Waterloo Pharmacy faculty shared research findings and reflections on the profession at the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy (CFP) Innovation Gala in April.
One of the primary goals of the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy is to support pharmacy practice research in Canada and for 2016, CFP has committed to providing $100,000 to pharmacy researchers through its Innovation Fund competition. School of Pharmacy Hallman Director David Edwards is also president of CFP and was in attendance at the gala. In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Edwards stated that “the Foundation is very proud of the fact that we have become a leading source of funding for pharmacy practice research in Canada.”
Two such strategies for optimising patient health came from Dr. Sherilyn Houle and Dr. Tejal Patel, Waterloo Pharmacy assistant professors who have received Innovation Fund Grants from CFP. Dr. Houle is investigating the role and results of pharmacists as prescribers and administrators of travel vaccines, and Dr. Patel studies the benefits that pharmacist services can have for frail and elderly patients.
Nancy Waite, professor at Waterloo Pharmacy, also shared outcomes of her recent Ontario Pharmacy Research Collaboration (OPEN) work on patient perceptions of government-funded pharmacy services. The OPEN project’s findings indicate that Ontarians are increasingly accepting of these services.
Impressive research aside, the profession of pharmacy is still in a period of change and much work remains to be done. The Gala’s Keynote speaker was Jeff Yurek, community pharmacist and Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London, and he spoke to some of those challenges. Pharmacists need to work together, he suggested and demonstrate “unity in the profession to ensure pharmacy can work with and lobby the government.”
The gala contributes to that sense of unity by bringing the pharmacy community together to fundraise for vital research and to discuss the changing landscape of pharmacy practice.