Collaborative Care Award 2024: Graeme Hill

Updated on May 31, 2024 (Originally posted on May 15, 2024) The Tablet

Graeme Hill
Collaborative Care Award
Pharmacist, Kipp-Mallery Pharmacy
Kamloops, B.C.


Graeme Hill was no average pharmacy student.

Six days a week, he would wake up at 4:30 a.m. and drive down to False Creek and train in competitive rowing. After two hours of hard work, he would then drive to the University of B.C. campus, where he was enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Pharmacy program.

For nearly all four years of pharmacy school, this was his schedule and routine.

Rowing offered a thrill and challenge that was similar to the difficulty of pharmacy school itself. Success was rewarding. As the son of two pharmacists, including a father who served as associate dean for external affairs at the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hill was naturally drawn to pursue chemistry and biology in his undergraduate studies.

But because his mother worked in a hospital, and his father in universities, the 2024 Collaborative Care Award recipient didn’t actually have much exposure to community pharmacy in his formative years.

Instead, it was a hospital placement opportunity in the fourth year of pharmacy school that introduced him to the interior community of Kamloops, where he’s practiced ever since graduation.

“In school, I was really interested in the human physiology, physiology and biochemistry, and pharmacy seemed a way to apply that in a practical sense,” Hill said. “You're using medications that have effects on the body. In order to understand how they work, you need to know the physiology and the biochemistry behind that- I think it was that understanding that initially brought me into pharmacy. I enjoyed the science.”

Graeme Hill

Graeme Hill, long-term care pharmacist at Kipp-Mallery Pharmacy in Kamloops, was first drawn to pharmacy because of his interest in physiology and biochemistry.

His first position was as a staff pharmacist in a community pharmacy in Kamloops. He would stay at this location for the next decade, briefly serving as associate owner of his store, before settling into his current home, as a long-term care pharmacist at Kipp-Mallery Pharmacy in Kamloops.

“As a dispensing pharmacist, I really enjoyed working with working face to face with patients and developing those long-term relationships with these patients, some of whom were my neighbours,” he said. “But when I entered long-term care, I was finding that instead of developing relationships with patients, you end up developing relationships with the nurses and doctors in these facilities.”

Today, Hill serves more than 1,000 long-term care patients in eight communities around the Kamloops region, including Salmon Arm, Clearwater, Williams Lake and Lillooet. A typical day involves spending two-thirds of his time inside the pharmacy, where he can often be found taking calls from fellow health providers, or receiving and entering prescriptions that are coming into the pharmacy.

The other portions of his time are dedicated to travelling to the many communities he serves, with prescription deliveries, or as part of visits to perform medication reviews for patients.

For Hill, collaboration with health-care team members means communicating and sharing information. Some of the most important skills he has learned as a collaborator is to pay attention to detail, to be willing to take suggestions from others, and being adaptable to external best practices. 

“And asking questions. It means working together to try to make things better or to find a solution to problems,” he said. “We each have our own points of view and expertise to share, and we rely on the expertise and experiences of other health professionals to get the job done.”

Collaborating matters. When health-care professionals collaborate, Hill finds that it often means better care for the patient.

“When there isn't collaboration, issues don't get dealt with. Problems don't get solved. Patients who may have symptoms end up end up suffering because of it,” he said. “When we work together, we proactively identify solutions to problems as they come as opposed to letting the problems fester and get larger.”

This article is featured in The Tablet. The Tablet features pharmacy and industry news, profiles on B.C. pharmacists, information on research developments and new products.