Natalie's Everyday Heroes: Tamir Kaloti, president of Hayat Pharmacy
WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Hayat Pharmacy has been in the news a lot in the last year. The local pharmacy has coordinated massive vaccine clinics, and it is also doing around-the-clock Covid-19 testing.
Over these many months, CBS 58 has told you a lot about what the business does. Now, we're introducing some of the people who've been working hard to get it done.
"You're all set to go ma'am, they will call you," a tester at Hayat Pharmacy on Layton Ave. says to a woman who just got tested.
It doesn't matter the time of day, or night. Cars are lined up outside the pharmacy for testing.
"People just come here, they know they'll be taken care of," said Tamir Kaloti, president of Hayat Pharmacy.
The sign out front sums up their mentality -- it reads: "We hope you test negative. Have a positive day."
"Our philosophy has always been compassion," Kaloti said.
That compassion has required a lot from staff for more than a year.
"Not just myself, but our whole staff has been working extremely hard, around the clock," he said. "Average person has been working 16 hours a day."
Mara Ahmad is one of those people.
"On average, I'm averaging between 50-85 hours a week," she said.
Ahmad is a registered nurse. At the height of the vaccine rollout last year, she was giving 300 shots a day. Now, she's going to patients' homes to make sure everyone can get vaccinated and tested, even if they are homebound.
"It is very rewarding," she said. "That's why I go home every night and put my head down on the pillow and I feel as if I really did something great."
Last year, Hayat worked with the school next door to use the gym to vaccinate as many people as possible. Back when it was difficult to get an appointment, Kaloti said they tried to make it a little easier for people.
"We tried to remove a lot of those barriers for people," he said. "So we rented out a neighboring gym and cafeteria, and we started performing mass vaccine clinics."
Pharmacists like Dimmy Sokhal also organized walk-in clinics in the community.
"There's a lot of behind the scenes that goes on to keep those things going, because it's not like a day or two, or a month or two, this has been two years," Sokhal said.
Sokhal is the director of clinical services, helping every step of the way as the needs of the community have changed.
"No matter if it's going to be a long night for me, I'll stay late," she said. "We'll take care of you. Because saving lives is very important right now."
Kaloti has seen her commitment over the last year.
"She has been working seven days a week for the last couple of years. She had her first vacation a couple of weeks ago," he said of Sokhal.
So, it's no surprise Hayat took on the extra task of staying open 24 hours a day to do Covid testing.
"We started at 7 a.m. and we closed at 8:30 p.m.," Kaloti said. "No matter the time we opened and closed, there was always a huge line of people, even at 7 in the morning, people started lining up at 6 a.m."
Sokhal said people need the flexibility.
"There's a person who works the third shift, like, okay, when can I test? Or there's a person who's a working mom and she doesn't have time to make an appointment," she said. "Can I just walk in and have the flexibility?"
Kaloti is proud of the results of all of the hard work. He's been out administering Covid tests himself.
"Seven days a week, on New Year's Day, New Year's Eve, Christmas day, Christmas Eve," he said.
"He's one of those people that, first person in here at the day, last one to leave at night," Ahmad said of his work ethic.
Hayat has administered 65,000 vaccine doses and Kaloti said they have done nearly 100,000 Covid tests. He said it's a commitment to meeting the needs of the community that's been a challenging, but rewarding experience.
"Everybody here is sacrificing time with their own families, so that others can spend time with their families safely," he said.
If you'd like to nominate someone for Natalie's Everyday Heroes, send Natalie a message at [email protected].