2024 Agenda and Speakers

Friday, May 31, 2024

7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Breakfast

Enjoy a heartier breakfast buffet to fuel your energy for a power-packed day ahead.

8:15 a.m. Welcome

Opening our 2024 conference will be the BC Pharmacy Association's President Mike Huitema

Mike started his first term on the BCPhA Board of Directors in 2019 as an elected board member. He now serves as the 2024 President of the Association. 

Mike graduated from the University of Alberta with a BSc in Pharmacy in 2007. Growing up with both parents owning various small businesses, Mike has been involved in small community business his whole life.
After graduating from university, he lived and practiced in Kamloops, where he was the associate-owner of Shoppers Drug Mart #277 for more than 10 years.

In 2020, he moved to Salmon Arm, where he is now associate owner of Shoppers Drug Mart #248.

8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Keynote address

Dispensing Preparedness: A Prescription for Success in Community Pharmacy Disaster Response

The pandemic has thrust community pharmacists into a new light, reshaping public perception and positioning them as primary care providers. This shift becomes even more critical as pharmacies in British Columbia respond to patients affected by the recent onslaught of wildfires and flooding. In adapting to these emergencies, the question arises: How can pharmacists ensure they are prepared for the next significant crisis?

Embark on an enlightening journey into the vital domain of disaster preparedness led by Dr. Kaitlyn WatsonB. Pharmacy (Hons), PhD a disaster pharmacy researcher and Founder & CEO of Disaster Pharmacy Solutions. The focus encompasses exploring the evolving role of community pharmacists during crises, acquiring actionable approaches for effective disaster preparedness, and uncovering tailored self-care strategies and disaster response approaches designed specifically for pharmacies.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain the importance of disaster preparedness for health emergencies.
  2. Describe pharmacists’ roles and responsibilities in health emergencies.

About Dr. Kaitlyn Watson:

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.'

9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

A Nova Scotia perspective: Pharmacists as primary care providers and pharmacy clinics

Nova Scotia, like many provinces, faces a primary care crisis with 15 per cent of its population waiting for a family doctor or nurse practitioner and emergency departments facing pressures. In 2023, the government announced a pilot project of primary care clinics in pharmacies where pharmacists provide publicly funded treatments for minor ailments and chronic disease. Allison Bodnar, CEO of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia (PANS), which partnered with the government, will talk about the initiative, and provide key learnings.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the NS Community Pharmacy Primary Care program and the planned next steps for the delivery of primary care by pharmacists in Nova Scotia
  2. Explain the barriers and enablers to the delivery of primary care in Nova Scotia pharmacies

About Allison Bodnar, B.A., LL.B.

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.

10:30 to 10:45 a.m.

Take a 15-minute break and grab a coffee or tea. Check emails and stretch your legs before the next session.




10:45 to 11:45 a.m.

Gender-Affirming Patient Care


Gender-Affirming Patient Care is an introductory training for those new to learning about gender diversity. This training expands on the Intro to gender diversity online module (which should be taken as a prerequisite) and offers further exploration into key terms and concepts, along with strategies for supporting trans, Two-Spirit and non-binary individuals. 

Lucas Wilson, Provincial Lead for Partnerships and Networks at Trans Care BC, presents this session.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand barriers to care facing trans, Two-Spirit and non-binary patients
  2. Identify three ways to incorporate gender-affirming care into your practice

About Lucas Wilson:

Lucas Wilson (he/him/his) is a white, settler, transgender man living on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-waututh Nations. As a Provincial Lead for Partnerships and Networks at Trans Care BC, Lucas works to support initiatives and cross-sectoral work to support and improve gender-affirming care and wellness for trans, Two-Spirit and non-binary people in B.C.  In his previous roles at Trans Care BC and other organizations, Lucas' experience includes youth work, health systems navigation and education.

Prior to attending this session, attendees are asked to complete the Intro to Gender Diversity - Expanded course.

11:45 to 1:15 p.m. Tradeshow with stand-up lunch

Enjoy lunch and mingling with others at the BCPhA's tradeshow, where you'll have the opportunity to talk business with this year's conference sponsors and exhibitors.

1:15 to 2:15 p.m.

Ministry of Health Pharmaceutical Services Update

Each year, B.C.'s community pharmacists and pharmacy owners look forward to hearing an update from the Ministry of Health's Pharmaceutical Laboratory & Blood Services Division, whose policies impact pharmacies and pharmacists on a daily basis.

Joining us again this year is Mitch Moneo, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Division, who will give attendees an important overview of the work done by his team and what's on the horizon.

The Pharmaceutical, Laboratory & Blood Services Division, colloquially referred to as PharmaCare in pharmacy circles, is responsible for a robust and effective policy framework for both pharmaceutical services (including gene therapies, health authority pharmaceutical and life support therapies) and the PharmaCare public drug program.

About Mitch Moneo:

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 serving as a jurisdictional member representing Western Canada and vice-chair of the board of the Canadian Agency for Drug Technology in Health (CADTH), vice-chair of the pan Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance; a member of CIHR’s Drug Safety and Effectiveness (DSEN) steering committee, and co-chair of the ISPOR North American Health Technology Assessment Roundtable.

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

2:30 to 2:45 p.m. Break

Coffee and Tea Break

2:30 to 4:35 Concurrent Sessions

The following sessions will be offered between 2:30 and 4:35 with two concurrent sessions running at a time:

2:30-3:30pm - Medications for Weight Loss
Speaker: Chen Shen, PharmD, BSc. Pharm, BSc. Biochem, BA. Psych

2:30-3:30pm - Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Vaccination: A new pathway to protect infants and older adults
Speaker: Dr Colleen Dy, OBGYN 

3:35-4:35pm- Pharmacy Cyber Security
Speaker: George Bozain, Managing Partner and Head of Strategic Agency Management (Canada) 
Coalition, Inc.

3:35-4:35pm- mRNA Vaccines: Decoding the Future of Immunizations
Speakers: Anna Blakney and Linda Gutenberg 

More details on each session will come shortly.

BCPhA Annual General Meeting (Time TBD)

This year's AGM will be held in-person at our annual conference.

5:45 p.m. Reception Awards Gala

Mingle with colleagues and enjoy appetizers and drinks. (Drink tickets plus cash bar)

6:45 p.m. BC Pharmacy Association Awards Gala Dinner

Join colleagues for a sit down dinner and celebrate the winners of BCPhA's 2024 Pharmacy Excellence Awards. (Winners will be announced at the dinner.)