JUNE 2019 - The Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy is pleased to announce this year's recipients of the Wellspring Pharmacy Leadership Awards, established in 2012 to honour the legacy of Barbara A. Wells, an exceptional pharmacy leader and beloved colleague who passed away in 2010.
CFP awards Wellspring grants for a wide range of initiatives that foster personal development and leadership through study, experiential learning or mentorship. Applicants can apply for up to $10,000 in funding. This year's recipients will be honoured at the Wellspring Awards reception on June 4 in Toronto, held during the combined annual conferences of the Canadian Pharmacists Association and the Ontario Pharmacists Association.
Jaris Swidrovich is an Assistant Professor at the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan. Funding from the Wellspring Award has enabled Jaris to host a recruitment and mentorship event for Indigenous youth in Saskatchewan, who are interested in becoming, or already are, pharmacy students/pharmacists. Jaris is using this opportunity to develop leadership skills through community-driven engagement and guidance from Native Canadian Elders, as opposed to conducting a typical direct and structured educational or mentorship program. He will share alll learnings and discovery with colleagues across Canada and beyond.
Canada has few Indigenous leaders, and even fewer leaders in health care, a fact identified in Call to Action #23 from The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Given that pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare providers, the profession of pharmacy’s active response to the TRC Call to Action #23 is critical. With this funding, Jaris hopes to increase the number of Indigenous pharmacists and ensure their retention in Indigenous communities.
Alexandre Chagnon, clinical pharmacist at CIUSSS de l-Estrie in Sherbrooke, Quebec, is using funds received from CFP Wellspring Pharmacy Leadership Awards to develop a bilingual, online course to help pharmacists incorporate social media and digital health tools into their practice. Alexandre is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Health Informatics, and already speaks at conferences and via webinar about the safe and effective use of informatics in pharmacy practice and throughout the healthcare system. In fall 2019, he will begin instructing pharmacy students on the topic of health informatics.
Alexandre is the founder of askyourpharmacist.ca, a digital platform that connects patients seeking health information with reliable, evidence-based answers, provided directly by participating pharmacists. He is also co-founder of Therappx.com, a websiute that helps consumers identify the best healthcare apps based on reviews by a committee of healthcare professionals. Alexandre recently received the Innovation Award from the Quebec Order of Pharmacists, which credited him with adapting his practice to take advantage of new technologies to benefit the patient-pharmacist relationship.
Dan Burton is a Clinical Pharmacist at Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network in Calgary, Alberta, and founder of Healthcare Evolution for Weight Management. He is also co-founder of Pharmacy Innovators and Leaders of Alberta (PILA), a grassroots initiative to unite pharmacists in the provision of the best possible patient care by sharing knowledge and tools, developing drivers of change and inspiring a passion for leadership and innovative practice. Since 2017, PILA has offered interactive events to stimulate discussions, networking and socializing, enabling pharmacists to share ideas and foster mentorship opportunities.
With the help of funding from CFP’s Wellspring Pharmacy Leadership Awards, Dan and the rest of the founders of PILA will continue their work, aiming for four events per year, while ensuring future growth and sustainability.