2023 Agenda and Speakers

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If you have registered but are having trouble accessing the conference, or have additional questions, please contact info@bcpharmacy.ca.

A New Chapter: Increasing Pharmacy Care

Thursday, May 11, 2023


The Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy has accredited this program for 3.5 CEUs (expiry May 12, 2023).

CCCEP File No.: 1092-2023-3630-C-P

Accredited for 3.50 CEU

Program Accredited April 26, 2023

Accreditation Expiry: May 12, 2023

8:30 am: Welcome

Chris ChiewChiew
President, BC Pharmacy Association

Raised in Northern Alberta, Chris Chiew’s interest in chemistry led him into a part-time job as a pharmacy assistant, encouraged by his Grade 12 chemistry teacher. He enjoyed the patient interactions and worked in the role until he was accepted into the pharmacy program at the University of Alberta.

Shortly after graduating from the pharmacy program at the University of Alberta in 1994, Chris joined London Drugs.

Since then, he has served 26 years, first as a pharmacist, then assistant pharmacy manager, pharmacy manager, pharmacy operations manager, General Manager, Pharmacy before moving into his current position as Vice President - Pharmacy and Healthcare Innovation at London Drugs.

In addition, Chris also serves on the Board of Directors of the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada, where he is Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee.



8:30 to 9:15 am: Keynote Address - Indigenous Health and Reconciliation in Pharmacy

Jaris SwidrovichJaris
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto

Through both a storytelling and didactic approach, this session will summarize critical terminology, previous and current government policies responsible for the state of Indigenous Peoples’ health, and how pharmacy professionals can contribute to Truth and Reconciliation through the provision of culturally safe care.

Jaris Swidrovich is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. He is a queer, Two Spirit, Saulteaux and Ukrainian pharmacist from Yellow Quill First Nation. He is the founder and Chair of the Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada and Co-Scientific Director of nātawihowin First Nations Research Network.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan and a post-baccalaureate Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Toronto. His areas of research and practice include HIV/AIDS, substance use disorders, 2SLGBTQ+ health, Indigenous health, social determinants of health, and health professions education. Dr. Swidrovich is also a PhD Candidate in Education at the University of Saskatchewan, where he is studying Indigenous Peoples’ experiences with pharmacy education in Canada.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify critical terminology relevant to the state of Indigenous health and reconciliation in healthcare
  • Identify previous and current government policies responsible for the current cap in healthcare for Indigenous patients
  • Identify strategies on how pharmacy professionals can contribute to Truth and Reconciliation through the provision of culturally safe care



9:15 to 10:00 am: Prescribing for Minor Ailments Panel

Learning Objectives: 

  • Reflect on the rollout for minor ailment prescribing for community pharmacists in Ontario and P.E.I.
  • Discuss the changes involved in the B.C. implementation of minor ailment prescribing coming this June in the context of improved patient access to healthcare and pharmacy workflow

Geraldine VanceGV
Chief Executive Officer, BC Pharmacy Association

Geraldine began her career as a journalist, which led her to interview politicians and senior business leaders. Her interaction with Saskatchewan Premier Allan Blakeney resulted in her joining his staff as the very first woman to hold the position of press officer to a provincial cabinet.

After leaving the premier’s office, she worked in communications consulting, for the premier’s office in B.C., and the Doctors of B.C. (previously the BC Medical Association) as the director of communications and public affairs. She joined the BC Pharmacy Association in January 2012 as the CEO. In her role, she advocates for the advancement of the professional and economic advancement of community pharmacies in the Province.

Justin BatesJustin Bates
Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Pharmacists Association

Justin Bates is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA). Justin was appointed CEO of OPA in September of 2019, having previously served as the CEO of the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada. Justin is an inspirational executive with over 23 years of experience in the financial services and pharmacy industries. Exceptional record of relationship management and producing value-driven sustainable solutions for clients. Justin is a strategic and transformational leader fostering a team-based collaborative approach in executive management and stakeholder relations.

A persuasive influencer with focus, vision and an effective communication style in support of organizational growth. Justin began his career in the advertising and marketing space before transitioning into the health insurance industry. Justin worked in a variety of capacities in the health insurance sector including as a consultant for a pharmacy benefit manager and as a principal in a health benefits third party administrator and insurance brokerage.

Justin’s introduction to working in the pharmacy advocacy field occurred in 2005 while engaging in cross industry initiatives with pharmacy associations and it was here that brought together his passion for healthcare with a platform to advocate for sustainable solutions. In 2006, he joined the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (as Neighbourhood Pharmacies was known).

He has spent the last 18 years advocating on behalf of the pharmacy industry by executing strategic initiatives and achieving economic sustainability while developing strong pharmacy sector relationships with all stakeholders.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology, Justin holds a negotiation certificate from the Harvard Negotiation Institute and has completed the Institute of Corporate Directors and the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, Executive Program: Not for Profit Governance Essentials Program.  He was selected as one of the 2019 Leaders in Pharmacy and serves as a Director on the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy Board.

Erin MacKenzieErin Mackenzie
Executive Director, Prince Edward Island Pharmacists Association

Erin MacKenzie is a pharmacist, receiving her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

She is the executive director of both the PEI Pharmacists Association and the Dalhousie University Pharmacy Endowment Fund, an organization that was founded to provide financial support to pharmacy research and projects in the Maritime provinces.

Erin continues to practice pharmacy on a relief basis in Prince Edward Island, and serves as a pharmacist volunteer in rural Tanzania as part of the Canada-Africa Community Health Alliance (CACHA) team. 

10:00 to 10:15 am: Break

Take a 15-minute break.

Check your emails. Grab a coffee or snack and listen to a few words from our sponsors.



10:15 to 11:00 am: Update on Ministry of Health priorities

Susan BoumaSusan Bouma
Executive Director, Clinical Services and Evaluation, Pharmaceutical, Laboratory & Blood Services Division

Sue is a clinical pharmacy leader at the BC Ministry of Health. Her current title is the Executive Director of the Clinical Services and Evaluation Branch of the Pharmaceutical, Laboratory and Blood Services Division. Previously, she held the posts of Director of the Special Authority Program and Acting Executive Director of the PharmaCare Benefits Branch within the division. Prior to joining the BC public service Sue worked for the Vancouver Island Health Authority as a clinical pharmacist in the Home and Community Program and as an acute care pharmacist at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Sue practiced for many years prior to that in the community as part of the McGill and Orme pharmacy chain on the island that later joined the Katz group as part of their Rexall arm of service delivery. Pharmacy practice excellence is a focus of her day to day work and enhanced community pharmacy service activities are a huge component of what she is accountable for and excited to be working on in her current role at the Ministry.

Sue is passionate about pharming with a “ph” and about farming with a “f” and on her off hours you can find her puttering about on her hobby farm (Double Dutch Farm) located on the Peninsula. If you are in the capital area she encourages to pop by for a visit as she is always up for a chat about anything pharm/farm related!

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the most recent changes in PharmaCare policy relevant to community pharmacies including details around
    • the COVID vaccination booster campaign
    • the expansion of scope around prescription adaptation
    • the expansion of scope around administration of injections



11:00 to 11:45 am: The Pharmacist Role in Managing Overdose Risk and Treating Opioid Use Disorder - an update on Prescribed Safer Supply and OUD Guidelines

Mona KwongMona Kwong
Pharmacy Advisor and Director Addiction Pharmacy Fellowship Program, BC Centre for Substance Use

This session will discuss the pharmacist role in managing overdose risk, provide an update on prescribed safer supply and OUD guidelines. 

Mona Kwong is the Director for the BCCSU Clinical Addiction Pharmacy Fellowship and is the Pharmacy Advisor at the BCCSU. She is a community based primary care pharmacist. Mona works at an urban community neighbourhood pharmacy and as a pharmacist consultant at Infinity Medical Specialists Clinic, Vancouver’s first collaborative medical specialists clinic.

Mona received her BSc(Pharm) and MSc from the University of British Columbia and her Clinical Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Florida. Her passion is in enhancing the quality of patient care, promoting collaborative interprofessional teams, good governance, policy, education, and mentorship.

Mona provides cross-sectional support with the BCCSU teams in clinical, education and research. She has supported guideline development/review and educational initiatives including the BCCSU Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Addiction, the BCCSU Guideline on the Management of Alcohol Use Disorder and the BC ECHO on Substance Use series.

Learning Objectives:


  • Reflect on pharmacists’ roles in managing overdose risk within their practice
  • Discuss the different types of prescribed safer alternatives in practice
  • Discuss changes and updates since the initial 2017 BCCSU OUD guidelines



11:45 to 12:15 pm: Minor Ailment and Contraception Service Update

Bryce WongBryce Wong
Director, Pharmacy Practice Support and Special Projects, BC Pharmacy Association

Bryce Wong is a licensed pharmacist and Director of Pharmacy Practice Support & Special Projects at the BC Pharmacy Association (BCPhA). In his role at the Association he is responsible for engaging with stakeholders such as the Ministry of Health, the College of Pharmacists of BC, third-party payers and public health on issues of policy, programs and reimbursement.

Bryce was also responsible for supporting the BCPhA effort’s to manage and coordinate the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination and influenza programs in community pharmacies over the past two years. He also has oversight over the development and delivery of training and education programs delivered by the BCPhA such as the BC Community Pharmacy Manager Training program, Opioid Agonist Treatment Compliance and Management Program for Pharmacy, Regulatory Bootcamp and Administration of Injections training program.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify all training materials on minor ailments prescribing available to community pharmacists pre-launch and where to access them
  • Describe the full list of minor ailments and the specific drug classes from which pharmacists will be able to prescribe in June

12:15 pm: Closing Remarks

Closing remarks by Chris Chiew, President, BC Pharmacy Association.