Waterloo Pharmacy was busy in our nation’s capital last week. In the space of five days, faculty and staff from the School ran a workshop on smoking cessation, delivered a thank you reception and professional development event for Ottawa pharmacists, and co-hosted the national conference for pharmacy educators.
The reception event was part of Waterloo Pharmacy’s 10th Anniversary Regional Tour, an initiative which takes the School on the road to give back to pharmacists and supporters of the School in their communities.
Here’s a rundown of our Ottawa activities:
Building a unified vision for pharmacist-led smoking cessation
The first event of the week was a national smoking cessation initiative hosted by Waterloo Pharmacy and facilitated by professor Nardine Nakhla and Rosemary Killeen, Director of Distance Education and Continuing Professional Development. The event involved health professionals and industry leaders. There were pharmacists from each province and representatives from Health Canada, Consumer Health Products Canada, Non-insured Health Benefits program, and the Canadian Pharmacists Association in attendance.
Smoking cessation services include the prescribing of appropriate therapies, counselling, and follow up with patients who are attempting to quit smoking. Pharmacists are able to provide these services in most provinces, but how service delivery and reimbursement systems are managed differs across the country.
“Pharmacists are accessible health care professionals who can play a key role in supporting patients through the challenging process of quitting smoking,” explains Nakhla. “Our event brought together voices from across the country to conduct a scan of smoking cessation practices by pharmacists. Together, we discussed possibilities for an ideal model of a national pharmacist-led smoking cessation program.”
Thanking the School’s supporters in Ottawa
To deliver hands-on learning experiences for our students, Waterloo Pharmacy relies on the support of pharmacists throughout Ontario. To say thank you to the preceptors, co-op supervisors, alumni, and others who mentor Waterloo Pharmacy students, the School hosted a reception and presentation where Professor Kelly Grindrod discussed her research and the unique online learning platform, Pharmacy5in5.
Grindrod’s research explores many aspects of pharmacy practice, and her presentation discussed how her findings informed the development of an digital tool to help pharmacist and technicians stay up-to-date on important health topics. Pharmacy5in5 has over 2000 users and employs a fun, quiz-based format to provide practical information that health care providers can apply in their practice.
The audience also had an opportunity to hear about the exciting plans the School has for its next decade.
“I would like to thank the pharmacy community in the Ottawa region for all you’ve done over the years to support our co-op and rotations students,” says Hallman Director David Edwards. “As we look forward to our next ten years, we know that we can count on this region to continue to deliver valuable learning opportunities and strong mentorship for our students.”
Co-hosting national pharmacy educators conference
The Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada (AFPC) delivers an annual event for pharmacy educators and researchers called the Canadian Pharmacy Education and Research Conference (CPERC). This year, Waterloo Pharmacy co-hosted CPERC in partnership with the University of Toronto Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. This is the 9th annual CPERC and the first time the conference has been co-hosted.
CPERC is the largest gathering of pharmacy educators in Canada, and it brings together leaders in teaching and research to share their latest findings on pharmacy education. Keynote speaker Dr. Kristin Janke from the University of Minnesota kicked off the event: Janke is one of North America’s leaders in educational scholarship in pharmacy education. She discussed the challenges of pharmacy education, adopting a scholarly approach to teaching, and the role that educators play as role models for pharmacy students. On Thursday, the second keynote speaker Dr. Allan Peterkin from the University of Toronto shared his expertise on the importance of the humanities and how best to teach skills such as critical reflection in pharmacy curricula.
Other presentations and workshops covered education research and curricular innovations. Waterloo Pharmacy staff and faculty presented on topics such as the patient care assessment tool jointly developed by Ontario’s pharmacy schools and regulatory body, ongoing efforts to Indigenize pharmacy education, experiential learning models, and more. This year’s conference also featured a new session called Faculty Updates, with each Canadian pharmacy school sharing innovative approaches they introduced in their programs.
Waterloo Pharmacy was also represented amongst the AFPC award winners. Hallman Director David Edwards received the AFPC Past President Award and the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy Past President award, honours that recognize Edwards’ leadership service with the organizations. Elaine Lillie, Director of Interprofessional Education and Curricular Development, received the National Award for Excellence in Education, and PhD candidate Paul Malik received the AFPC/Merck Canada Inc. Post Graduate Pharmacy Fellowship award. See these articles for more on Elaine Lillie's award and Paul Malik’s award.
“Thanks to everyone who attended this year’s CPERC,” says Professor Cynthia Richard, Waterloo Pharmacy’s Chair on the conference organizing group. “It’s inspiring to see the ground-breaking initiatives taking place in pharmacy schools across the country and to learn from each others successes.”