Agenda and Speakers

Friday, March 19, 2021

8:30 am - Welcome Address, Geraldine Vance

Geraldine Vance is the Chief Executive Officer of the BC Pharmacy Association.

8:30 - 9:15 am - COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout, Dr. Abdu Sharkawy

Dr. Abdu Sharkawy is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and an Infectious Diseases consultant at the University Health Network. Having amassed 20+ years of experience on the front lines, he routinely appears on multiple media outlets around the globe for his expert analysis, key insights, and recommendations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic; including serving as the principal Infectious Diseases resource lead for CTV News in Canada.

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  • describe current approved clinical treatments for COVID-19.
  • describe the pharmacist role in the pandemic response.

9:15 - 10:00 am - A year of pandemic control, what is the end game?, Dr. Martin Lavoie

Dr. Martin Lavoie started in his current the role of Deputy Provincial Health Officer (acting) in July of 2020.

Dr. Lavoie moved from Alberta to British Columbia in August 2017 and took on the role of Executive Medical Director & Medical Health Officer at Fraser Health. In 2018, he became Vice President, Population Health & Chief Medical Health Officer.

He graduated from medicine then specialized and graduated in community medicine from Université de Montréal in 1996 and is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada in community medicine.

Dr. Lavoie started his career in Québec then moved to Alberta in 2002 where he held a regional lead Medical Officer of Health position. He moved on in 2009 to hold the position of Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health with the Government of Alberta, based in Edmonton. He also temporarily stepped in as the acting Chief Medical Officer of Health in 2015-2016 and in 2017.

Dr. Lavoie has led or has been a member of various Federal/Provincial/Territorial committees, task forces and working groups, including the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, on which he is currently the liaison representative for the Canadian Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health.

Dr. Lavoie is an Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, and was a preceptor at the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (Alberta) for Public Health and Community Medicine senior resident rotations, and a supervisor for other internship/student rotations in public health.

As a main spokesperson on public health issues during his career, Dr. Lavoie has given a vast number of interviews to print and electronic media, and has participated in a number of public townhalls.

He also has been a speaker at many forums, conventions and conferences over the years, including at a few Canadian Immunization Conferences.

The presentation will provide answers to these questions:

  • What have we learned about the COVID-19 virus? 
  • How did we manage the pandemic pre-vaccine, and is this what we would expect in future pandemics?
  • How was the vaccine developed?
  • What is the role that the vaccine is likely to play and what do the next 1-3 years look like?
  • What is the general approach in Canada?
  • What are the details of B.C.’s immunization plan?
  • Including: when will pharmacists be eligible for vaccination?
  • Including: what roles can pharmacists and pharmacies play in this pandemic response?
  • Including: where and when will pharmacies play a role in the vaccination plan?
  • What are the most recent updates (immunization numbers, impact of vaccines so far)?

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  • identify strategies the province took in combatting COVID-19 and steps taken to flatten the curve.
  • explain key details of B.C.’s immunization plan, the phases of vaccine testing and development, and the general approach in Canada with regard to the vaccine rollout.

10:00 - 10:15am Break

10:15 - 11:00 am - BC's Pharmaceutical, Laboratory & Blood Services Overview, 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 for 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.

Providing overall management and leadership, the Pharmaceutical, Laboratory & Blood Services Division 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. The division also provides strategic oversight, support, policy development, performance, and issues monitoring, program evaluation, and innovation for laboratory medicine and blood services. The Division engages with other Divisions within the Ministry of Health and the health sector (including interprovincial collaboration) to achieve results.

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  • describe the Ministry’s upcoming policies and policy changes that impact the pharmacy sector

11:00 - 11:45 am - The Mindful Advantage: Avoiding Burnout, Trish Tutton

Trish is a speaker and Mindfulness Teacher who has taught mindfulness to thousands of people across North America. She is passionate about empowering people to meet the challenges of their life with more peace and presence; to use mindfulness to reduce stress and anxiety, and create individual and team resilience. You can find her as a teacher on the #1 free meditation app in the world, Insight Timer. Trish is on a mission to help you be calmer, happier and more effective in your life and work.

We live in an age of burnout. We are overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time, and it costs us productivity, motivation and enjoyment of life and work. We can't avoid stress, but it can have serious implications to our happiness, productivity and efficiency. The good news is, it doesn't have to dictate our lives. This experiential presentation explores the physiology of stress and challenges our narrow definition of success that can lead us to burnout. Learn to thrive in an age of burnout with mindfulness.

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  • utilize mindfulness techniques to avoid burnout during a time of high stress as a health professional on the front lines of a pandemic.
  • define the physiology of stress, how to recognize its symptoms, understand the impact it can have on their profession, and how to manage them.

11:45 - 12:00 pm - Closing Remarks, Annette Robinson

Annette Robinson is the President of the BC Pharmacy Association.