Pharmacy U

Leaders in Pharmacy – Demonstrating value and propelling the profession forward


Leaders in Pharmacy, including this independently written article, is supported by Pfizer Canada Inc.


Demonstrating value and propelling the profession forward


By donalee Moulton

Photography by Adam Blasberg


The 14 pharmacists you will read about here are making their mark on the profession of pharmacy. They are also marking a milestone. This year is the fifth anniversary of the “Leaders in Pharmacy” initiative. Since 2013, more than 65 influential and insightful individuals have come together to explore the changing role of pharmacy. They have shared best practices and paved the way for even stronger pharmacist leadership in this country.


The Leaders in Pharmacy initiative, sponsored by Pfizer Canada Inc., has resonated with pharmacists and with the profession as a whole. The leaders profiled over the last five years have told us that in a climate of constant and substantive change, learning from and connecting with each other is paramount.


Support is also critical—and it is at the heart of Pfizer Canada’s continued commitment to the Leaders in Pharmacy program. “Showcasing the work, the ideals and the knowledge of individuals propelling the pharmacy profession forward in support of their patients is essential,” says Gordon Cooper, Pfizer’s director of commercial channels. “It speaks to us all.”


Each year the Leaders in Pharmacy program has centred on a vital and timely theme. The inaugural launch looked at mentorship and gender-balanced leadership. This was followed by an exploration of effective advocacy and then strong partnerships in changing times. Last year, the leaders addressed issues of customer loyalty and enhanced adherence. These themes are still relevant, and our pharmacy leaders continue to focus their efforts on improving the profession and its delivery of services in these areas.


This year’s Leaders in Pharmacy spoke with us about a critical issue for the profession and for them as individuals: showing the value pharmacists bring to the health system. There was unanimous agreement that this is essential for the continued evolution of the profession. As one leader noted, “Pharmacy needs to realize if it doesn’t provide value to the healthcare system as a profession, it will be relegated to dispensing. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there is a much bigger world out there.”


Patients, of course, are at the centre of the healthcare system. That is pharmacy’s greatest value, says Cooper. “As a trusted and accessible healthcare provider, pharmacists can improve patient health outcomes effectively and efficiently. They are key players to enhancing healthcare in Canada.”


Highlighting the profession’s value to the healthcare system has been a longstanding need, adds Cooper. “We want to be a partner of choice in demonstrating this value—and helping to highlight how pharmacists can do even more for healthcare in this country.”


There is more to be done. As one leader noted, “At times we fall short of contributing our full value to the system. We need to get out of our comfort zone. We have to undertake a continuous quality improvement for ourselves, as well as our profession.”


The 14 Leaders in Pharmacy you will meet discuss how the profession is enhancing healthcare at both the highest and the most personal levels. There are actions that pharmacists take on a daily basis that improve health outcomes one patient at a time. Collectively, their impact is changing healthcare for the better at all levels: locally, provincially and nationally.