Education: University of Toronto B.Sc. Pharm
Current role: President of the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy
What excites you about being a pharmacist?
I genuinely love being a pharmacist, and helping patients manage their medications to have a better quality of life. I am excited about the expanded scope of practice and our ability to be able to assist our patients achieve their healthcare goals and be the “go to” healthcare professional for common ailments, injections, and other healthcare needs. As president of the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy I am proud to have input in the research projects that we fund to demonstrate, validate, and expand the role of pharmacists in this country.
How has your career evolved since you first started in the profession?
When I started practising pharmacy, I never imagined myself doing anything else. I was approached by a pharmaceutical company to try sales; I thought it was a unique opportunity and I embraced it. Working in industry gave me some flexibility in my schedule and it allowed me to give back to the profession by volunteering. I served on the board of directors for OPA and became president in 2002. I was on the committee to help raise money for the OPA lecture hall at the University of Toronto. I also started my relationship with the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy, which I have been involved with since 2008. I was president in 2012 and I am again this year. Volunteering has allowed me to contribute to the profession well beyond what I could have done while working in a pharmacy and I am grateful for the opportunities it has given me.
Was there an “aha” moment for you, when you realized the impact of the difference you’re making?
My “aha” moment was receiving the Meritorious Service in Pharmacy Award from OPA in 2012. I have loved volunteering and I was hoping that my work was facilitating change in the profession. To be recognized by my peers was humbling and at the same time it validated the work that I was doing was in fact making a difference, beyond my frontline role.
As a leader in pharmacy, what continues to drive you?
One of my main drivers is the potential of the profession. Our direct contact with patients puts us in a unique position to help patients everyday. I continue to promote the profession whenever I have the opportunity. My dreams are that government, private payor and others will recognize and compensate pharmacists for not only what we currently do, but what we are capable of doing. This is where I feel our work with the Foundation is so valuable as it funds projects that demonstrates what pharmacists are and can do.
What advice would you give to a new female pharmacy graduate?
This is an exciting time to be a pharmacist, we are on the verge of great positive changes. I would urge new graduates to set their goals high, keep their options open and believe in themselves. The other thing I would recommend it to get involved, whether it is volunteering at local associations, provincial or national bodies you will find it extremely rewarding.