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Waterloo Pharmacy welcomed alumni from all cohorts back for Reunion 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

As part of the University of Waterloo’s Reunion Weekend Sept 29-30, the School of Pharmacy hosted Friday night trivia and Saturday Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The events brought alumni from every cohort back to Kitchener to reconnect with senior students, staff, and faculty.

Christine Bird, Thomas McFarlane and David Edwards holding the pharmacy trivia trophyTrivia was hosted at McCabe’s Irish Pub and Grill, an old haunt for pharmacy students located up the street from the School. Director David Edwards welcomed graduates back and promised them fierce competition. Attendees formed teams and shared their knowledge of geography, books, and music, with a few pharmacy-specific questions thrown in the mix. Dr. Edwards delivered on his promise: his team, which included professor Tom McFarlane, community service learning coordinator Christine Bird, and Rx2011 alumnus Jeff Wong, came in first.

The next morning alumni and senior students gathered at the School for CPD presentations. Pharmacist Bryan Gray kicked off the session with his keynote presentation on the diversification and management of community pharmacies. Gray is the Director of Oak Medical Arts, a network of clinics in Thunder Bay that offers a variety of health services. His holistic model incorporates multiple health care providers and has seen great success in the area.

Six Rx2016 students smiling holding a banner that says Reunion Welcome Back Alumni

Attendees came from every cohort from 2011-2017, and Rx2016 had the most alumni in attendance. Rx2016s above: Sanjar Salah, Jim Nguyen, Chris Shin, Danyah Musbah, Uma Paranthaman, Sajal Chopra.

Gray is a strong advocate for appointment based models of health care, where patient medications are synced so that the patient comes in for one appointment to pick up all their medications. On these dates, the pharmacist can then suggest additional clinical services to the patient.

“The patient is at the centre of care,” he says, “but at my clinics we also aim to have pharmacists at the centre of the operations supporting the patient.”

Wade Thompson presentingGray’s presentation was followed by Rx2013 alumnus Wade Thompson (right). Thompson discussed deprescribing and the importance of considering the patient’s personal values when having conversations around reducing the number of prescriptions taken. 

In the afternoon, faculty members Sherilyn Houle, Jeff Nagge, Michael Beazely, and Kelly Grindrod discussed current topics in pharmacy practice. Responding to the recent addition of travel vaccines to Ontario pharmacist scope, Houle discussed travel trends and the impact they could have for community pharmacists. Nagge’s video presentation covered critical appraisal methods, and Beazely and Grindrod shared information on opioids, in particular illicit fentanyls, and naloxone. The sessions generated good discussion, and alumni shared their experiences encountering issues like opioid addiction and travel vaccination in their various practice settings.

The day closed with a meal, prize draw, and lively conversations - see the Reunion album for more photos. Hope to see everyone again at Reunion 2018 where Waterloo Pharmacy will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary!

Three alumni next to the Waterloo Pharmacy banner