Supporting Innovation in Pharmacy for a Healthier Canada

Celebrating Rita, a Pillar of Pharmacy

Rita Winn accepts her award from CFP President Paul Kidston

NOVEMBER 2022 - Pharmacy stakeholders across the board congregated in Toronto recently to celebrate Pillar of Pharmacy Award winner Rita Winn.

The evening’s festivities included glowing sentiments from several of Winn’s colleagues, highlighting her many achievements and life-long commitment to the profession.

“Rita’s ability to provide clear, calm and understandable feedback is hallmark to her leadership in community pharmacy,” said Mike Jaczko, Partner and Portfolio Manager of KJ Harrison & Partners, who first met Winn back in pharmacy school some 40 years before. “She was there to support a number of progressive ideas and to expand and bolster the scope of practice in the pharmacy profession.”

Cory Sydorenko, Regional Director, Pharmacy Operations at Neighbourly Pharmacy, said he felt like he’d hit the jackpot when, as a new grad, Winn recruited him to a manager position at Lovell Drugs. “[When it came to new initiatives] Rita’s mentality was if it can solve a problem, solve healthcare goals and be fiscally responsible, we should try it,” he said. “This made Lovell a great place to work where pharmacists are empowered to the highest level of clinical work.”

Picture of Rita Winn sitting at her table

Picture of people attending the event giving a standing ovation to Rita Winn

Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada CEO Sandra Hanna thanked Winn for having “trailblazed the way for women in leadership,” while Jen Belcher, Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives & Member Relations at the Ontario Pharmacists Association, noted that Winn taught her to be a leader and follow her intuition “and to put patients above all else.”

In highlighting Winn’s critical pharmacy advocacy efforts, Pharmasave’s Executive Director, Pharmacy, Marketing & Professional Affairs Billy Cheung spoke to his experience working with her on Bill 102 negotiations. “It was great to have you as my partner in crime…you always step up for what you belive in,” he said. “You’re an amazing leader, advocate, mentor and friend.”

When she started her career, Winn said she wanted to make a difference in the community and be the "go-to person" for her patients. "In my first management job I learned so much from my patients, staff and from my own mistakes," she said. "Thank you the pharmacists and staff I've had the priviledge to lead."

Read more about Rita's lessons for pharmacy (and life).


More images from the event

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