SEPTEMBER 2022 – Every year, the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy provides grants to support current and future pharmacy leaders through the Wellspring Pharmacy Leadership Awards. Whether it be improving care for vulnerable populations or creating better training opportunities for future pharmacists, this year’s recipients prove just how far-reaching a passion for the profession can go.
Nicola Gale, RPh (APA), MPH candidate, Clinical pharmacist, Calgary Drop In Centre
As an outreach pharmacist at the Calgary Drop In Centre—one of North America’s largest shelters—Nicola Gale knows first-hand that clients living with homelessness can face a myriad of complex health issues, including concurrent addiction, mental health and increased risk of acquiring Chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infections.
Working with the CUPS Liver clinic in Calgary, she is helping to develop a model of collaborative care to increase access to testing and treatment for people living with homelessness during these pandemic times.
Her Wellspring Award will support her attendance at the International Network on Health and Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU) Conference in Glasgow in October 2022, which Gale expects will be an invaluable opportunity to learn from other care providers and programs around the globe who are leading the world toward HCV elimination. “This award will also support me in developing a post-conference community of practice to bring together inner-city service and care providers to disseminate learnings from the conference, support interprofessional collaboration and dialogue, and ultimately to support better care linkages between the health and social care systems.”
Gale says pharmacists are uniquely positioned to be key players in reaching global HCV elimination. “I hope to highlight the scope of practice, clinical skills, and the community- and relationship-based care at the heart of pharmacy practice that is essential in reaching structurally vulnerable populations affected by chronic HCV,” she says.
Denise Kreutzwiser, BScH, BScPhm, PharmD, ACPR, AAHIVP, Pain Management Program Pharmacist, St. Joseph’s Health Care London
Pharmacist Denise Kreutzwiser credits her own pharmacy residency training for giving her the opportunity to practise at a higher critical thinking and problem-solving level. It’s not surprising then that she is eager to help other pharmacists do the saem by creating a one-year ambulatory pharmacy residency program that focuses on chronic pain management and highlights the connection to mental health and rehabilitation strategies at her current workplace at St. Joseph’s Health Care London.
“We believe that by training pharmacists to take on leading roles in the ambulatory care setting, and in particular pain and mental health focused areas, we will be better positioned to care for the baby boomer population in the coming years and, hopefully, help keep patients out of hospital and better able to live a full life in the comfort of their homes for longer,” says Kreutzwiser.
To better equip her in creating an impactful and sustainable program, she will be using her Wellspring Award to fund two certificate courses through Maastricht University in the Netherlands, as well as to visit a couple of residency programs in the United States. She will also attend the American Society of Health Systems’ Pharmacists National Pharmacy Preceptors Conference in fall 2023, the only North American conference focused on education and training for pharmacy residency preceptors and residency directors.
“While this award will take my professional growth to the next level by enhancing my current skillset and knowledge base, the most important aspect is that the learnings facilitated by this award will multiply as they are passed on to my healthcare colleagues and the trainees who undertake this pharmacy residency program,” says Kreutzwiser.
Janice Yeung, BSc(Pharm), ACPR, PharmD, Director, Office of Experiential Education, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC
In the Entry-to-Practice Doctor of Pharmacy (E2P) program at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, students complete 44 weeks of practicum across the province. But with each course ranging from two to four weeks, students are frequently relocating to rural and remote practice areas where they have little time to make meaningful connections.
Janice Yeung hopes to change that by using her Wellspring Award to support the development and pilot of a regional practicum model in which E2P PharmD students would complete a series of their pharmacy practicum experiences within a selected rural/remote community or region. “We hope this model will expand access to both education and healthcare within underserved communities and create unique experiential learning experiences for students,” says Yeung. “It may also encourage students to consider the career and networking opportunities within these regions upon graduation.”
Once the program is developed, scheduling and placement processes are expected to be piloted within a selected region and offered to third and fourth-year students by 2023/early 2024. If the initial pilot is successful, Yeung says the feasibility of expanding it further across the province will also be explored.