Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice

Community Leaders

Donna Avant

Through the years, we’ve worked with exceptional individuals who understand local challenges facing their communities, and have the passion and the vision to create opportunities where people can make healthy choices where they live, work, learn, play and pray. We’re recognizing these individuals, who have been nominated by their peers and colleagues, to showcase their commitment to making the healthy choice, the easy choice.

In a rural town such as Ehrhardt, access to medical health and wellness education can be very limited. With the nearest hospital being 35 minutes away and the nearest doctor 12 miles away, community members must go to great lengths to get the treatment they need. Donna Avant, a local pharmacist, saw the need in her community, and opened Ehrhardt Pharmacy, becoming the only health professional in the immediate area.

“Let us help you beforehand instead of after-hand,” said Avant. “My biggest wish, more than anything, would be to get people more excited to change their lives and care for themselves.”

She aims to bridge the gap between her community and local health resources through the Ehrhardt Pharmacy and community outreach programs. The pharmacy is full-service, complete with a drive through, medical supplies and medications, health and beauty products, and even snacks served daily.

“Her pharmacy is more than just a place to come and fill prescriptions,” says Kristin Slocum. “It’s a community gathering place. Her enthusiasm is contagious and she is beloved by her community!”

Donna, with the help of the Orangeburg Hospital and ESMMSC, has been trained as an instructor on preventing, and managing diabetes. She holds her programs free of charge on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the intent of educating people about diabetes, hypertension, and what people can do through their food choices and exercise to improve their health. She hopes to recruit more people in her community to learn the different ways to take on a healthier lifestyle.

Donna says she most enjoys showing people different ways to prepare meals since many don’t know how to cook healthy meals at home. She does this in her classes as well as on an individual basis. She is hoping to start a walking group after work where people can join at the pharmacy and take a walk together to be more active and bring the community closer. All in all, Donna hopes to make Ehrhardt a healthier community.