SEPTEMBER 2019 - The
Steve’s journey in pharmacy began almost 40 years ago, when he graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy) in 1982. Since then, Long became a trailblazer in the profession, as evidenced by his many organizational initiatives and a stated mission to ensure that every patient achieves the best possible outcomes from their medication use.
He became the Director of Pharmacy for the Calgary Health region in 1984 and remained in the role until 2008. A medication error in Calgary served as a defining moment in his career and he became a champion for patient safety, a just culture and open disclosure as a result of that experience. Long set the benchmark for the pharmacy profession in Alberta by putting practical tools and enablers in place. These tools included creating a standardized approach, growing with and utilizing new technology as well as optimizing the use of pharmacy technicians.
In 2008, Steve took a government position as Executive Director, Pharmaceuticals at Alberta Health and Wellness, where he implemented several key policy objectives. These included the product listing agreement policy, Alberta’s framework for drugs for rare diseases, and reforms to generic listing decisions. Perhaps most importantly, Long was crucial in reshaping pharmacy compensation and reimbursement to better align with the expanded scope of practice. To this day, Alberta’s Pharmacy Services Framework is the most comprehensive compensation framework in Canada, and Long is a significant reason why.
In 2012 Long joined Shoppers Drug Mart as the Director of National Public Policy, and a year later (2013) he established his consulting firm, S.C. Long Consulting. Through his consultation in the pharmaceutical and benefits management industries, Long strived to improve access to drug therapy for patients and make a meaningful difference.
Long demonstrated his dedication to the advancement of the profession through many hours of volunteering for pharmacy associations, including the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association, the Canadian Pharmacists Association and the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists.
He will be greatly missed by the pharmacy community and all those who had the privilege of working with him.
(Steve passed away too soon on July 24, 2019, at the age of 62 years from complications of lung cancer. He loved his family and cherished the time he spent with them – wife Dale, son Fraser and daughter Kirsten. He will be missed by the pharmacy community and all those who knew him. Steve was notified of his award in June and knew about his recognition before his passing.)