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The recipients of the 2016 BC Excellence in Pharmacy Awards were presented at the Awards Gala on Friday, May 27, as part of the BCPhA Annual Conference in Kelowna.
Russ Loader (centre), account manager at Apotex, presents Jason Alessio (left) and Aliya Daulat with their Apotex Inc. Future British Columbia Leader Award.
During their four years in the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Aliya Daulat and Jason Alessio were actively involved student leaders, both members of several on-campus and pharmacy-related organizations and associations.
Early in her pharmacy education at UBC, Daulat threw herself into volunteer work. She served as a member of the Pharmacy Undergraduate Society, facilitating communication between faculty and students and representing her peers at UBC senate meetings. And as an active member of CHIUS, the Community Health Initiative by University Students, an interdisciplinary student and resident team, Daulat delivered multiple presentations in partnership with medical and nursing students, speaking to the needs of the Downtown Eastside population and informing these patients about how pharmacists can be involved in their health.
With a keen interest in advocacy on behalf of the pharmacy profession, Alessio was thrilled to serve as BCPhA student ambassador, beginning in his second year. As a representative of the pharmacy association to faculty and students, Alessio helped educate the UBC group on the association’s new goals and policies. He also recently traveled to Victoria for Pharmacy Day in 2015, acting as student ambassador and advocating for the role of pharmacy with various participating MLAs. Through the Pharmacy Undergraduate Society (PhUS), he served as the sports coordinator, setting up fun sporting events for faculty and students to connect in a unique way, through events such as dodgeball, a ski trip, a visit to a Whitecaps game and more. He’s also used his PhUS participation to assist in and co-organize (in his third and fourth year) an annual speed networking event where students receive tips and hints on networking, working with a mentor through a fun, lighthearted model based on speed dating.
Pharmacy Manager, Pier Health Resource Centre, Vancouver
As pharmacy manager of the newly opened Pier Health Resource Centre in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, Craig Plain operates a dynamic, challenging and entirely unique model of pharmacy practice, delivering care to some of Vancouver’s most vulnerable population.
Designed to provide personalized care to the homeless and at-risk population, Pier Health provides mental health and chronic disease outreach support, with a strong emphasis on solving drug therapy problems both within the pharmacy, as well as through regular outreach in the community, including shelters, SROs, parks and alleys.
Praised for his compassionate, knowledgeable approach to pharmacy care, Plain has worked tirelessly to develop lasting and meaningful relationships with his patients, providing them with increased care, comprehensive medication reviews and often life-changing drug therapy solutions.
Invested in his patients’ quality of life, Plain often works long hours both in the clinic and community, and has been known to even personally drive patients to the hospital in emergency situations.
Working in partnership with St. Paul’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry, Plain is the first pharmacist in BC to administer depot anti-psychosis injections on site. Plain’s dedication to this expanded scope of pharmacy practice allows patients greater flexibility in receiving their vital injections, increasing medication adherence success rates and alleviating pressure on the over-taxed hospital centre.
Plain also works closely with UBC, both as a skillful and respected preceptor with the UBC’S Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and also as a contributor to the UBC Psychiatry Research team. Providing the team with invaluable research and statistics based on his comprehensive documented clinical work with community patients, Plain’s work will help the health-care community address the community’s ongoing needs through targeted, accessible health-care services.
Owner/Manager, Peoples Drug Mart, Quadra Island
As owner and manager of Peoples Drug Mart on Quadra Island, Colleen Hogg is a passionate advocate of not only expanded pharmacy care but also the safe and reliable delivery of health-care services for residents of remote locations.
Dedicating her career to high-quality care for local customers, Hogg strives to meet the growing and changing needs of her community, introducing medication reviews, individual personalized medication cards, immunizations, as well as providing a much-needed local source for OTC medication, mobility aids and First Aid supplies for the area’s growing senior community.
In partnership with her area’s fellow health-care practitioners, Hogg has helped secure a high level of thoughtful and thorough care for customers, encouraging a strengthened physician presence on the island over the last decade.
Reaching out to surrounding communities, Hogg has grown her business twice to meet the unique needs of several Vancouver Island communities. For nearly a decade, Hogg has operated a remote location at the Community Health Centre on nearby Cortes Island, providing regular prescription pick-up service to island residents throughout the week. And more recently, Hogg has operated one of BC’s few telepharmacy’s in nearby Gold River, a small community in desperate need for pharmacy services but unable to support a full-time pharmacy team.
A regular participant in pilot projects and research studies, such as the development of the ADAPT program, Hogg encourages young pharmacists and fellow owners to expand their areas of expertise and strive to elevate their profession of pharmacy throughout excellent patient care and new program offerings.
A fierce proponent of services for all customers, recently Hogg has been actively lobbying the BC College of Pharmacists in regards to the bylaws that may negatively impact the operation of telepharmacies in BC, in the hopes of being able to provide continued and improved service to the people of Gold River.
Pharmacist/Co-owner, Agassiz Remedy’sRx and Seabird Pharmacy, Agassiz
As a pharmacist/owner in the small town of Agassiz for the past four years, Mohamed Hasanine has made a significant impact on health-care services within the community, through a sincere and dedicated patient-focused approach to pharmacy care.
As the new standard of pharmacy practice in Agassiz, Hasanine works diligently to provide services and supplies custom tailored to the community’s population, many of whom are elderly. This includes medication reviews, custom compounding, free prescription delivery, diabetes support and an increased selection of home health care supplies and medical dressings.
With a personal goal to achieve a new certification or level of training every year, Hasanine boasts a long list of additional education, which he uses to support his growing community of customers: BC Injection certificate, Art of Compounding training (University of Florida), Canadian Diabetes Educator certificate, ADAPT certificate in patient counselling skills, Lap Monitoring course and Travel Medicine for Pharmacists.
An active Agassiz community participant, he is a member of the local Lions chapter and Board member of the Agassiz Harrison Community Drivers, a volunteer service that provides rides to seniors in need. He was recently nominated by the Mayor of Agassiz as a health-care member of the Agassiz Health Committee.
Recognized by his fellow community members, Hasanine has been awarded with excellence awards through the Agassiz-Harrison Chamber of Commerce, as well as through the Agassiz-Harrison Observer annual readership awards, in which he’s received People’s Best Health and Wellness Business in 2015 and the People’s Choice Award in 2016.
Dedicated to the preservation of high-quality pharmacy practice, Hasanine was delighted to participate as a preceptor through UBC’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, receiving a nomination for 2015 UBC Practice Educator Award after just one year of participation. He was also chosen as a panel presenter for the first annual International Pharmacy Graduate Networking and Careers event in 2015.
Director, Pharmacy Practice Support, BC Pharmacy Association, Vancouver
Striving for a high quality of professionalism and advancement in the pharmacy profession throughout his career, Derek Desrosiers is regarded by his many colleagues as a tireless advocate for the industry.
Having experienced firsthand the many different roles within pharmacy – pharmacist, manager, owner – he made a further stamp on the profession through several executive positions – most recently as CEO of pharmaceutical wholesaler UniPharm and now as director of Pharmacy Practice Support with the BC Pharmacy Association.
Having served an astounding six terms as president of the BCPhA Board, Desrosiers is credited with helping to shape the board’s current approach, representing a commitment to the advancement of the sector as a whole.
He has been instrumental in advocating for the pharmacy profession, lobbying government leaders and regulatory bodies for increased opportunities for pharmacists and fewer barriers to providing comprehensive, high quality care for patients. A strong supporter of the future direction of pharmacy care, he is an early adopter of new technologies, strategies, certifications and services to elevate the role of pharmacist in today’s health-care model.
A compassionate and thoughtful leader and mentor, Desrosiers works closely with BCPhA members, recording feedback, raising recurring issues and concerns to pharmacy leaders and developing new programs and methods for training, education and professional advancement for pharmacists.
Having dedicated much of his life to supporting the field of pharmacy, Desrosiers was unanimously chosen by his peers to receive this prestigious lifetime achievement award.
Pharmacy Operations Specialist, Shoppers Drug Mart, BC & Yukon
Known for his approachable and authentic management style, Ryan Kullar oversees 82 Shoppers Drug Mart locations across BC and the Yukon as one of two Pharmacy Operations Specialists. Mentoring associate owners, Kullar works to help achieve key performance goals, identify and monitor opportunities for future franchisees and ensure regulation compliance.
As one of the first 24-year-old associate owners to take on not one but three Shoppers Drug Mart locations within the company, Kullar is a trailblazer, opening doors for pharmacists of all ages seeking new challenges and an expanded scope of pharmacy practice.
He takes great pride in developing pharmacists and having them strive to excel in their roles, encouraging them to increase clinical services for customers, such as medication reviews, adaptations, injections and vaccinations. He has been instrumental in introducing new programs into the Shoppers pharmacy system, such as travel health counselling and outreach flu clinics, among many others.
An excellent coach and teacher, Kullar is often on the road throughout BC, meeting face-to-face with associate owners and fellow team members to discuss performance strategies, problem solving and encourage further training and certification. Kullar has been a preceptor to many students from UBC’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and encourages his roster of pharmacists to consider the same mentorship opportunities.
Most recently, Kullar initiated a program in BC to educate pharmacists on adapting and renewing prescriptions and made an outstanding presentation at the 2015 Shoppers Drug Mart National Pharmacists Conference to more than 500 pharmacists from across Canada.
Clinical Services Coordinator, Wilson Pharmacy, Port Coquitlam
Ajit Johal has done outstanding work in a large number of clinical areas to promote the profession of pharmacy and improve patient outcomes. His work as clinical services coordinator with family-run business, Wilson Pharmacy, points to the critical role pharmacists will play in the future of health care sustainability.
In addition to community pharmacist, in which Johal provides a variety of clinical services to customers within the Port Coquitlam community, he also serves as clinical pharmacist for the Coast Mental Health Medication Program, delivering medication administration and support services to more than 350 complex mental patients across the Lower Mainland.
Conducting medication reviews, Johal provides recommendation letters to prescribers for each patient in order to optimize care and prevent drug therapy concerns, while also providing training for staff and patients through workshops, presentations and on-site immunization programs.
Certified in travel medicine as well as diabetes education, Johal applies his specializations to work within his community pharmacy, with Coast Mental Health and also as a clinical instructor and course coordinator for Pharmacy 405b, an elective Travel Medicine in UBC’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences for third and fourth-year pharmacy students. Johal also provides travel medicine care to Wilson Pharmacy customers through an online booking service he has developed at www.travelrx.ca, allowing customers to book free travel consultations and vaccinations at his clinic.
As the only participating pharmacy in the Tri-Cities area, Johal and Wilson Pharmacy were involved in BCPhA and Genome BC’s pharmacogenomics project, “Genomics for Precision Drug Therapy in Community Pharmacies.” He hopes to continue striving towards results-oriented clinical practice, participating in future studies and projects with institutions such as UBC in order to further expand the scope of practice for pharmacists in BC.
Co-Owner/Pharmacist, Cates Medicine Centre Pharmacy, Bowen Island
As the co-owner and pharmacist of Cates Medicine Centre Pharmacy on Bowen Island, Bud Massender is a treasured member of the small, tight-knit island community and praised for bringing Bowen Islanders their very first pharmacy 25 years ago.
Massender has built strong relationships with many health-care professionals, community service groups and patients on Bowen Island, integrating himself and his business within the community and making himself available for emergency situations at all hours of night and day. The business has supported many community endeavours over the past decades, including support of the local Little League team, fundraising opportunities and ticket sales for choir performances.
Building the business up from just about 10 prescriptions per day in 1991, Cates Medicine Centre Pharmacy is now a thriving, bustling small town pharmacy, employing a pharmacy manager (and fellow co-owner), several pharmacy staff as well as front retail staff, servicing the needs of just under 3,500 local residents.
A passionate advocate for on-island health-care services for Bowen Island residents, Massender works in close partnership with all of the island’s health-care practitioners and centres. Massender’s dedicated support of the Orchard Recovery Centre has allowed the program and centre to thrive, becoming one of the “premier treatment centres for addictions in Western Canada.” Most recently, Massender served as president of a joint health-care committee striving to develop a full-service community medical clinic on the island, in the hopes of providing more permanent services for those in need.
Following a rich and varied 50-year pharmacy career, Massender considers it a delight and privilege to soon end his career on his beloved Bowen Island.
Pharmacist/Owner, Shoppers Drug Mart, Coquitlam
As associate owner of two Shoppers Drug Mart locations in Coquitlam, David Wang oversees two teams of nearly 50 people, while also daily managing his Burke Mountain pharmacy location. Passionate about increasing pharmacy-related clinical services and furthering the role of pharmacist within health-care delivery, Wang not only provides a lengthy list of community services, such as medication reviews, adaptations and flu and travel vaccinations, but also coaches fellow pharmacists and pharmacy students on achieving similar programs within their own pharmacies.
Partnering with the Coquitlam chapter of SUCCESS, Wang regularly volunteers to speak to large groups of new immigrants about health care in Canada, on topics such as PharmaCare, vaccinations and medical coverage.
He regularly meets with political and community leaders, such as Coquitlam-Burke Mountain MLA Jodie Wickens, Coquitlam City Council and the Coquitlam School Board, many of which choose his pharmacy to receive annual flu and travel vaccinations.
Wang participates in community events and provides health-care workshops and seminars on health-care topics of interest to his community, such as heart and wellness counselling and maintenance of chronic eye illnesses. He works closely with his neighbourhood medical clinic, Foothills Medical Clinic, to provide high-quality patient care and expanded clinical services, therefore alleviating congestion for the medical clinic during the busy winter months.
Wang is a member of the BC College of Pharmacist’s Jurisprudence Examination Subcommittee.