AUGUST 2020 – Given Rita Winn’s decades of advocacy and leadership in the profession, it’s fitting she be named this year’s Pillar of Pharmacy by the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy.
Rita has more than 30 years of community pharmacy and retail experience, including 22 years at Lovell Drugs where she served as General Manager and Chief Operation Officer until her recent retirement. She continues to work as a Director for Lovell.
While at Lovell Drugs, Rita was always looking to pilot new technologies, products and programs to promote the profession. As a result, the pharmacy was an early adopter of the pilot phase of PrescribeIT and represented the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (NPAC) on the PrescribeIT User Working Group. When the Lovell family retired the business and sold its shares to Rx Drug Mart, Rita was instrumental in guiding the family through the ownership transition. She continues to work part time for Rx Drug Mart as a Director on the Lovell Drugs Board providing guidance and support.
Aside from her community pharmacy experience, Rita has served on numerous industry organizations, including the Canadian Pharmacists Association and Ontario Pharmacists Association. She is currently the Vice-Chair of the Board for the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada, where she chairs the Governance and Nominating Committee. Rita is popular conference speaker, where she has presented on topics such as pharmacy business, workflow and human resources. She also speaks regularly to community groups, including senior centres and other allied health professionals.
Her pharmacy advocacy is also evident through her participation in critical moments for the profession. During the Bill 102 negotiations, for example, Rita worked behind the scenes to create educational videos for pharmacists, while also collaborating with associations and other stakeholders on discussions with the Ministry of Health around the reporting framework and creation of professional allowances. Then, as the co-chair of the Pharmacy Coalition in Ontario, she worked tirelessly to educate pharmacists about the new funding realities and engaged them in a campaign to make the public aware of changes coming due to the funding cuts.
Rita is also one of the editors of CFP’s Pharmacy Management in Canada textbook where she used her extensive experience in retail and pharmacy business to find expert writers, while authoring several chapters herself too.
In light of restrictions due to COVID-19, Rita will be honoured via a virtual event later this year. Check back for details to come.