“We need to inspire new graduates. Encourage them to speak up at the store, corporate office level and volunteering with our associations.”
- University of Toronto – Pharmacy
- Board Member, Medical Pharmacies Group Limited
Carole McKiee’s career, involving both hospital and community pharmacy practice, contributed to many major initiatives in each area of pharmacy practice. Long-term care pharmacy was the perfect combination of her hospital and community experience. Her leadership and influence transformed the way pharmacists currently practise in this area.
Where did you start your career?
After a short stint in community pharmacy, I worked full-time at St. Mike’s hospital. Hospital pharmacy was changing, and for the first time we started to see pharmacists going on the ward and being involved in patient care and decision-making. After four years, I left and took some time to start my family. I was asked to take directorship of St. John’s Rehabilitation Hospital.
There was a tremendous push for pharmacists to be more involved, and this started the transition from ward stock dispensing to blister packaging. Technology was introduced in pharmacy practice everywhere, and this was the time computerized dispensing and Medication Administration Record (MAR) sheets were starting to be utilized.
Why did you leave hospital practice?
I had two sons who were in their early teens and I thought it was the time to stay home to support them. I took a year and a half off and kept thinking about the job that I WANTED to have. I remember I had a list of three things: responsibilities besides dispensing, no uniform and no sales. Long-term care (LTC) fit the bill perfectly. It was the perfect combination of community and hospital practice.
How did you start working at Wal-Mart?
When I went back, I started working at an LTC company that provided pharmacy services to nursing and retirement homes in Ontario. We were acquired by Woolco and then Wal-Mart. Working at Wal-Mart was a tremendous experience, which involved a total renovation and redesign of our stores, and we were constantly bringing new stores online. I was the director of pharmacy and travelled all over the country. It was a crazy pace which clashed with my home life, so I decided it was time to leave.
Why did you move to Medical Pharmacies?
LTC is a passion of mine and I was offered a position as the director for pharmacy services at Medical Pharmacies, the largest provider of LTC services in Canada and a pharmacy-oriented company. I retired as the senior VP and was responsible for all departments but finance. I currently sit on the board and I am thrilled to still contribute in retirement.
Looking back at your career, what are you the proudest of?
I have worked with so many great people in different companies. I think I am proudest of enhancing pharmacy’s role in LTC. I was involved in the MedsChecks for LTC, wrote papers and volunteered on many committees to advocate for pharmacy and LTC. I was humbled by winning several awards for my work in LTC, and I felt that I contributed to the role of consulting pharmacists.
Leaders in Pharmacy, including this independently written article, is supported by GenMed, a division of Pfizer