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2024 Pillar of Pharmacy: Warren Meek

Pillar of Pharmacy 2024 recipient Warren Meek - Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy

2024 Pillar of Pharmacy: Warren Meek

This year’s Pillar of Pharmacy winner has dedicated himself to the pharmacy profession, not only in Canada but around the world, says Linda Prytula, Executive Director of the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy. “We are so pleased to honour Warren Meek with this Award as a way of recognizing and thanking him for his service.”

Indeed, Meek’s pharmacy work has taken him from Canada to Africa, all in an effort to improve access to quality health care around the globe.

After graduating from Dalhousie University in 1977, he served local communities for almost 30 years as a pharmacist/owner with Shoppers Drug Mart. For the past 17 years, under the umbrella of his consulting company, C7 Consulting Limited, he has provided short-term locum pharmacist services and participated in a variety of health-related projects.

Many of these took him to Africa, where he offered his expertise on medical missions. After initially travelling to Tanzania with Canada Africa Community Health Alliance to provide free healthcare services to those without access to care, he has continued to travel with medical teams one to two times a year.

Meek’s philanthropic pursuits extended to working with two Nova Scotia students in 2016-17 to develop an electronic medical records (EMR) system that could be used on the rural island of Ukerewe in Lake Victoria, Tanzania. This was no small feat given the prohibitive cost and lack of electric/electronic infrastructure in such a remote setting. He persisted in finding people willing to donate their time and resources and financed much of the project himself.

The medical team has been using the EMR system Meek helped pilot for the past seven years, fulfilling his goals of building capacity for Tanzanian partners, improving safety and quality, increasing mission efficiency, enhancing volunteer satisfaction, and improving data analysis.

It is not surprising then that Meek is well known internationally and has often shared his knowledge and expertise, including speaking engagements with the Federation of Algerian Pharmacists. He has given back to the profession by assuming leadership positions with the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA), including a stint as president of the latter from 2007-2008. In 2012, he received the CPhA International Leadership Award for his significant contribution to the advancement of the profession of pharmacy within an international context. His legacy also continues in the many young people he has mentored to success as he generously shares his knowledge and enthusiasm for the profession.

“Receiving the award has prompted me to reflect on and to be thankful for a career that I have loved, and still love,” says Meek. “To be considered in the company of the previous recipients is an honour.”

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