with and support all those pharmacies while affecting a significant amount of patients’ lives in both Pennsylvania and Ohio. I get to spend my days doing a variety of tasks such as supporting the stores when they need help, having conversations with patients about their medications, and spending time with other pharmacists to help ensure the highest standards of quality and patient safety are met.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
In my personal life, I take pride in the small things I get to enjoy on a daily basis. Having a husband, house, and many animals to come home to at the end of the day and spend time with is something I’m very proud of.
In my professional life, I’ve accomplished a fair amount, but the thing I am proudest of was taking part in the COVID vaccine clinics at Heinz Field. Being able to do my part to help get us out of this pandemic was such an amazing feeling. I’d never had a patient cry tears of joy at getting a vaccine before, and it meant so much to me that they were genuinely grateful for the work I was doing.
What does Pride Month mean to you? How do you celebrate Pride Month?
For me, Pride Month is a time where I feel comfortable in my skin. It took a long time for me to be comfortable with who I am - I came out a bit later in life than most. Having a month where people celebrate and support the entire LGBTQ+ community helped me realize there was nothing wrong with being gay, and I sincerely hope it helps others get to the same place in their lives. Pride Month also reminds me of those who fought and died for equality before me and that we still have work to do to continue to improve upon LGBTQ+ equality.
I don’t do much during Pride Month differently than I try to do in my day-to-day life. I’ve gone to Pittsburgh Pride before and enjoyed my time there supporting the various organizations and events. I try to do my part in supporting the LGBTQ+ community yearlong by being visible in the workplace and in my personal life, being supportive of my LGBTQ+ family, friends, and coworkers, and actively donating to organizations that work to champion LGBTQ+ equality.
How did you feel/react when you learned Giant Eagle was named a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for 2021?
When Giant Eagle was named a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality,” I felt proud to be part of a company that strives to treat all Team Members fairly. I’ve known we have been ahead of the game in striving to provide equality for all Team Members regardless of race, gender, or background, but to have it recognized by the Human Rights Campaign really cements how well we support our LGBTQ+ Team Members.
What are some interesting hobbies or talents that most people may not know about you?
I’m passionate about running, thrive on video games, and I can crochet a delightful baby blanket.