Linda Prytula was appointed Executive Director of the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy earlier this year, but she’s no stranger to the work of the Foundation. In fact, 15 years ago she first volunteered to assist in CFP’s Charity Golf Classic, which to this day is still a highly anticipated annual event. Since then, Prytula has been an active committee and board member, as well as CFP president twice—in 2012 and in 2020. She tells us why working with the Foundation is still her passion and why she’s determined to get many more pharmacists as excited about it as she is.
Why is it important for you to be part of CFP? I think it’s essential to give back to the profession and CFP really does help promote and move pharmacy forward through its Innovation Fund and various other grants and awards, which support and highlight the work of pharmacy leaders and innovators across Canada. As a national organization, we work well with other national and provincial associations in raising awareness about what pharmacists do for patients and for the healthcare system overall.
Given your past experience, what expertise do you bring to your current role? I’ve spent much of my career in sales and management roles at a pharmaceutical manufacturer, and on various boards, so I understand the power of effective communication and collaboration. In addition to my time at CFP, I served on the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) Board of Directors for 11 years. During that time, I chaired the OPA Lecture Hall Committee which raised close to $2 million for a lecture hall at the University of Toronto’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. As a pharmacist myself, I also speak the same language as my peers and can understand their challenges.
What are the key challenges for pharmacists today? So much is expected of pharmacists these days, especially after COVID-19. Our roles have expanded but we don’t have the infrastructure to support our additional scope so pharmacists are feeling pulled in all directions. At CFP, we hope to be able to provide even more financial support for pharmacy research in the future to assist pharmacists in developing programs that will benefit patients while being sustainable for the long-term.
What are your other priorities for CFP going forward? Despite being around since 1945, the Foundation is still pharmacy’s best kept secret. I want to change that and ensure it’s not just universities and associations who know about us, but grass-roots pharmacists in the community. To that end, we’ll be looking to launch a far-reaching marketing campaign in the coming year to raise awareness about all that we do—including a strategy to target grass-roots pharmacists so that we can get more donors investing in our programs. In launching our new website this month [July], we’re also making it easier for donors and potential donors to give back to their professional through CFP, while learning about the all various initiatives we have underway to support the profession.