Pharmacy Leadership Award 2023: Javed Jokhoo

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

Javed Jokhoo
Pharmacy Leadership Award
Owner, Pharmacy Manager, Modern Pharmacy
Chilliwack, B.C.

Pharmacist Javed Jokhoo says trust needs to be earned. When he first arrived as a pharmacist in Williams Lake in 2014, he had no knowledge about the first nation culture and traditions.

He was a stranger who was new to the area. But over the next four years, little by little, he began conversations with First Nations patients to understand their childhood experiences, their culture and who they were as individuals, which allowed many to trust his health-care knowledge and advice.

Client Julie Giroux met Jokhoo five years ago when he was the pharmacy manager at Seabird Remedys Pharmacy located on the territory of the Seabird Island Band in the Agassiz area, which serves almost exclusively First Nations clients.

“He’s always been there for our people,” says Giroux, who had heart failure last year. When she was unable to get in to see her doctor, Jokhoo would adapt her prescription so she could continue her medication without interruption.  “He knows about Indigenous peoples and knows what their needs are.”

Born and raised in Mauritius, an island country off the coast of Madagascar, and educated at Rhodes University, a pharmacy school in South Africa, Jokhoo is the first in his family to arrive to Canada. He understands what it’s like to feel like an outsider to the common culture. Something that helps him connect with Indigenous patients.

“He’s very good at communicating across cultures,” says Dr. Robert Fox, a staff physician with Seabird Island. “Patients feel comfortable when they’re around him, so that no matter what you look like or what culture you may be coming from, he’s going to make you feel comfortable and not judged at all.”

Understanding the concept of Cultural Safety and Humility and putting it into practice is a cornerstone of what sets Jokhoo apart.

In 2022, The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and the Health Standards Organization (HSO) released the British Columbia (BC) Cultural Safety and Humility Standard, which outlines the responsibilities of health systems and health and social service organizations in British Columbia to establish a culture of anti-racism and cultural safety and humility in their services and programs.

After working at Seabird Island, Jokhoo recently opened Modern Pharmacy in the Rosedale area of Chilliwack. Many patients from Seabird Island have followed him to his new pharmacy.


Javed Jokhoo, nominated for the Pharmacy Leadership Award, is recognized for compassionate care, expertise in Indigenous health benefits, and collaboration in community health during COVID.

Mike Joe, a member of Seabird Island and now a client at Modern Pharmacy, says Jokhoo goes out of his way to help him address his COPD and breathing difficulties.

“Whatever I need, he’ll provide,” Joe says.

And health-care team members working with the Seabird Island community say he’s an amazing partner.

From the nurses to doctors to social workers, Jokhoo is known as an integral part of the team. Even now that he’s no longer co-located at Seabird Island’s main health-care centre. When facing uncomfortable and personal conversations about clients, Jokhoo takes it in stride with professionalism and compassion.

“He cares, and that comes across every time,” says Emily Brundritt with Child and Family Services serving Seabird Island.

Jokhoo says what’s key is working collaboratively to serve not just Indigenous patients, but every patient, to ensure they get the best care.

“We have to work as a team,” Jokhoo says.  “If we don't communicate with each other, nothing's going to happen.”

For Jokhoo, he lives by one adage: Never stop listening.

“You have to listen to the people. That's the main thing. What are the needs?” Jokhoo says.

“By listening you have done almost 75 per cent of the job.”

From there, he says, you can take the next steps.

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.