Conference 2024 Speakers


This year's conference kicks off with Dr. Kaitlyn Watson, an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta, focuses on social and public health pharmacy. Holding a PhD from Queensland University of Technology, her research delved into pharmacists' roles in disasters. Actively contributing to leadership, she co-chairs the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM) Primary Healthcare group and is co-lead of climate adaptation for the Canadian Association of Pharmacy for the Environment.

With expertise gained through postdoctoral fellowships in clinical trial management and implementation science, Dr. Watson is dedicated to fostering sustainable evidence-based change in the public health and primary care sectors. Specializing in interactive Table-Top Exercises, she elevates disaster management training. In 2022, Dr. Watson authored 'Disaster and Emergency Pharmacy: A Guide to Preparation and Management.'

Allison Bodnar leads the representation of nearly 1,500 pharmacists, technicians, and students, along with more than 300 pharmacies in Nova Scotia. Passionate about maximizing the impact of pharmacy professionals in the health-care system, Allison has been instrumental in implementing a top-tier vaccine program, introducing innovative clinical practices, and spearheading pharmacy-led primary care programs. Her dedication to advancing pharmacy practice, coupled with her extensive legal background, reflects her commitment to the well-being of Nova Scotians.

She is a devoted mother of five and before joining PANS in 2009, Allison contributed almost seven years to the law firm of Patterson Palmer Hunt Murphy. During this time, she specialized in tax and financing transactions. Her legal career also includes roles as a corporate lawyer with Bell Aliant Telecommunications and as VP and General Counsel for the Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia. With a law degree from the University of Toronto and a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario, Allison brings a unique blend of legal expertise and health-care advocacy to her role.

James graduated from the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto in 2010 and practiced community pharmacy for a decade before transitioning into a pharmacy operations role. He is currently the Director of Pharmacy Excellence with Wholehealth Pharmacy Partners where he oversees pharmacy operations for 200+ Wholehealth pharmacies across Canada.

James has held leadership roles with several pharmacy organizations including the Ontario College of Pharmacists. He currently serves as the Ontario College of Pharmacists board chair.

Mitch Moneo was appointed as Assistant Deputy Minister, Pharmaceutical, Laboratory and Blood Services Division (formerly Pharmaceutical Services) in August, 2017. Mitch has had a role within the Division since 2004, taking on increasing responsibility over the years.

Prior to his appointment as ADM, he was the Executive Director responsible for policy and evaluation. His current portfolio includes responsibility for a robust and effective policy framework for provincial pharmaceutical services (including health authority pharmaceutical and life support therapies) in addition to the PharmaCare public drug program. He is also responsible for the overall strategic planning, policy development, and monitoring and evaluation of provincial laboratory medicine and blood services.

Mitch is a well-respected leader now serving as chair of the pan Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance. 

Mitch and his team have been recognized as Premiers Award Provincial Finalists on five occasions in the categories of organizational excellence and partnership.

This session will focus on drug information applicable to adults who may be considering medications that reduce body weight (limitations of body mass index, pediatrics, nutrition, and exercise interventions are beyond the scope of this session).

Dr. Chen Shen, PharmD, BSc. Pharm, BSc. Biochem, BA. Psych will discuss current evidence to guide prescribing and deprescribing decisions, compare clinical considerations when choosing between medications, and discuss dosing, dose response, timing of weight loss effect, effect after stopping, and cost of medications. After this session, participants will be able to thoughtfully discuss, prescribe, monitor, and manage the current and upcoming medications for weight loss.

Infectious diseases have been on everyone’s minds over the past several years thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has been particularly troublesome.

Recent surges of RSV infection have been affecting a wider range of people, and RSV has become increasingly dangerous. Dr. Colleen Dy, OBGYN, will discuss the individual and societal burden caused by RSV infections in Canada, the importance of vaccination to reduce RSV-related morbidity and mortality, and recommendations for RSV vaccination to appropriate individuals based on indications.

Cyber security attacks are on the rise and in the news, and any organization with an online presence can be a potential target. Pharmacies are a treasure trove of sensitive patient data, and recent cases in the news have shown that they are a prime target for cyber attack.

George Bozanin and Chris Hendricks from Coalition Inc. will examine how pharmacies can harden their strong security posture in an effort to protect patient information, as well as highlight the importance of a robust standalone cyber insurance policy so as to protect and mitigate against future loss in a society that is undergoing unprecedented digital transformation.

Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines were shown to be safe and effective during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are still many challenges in the field of RNA medicines. In this session, Anna Blakney and Linda Gutenberg will discuss the challenges in the field, approaches to overcome these limitations and the exciting potential applications of RNA therapeutics.