Supporting Innovation in Pharmacy for a Healthier Canada

Kudos to the 2017 Wellspring winners


Congratulations to this year's Wellspring Award recipients: Patricia Gerber (l), Craig Plain and Naomi Steenhof

May 2017 - Patricia Gerber, Craig Plain and Naomi Steenhof are the recipients of this year’s Wellspring Pharmacy Leadership Awards. The pharmacists will receive a total of $10,000 from the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy to pursue individual initiatives to develop personal leadership through study, experiential learning or mentorship. They will be honoured at the annual Wellspring Awards reception during the Canadian Pharmacists Association annual conference in Quebec City on June 3, 2017.

Gerber, who is an associate professor and director of the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the University of British Columbia, is launching a new leadership course series called LEAP (Leadership Experience Applied to Pharmacy). She says it will help equip PharmD students with the leadership knowledge and skills to embrace opportunities and challenges in pharmacy practice. Gerber will put her award grant towards a student-led leadership innovations symposium. “As agents of change and leaders of tomorrow, LEAP students will benefit from interacting with and learning directly from community leaders,” she says.

As a pharmacist working at Pier Health in one of Canada’s most disenfranchised neighbourhoods in Vancouver, Plain says he is constantly seeking innovative solutions to treat the concurrent conditions of addiction, infection and psychosis that challenge so many of his patients. Plain will use his award funds to travel to two of the leading North American inner city healthcare clinics in the U.S. to study how they have addressed the treatment of at-risk populations. “I hope to learn best practices for implementation back in Vancouver, and then return to teach them to young students at UBC and to the community at large,” he says.

Steenhof, a staff pharmacist at University Health Network and an adjunct lecturer at the University of Toronto is hoping to complete a Master of Health Professions Education from the Maastricht University in the Netherlands. “I am fortunate to be one of the few pharmacists accepted into the program,” she says. “My eagerness to create and promote effective educational programs, coupled with my new knowledge and skills will make me an excellent leader to promote high-quality pharmacy education across Canada."