LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Remembering the pharmacist's pharmacist

Posted 7/16/20

To the Editor: Rhode Island lost one of the giants of pharmacy last week with the passing of Mario Casinelli Jr., RPh, at age 92. Short in stature, but tall in his dedication to his patients, his peers, his profession, his family, his church and his

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Remembering the pharmacist's pharmacist

Posted

To the Editor:

Rhode Island lost one of the giants of pharmacy last week with the passing of Mario Casinelli Jr., RPh, at age 92.

Short in stature, but tall in his dedication to his patients, his peers, his profession, his family, his church and his community, Mario was the mentor and humble hero of the profession of pharmacy.

I first met Mario when I was hired as the executive director of the Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Association, later the Rhode Island Pharmacists Association.

Not being a pharmacist, the first thing I had to do was learn how to spell “pharmaceutical.” The second was to meet and be mentored by Mr. Pharmacy.

Mario was the man that every pharmacist turned to for advice, help and support. The profession is a challenging one, involving long hours, constant study and keeping up with the many changes and advancements in medicine.

His gentle handshake, always looking you right in the eyes with his warm smile, made him immediately likeable and trusted.

Mario was a champion of Continuing Education, keeping his own practice up to date while serving as an educator and mentor for students at URI’s College of Pharmacy.

Over his long career, he received just about every award the profession and pharmacy had to offer, and accepted each one with humility.

You could always find Mario behind the counter at Oaklawn Pharmacy, where he gave that personal care to his many patients. When most independent pharmacies were being bought out by the larger chains, it was Mario’s was one of the last to join them.

CVS bought Oaklawn Pharmacy and hired Mario to become their representative at the Cranston Senior Center, where he continued to counsel and help senior citizens.

Mario held seminars, mentored URI pharmacy students, and held “office hours” for seniors. He was famous for his Brown Bag program, where seniors would bring in all of their medications and Mario would patiently review them to make sure they were not outdate and there were no interaction problems.

Mario continued to serve his community and profession until the age of 90.

He was one of a kind. A true Rhode Island hero.

Don Fowler

Cranston

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