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Waterloo Pharmacy welcomes alumni and celebrates 10th anniversary at Reunion 2018

Friday, September 28, 2018

Nardine Nakhla with students and alumniWaterloo Pharmacy’s Reunion 2018 brought alumni and friends back to Kitchener for two events. On Friday Sept. 21, alumni, students, faculty, and staff competed in trivia at McCabe’s Irish Pub and Grill, and on Saturday Sept. 22, leaders in pharmacy practice and research delivered continuing education talks. The event was held alongside the University of Waterloo’s Reunion weekend.

Tom Mcfarlane, Dave Edwards, Trenny McGinnis and Christine Bird with trivia trophy

At Friday Night Trivia competition was heated, particularly between Hallman Director David Edward’s team and Professor Andrea Edington’s team. Questions covered geography, movies, books, and more with a heavy emphasis on music. Once again, David Edwards, Professor Tom McFarlane and Community Service Learning co-ordinator Christine Bird placed first; this year their team was joined by Administrative Officer Trenny McGinnis.

CE Saturday followed the next morning and kicked off with keynote speaker John Papastergiou (below). Papastergiou owns two innovative community pharmacy’s in the Greektown area of Toronto. Services he offers include pharmacogenomics counselling, a Health Tab system that can provide lab accurate screening for patients, and numerous other point-of-care services. As the pharmacy landscape continues to shift, Papastergiou argued that value-added clinical services for patients are essential for pharmacists.

John Papastergiou lecturing to alumni

“My advice is start small,” said Papastergiou. “Adopting a service like strep testing. Change won’t happen over night – it took us about five, six years to build the business. If you’re the first one into a business like this, you will be able to differentiate your practice and I think you’ll be very successful.”

In her presentation, Rx2014 alumni Saleema Bhaidani (below) shared some of the same themes as Papastergiou. A Director at Whole Health Pharmacy Partners, Bhaidani provided an overview of the many benefits that follow adopting an appointment-based model for counselling patients. Syncing up medication dispensing and conducting more systematic follow-ups were just of a few of the perks she identified from Whole Health’s recent efforts to adopt the model in their banner locations.

Saleema Bhaidani lecturing to alumni

Professors Emmanuel Ho, J.M. Gamble, and Nardine Nakhla also presented. Ho shared his lab’s cutting-edge research using 3D printed systems for drug delivery, designed with the hope of one day using common medications as a means of minimizing HIV transmission in the developing world. Gamble provided an overview of SGLT2 inhibitors, a class of medications used to treat type 2 diabetes. He reviewed current safety data with a focus on cardiovascular safety. Nakhla closed the event with a quiz that had participants assessing their own knowledge of commonly purchased over-the-counter products. Responses to Nakhla’s questions varied widely, and after the quiz she debunked misconceptions that both pharmacists and patients have related to these products.

Elaine Lillie with two alumni

CE Saturday wrapped up with a meal, excited conversations, and a prize draw. Thanks to all the alumni, friends and faculty who joined us this year - see the Reunion 2018 album for photos. Hope to see everyone again at Reunion 2019!

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