Supporting Innovation in Pharmacy for a Healthier Canada

Meet the 2016 Wellspring Award Winners


From left: Cheyanne Boehms, Mark Kunzli and Lisa Tsao

JULY 2016 - This year’s Wellspring Pharmacy Leadership Award Winners—Cheyanne Boehms, Mark Kunzli and Nicole Tsao—are proof positive that pharmacists are qualified  to be leaders in the healthcare profession.

Boehms, who is a clinical pharmacist with the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region is focusing on antimicrobial stewardship, in light of the fact that up to 50% of antimicrobials used in hospital are unnecessary, leading to potential adverse drug effects and eventual treatment resistance.* Not only will she be expanding her own knowledge and practice in this area of study, but she plans on educating and motivating  other pharmacists to do the same.

“By completing this educational program I can grow to become a leader in antimicrobial stewardship and make positive change for patients within my institution and beyond,” she says. “I will be able to help other pharmacists to grow in their stewardship practice and prevent unnecessary patient exposure to antimicrobials, minimize the development of multi-drug resistant organisms and improve the quality of patient care.”

This is also the first time the Wellspring awards recognize two pharmacists working in partnership on a leadership initiative. Kunzli and Tsao of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, are collaborating to develop and host a conference for researchers, practitioners and other stakeholders who are leading efforts to advance the implementation of technology in support of pharmacy practice.

The duo was initially introduced by a colleague who noted that they were both working on individual projects that involved improving community practice. “The discussion that followed sparked the idea to engage a broader community of healthcare innovators”, says Kunzli, adding that their efforts have already resulted in tangible benefits through partnerships that might not have otherwise occurred. 

“Innovation to Application 2017” is a one-day conference and will serve as a forum for sharing research and practice innovation. Information presented during the event will also be disseminated to a wider audience via a website, social media and through professional publications.

The goal is to foster a community of “like-minded individuals and to create connections and collaborations that will enable novel healthcare innovations,” says Kunzli.  

The Wellspring Pharmacy Leadership Award winners were honoured at a recent ceremony held at the joint Canadian Pharmacists Association/RxA conference in Calgary last month.

*Mount Sinai Hospital and UHN Antimicrobial Stewardship Program. Why is Antimicrobial Stewardship Important? Toronto, ON. Accessed online March 21st, 2016. http://www.antimicrobialstewardship.com/why-antimicrobial-stewardship-important