New Practitioner Award 2023: Carson Mintram

Updated on February 1, 2024 (Originally posted on December 6, 2023) The Tablet

Carson Mintram
New Practitioner Award

Pharmacy Manager, Hogarth’s Clinic Pharmacy
Vernon, B.C.

He’s so well-loved in his new community that patients offer up their homes for him to stay in while travelling, just so he doesn’t have to commute as far from Kelowna to Vernon.

Maybe it’s his youthful appearance that makes them want to take him under their wings. But it’s even more so the fact that pharmacist Carson Mintram connects so well with his Vernon-area patients and embraces the change in scope of practice given to pharmacists earlier this year.

He goes above and beyond to give me what I need,” says patient Brenda Gentles. “He’s a breath of fresh air. He's young and bright.”

After graduating from UBC in 2022, Mintram quickly found his role serving patients in Vernon at Hogarth’s Clinic Pharmacy, moving up to Pharmacy Manager in less than a year on the job. He’s known for his self-effacing sense of humor, boundless energy, and ability to adapt to changing situations. He credits being a high-performance hockey official before pursuing pharmacy that taught him to be a quick thinker.

His colleagues say he’s injected a sense of enthusiasm into their practice.

“He’s challenged the way I do things, to say the least,” says pharmacist Curtis Omelchuk, owner of Hogarth’s Clinic Pharmacy. “I’m older. You get stuck in your ways and sometimes you don’t always look at the other side of the coin and say, ‘Hey, maybe we can do this.’

“To think differently is important. It takes a certain amount of boldness to be able to say, ‘Yeah, I know that’s the script, but I’m going to adapt.’ ”

Pharmacist Ruby Maw agrees. At a recent dinner, Mintram started a conversation with local doctors about how they could work more collaboratively together.

“Considering how new he is to pharmacy. It’s incredible,” she says. “He’s fearless.”

While he’s known for encouraging pharmacy peers to adapt rather than simply fax a prescriber and counselling patients on medications, Mintram is also known for his ability to make it easier for patients who find navigating the health-care system challenging.

Hogarth’s Clinic Pharmacy serves patients who are members of the Okanagan Indian Band. He understands and respects the cultural aspects that come with the community and handles it with compassion and understanding, says Kim Lutz, a registered nurse with the Band.

Not everyone is willing to take on Indigenous populations who have had challenging billing procedures, she says. He’s helped with using special authority for devices for patients with diabetes so they can manage their chronic diseases and has adapted prescriptions, so patients don’t have to return to their doctors repeatedly. He helps when patients lose their medications and is always available when she needs to call him.

“It’s a lot of work with little gain, but he’s taken it on with smiles and joy,” Lutz says. “Carson likes the challenge that it seems to give him.”

But what fuels him the most is knowing he’s connecting with people in his community.

“It’s having those meaningful interactions with people,” Mintram says. “I've long been a believer in getting to know people. They see your face, and they're familiar with you. The ability to come in and recognize people and be recognized and be a trusted resource for them is something I don't take for granted.  I'm very grateful for the opportunity.”

Carson Mintram

Carson Mintram, nominated for the New Practitioner Award at Hogarth Clinic Pharmacy, has shown exceptional leadership during the transition to the Kroll software system. Serving as a key contact for the Round Lake Treatment Centre and OKIB Primary Care Clinic, Carson's commitment to patient care, cultural sensitivity, and proactive approach to addressing patient needs make him a deserving nominee for the award.

Patients ask for him by name. Patients like John Fraher who came to him with multiple medications given to him by the hospital.

“To me they were incomprehensible. He sat down with me and took 15 minutes to describe every single medication, and what I should do with it and how I should confer with my doctor about it,” Fraher says. “It became comforting to know that I was with somebody who knew what they were talking about and was prepared to spend the time.”

Many say he treats them like they’re the first patient he has interacted with, or that he will ask all the questions they didn’t even think to ask.

“I’ve never met a pharmacist like Carson before,” says patient Evan Winkelaar.

Mintram says pharmacists are in a unique position right now, where patients are looking to them to help with the burden in the health-care system and serve as an integral part of the team. With recent changes in scope and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the paradigm has shifted. Rather than visiting their doctor for every minor issue, patients are comfortable with pharmacists helping with chronic medications and looking at lab results.

“Not only does it reduce the workload on the prescribers, but it helps increase the amount of trust patients have with us,” Mintram says.

But really, he says, “I’m just doing my job. Doing my job well.”

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.