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Meet the 2023 Wellspring Award winners

2023 Wellspring Award winners | Banner for the 2023 Wellspring Pharmacy Leadership Award with profile images of the winners, Kim Abbass, Heba Bani Hani and Steven Kary - Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy

Meet the 2023 Wellspring Award winners

Every year, the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy is excited to support pharmacy frontrunners across Canada with its Wellspring Pharmacy Leadership Awards. This year’s winners demonstrate their quest for life-long learning and personal leadership in the areas of health system leadership, migraine care and the nurturing of future pharmacy leaders. Learn more about their endeavours at a virtual reception in October – details to come!

2023 Wellspring Award winners | Kim Abbass (she/her), B.Sc.Pharm., Pharm.D., BCIDP - Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy

Kim Abbass (she/her), B.Sc.Pharm., Pharm.D., BCIDP, Eastern Zone Clinical Coordinator Antimicrobial Stewardship and Pharmacy Practice, Nova Scotia Health (NSH).

Even with many years of private and public health experience under her belt, Kim Abbass says a constantly shifting healthcare paradigm requires a lifetime of learning—and she’s all in.

A certified infectious disease pharmacist, Abbass is Clinical Coordinator for Antimicrobial Stewardship (AS) and Pharmacy Practice for NSH, a large, multisite organization with more than 80 sites divided across four geographic zones. As part of the pharmacy leadership team and the practice lead, she participates in budgetary decisions, resource allocation, formulary reviews, and educational, clinical, and research decisions of the department and province, along with intervention monitoring and data collation. She has developed numerous infectious diseases and antimicrobial stewardship education sessions for physicians, pharmacists, students, medical residents, nursing, and allied health professionals.

Yet Abbass continues to enhance her own knowledge and skills and will be putting her Wellspring Leadership grant towards completion of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ Pharmacy Leadership Academy. This comprehensive, seven-course program is designed to develop leaders at a graduate level. Course topics range from Leading Effective Financial Management to Leading Transformation Change and Innovation. The program incorporates self-learning and reading, presentations and case-based interactive components to inform and stimulate mentees, with an overall aim to benefit patient care through enhanced leadership skills at every level of a healthcare organization.

“The impact of an engaging and informed leader enhances the effectiveness of a team, fosters teamwork, providing benefits on many levels,” says Abbass. “The Pharmacy Leadership Academy integrated program, along with attestations from colleagues who have completed the program, strengthens my quest to develop my leadership skills and capabilities.” In addition to her current role, Abbass has worked with the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada in various capacities since 2001 and is also a Board Director for the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists. “Throughout my career, I have witnessed the advancement of pharmacy practice, markedly evident throughout the recent pandemic,” she says. “I have also experienced personal and professional growth, and I am poised to advance my career and profession to the next level.”

2023 Wellspring Award winners | Heba Bani Hani, RPh., MBA, founder, The Migraine Pharmacist - Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy

Heba Bani Hani, RPh., MBA, founder, The Migraine Pharmacist.

Since starting a virtual practice focused on migraine management just over two years ago, pharmacist Heba Bani has helped more than 300 people living with migraine in Ontario and trained numerous pharmacists to manage the condition in their own practices in Canada and abroad. But she says there is much more to do to empower pharmacists to fill the gaps in migraine care.

Since starting a virtual practice focused on migraine management just over two years ago, pharmacist Heba Bani has helped more than 300 people living with migraine in Ontario and trained numerous pharmacists to manage the condition in their own practices in Canada and abroad. But she says there is much more to do to empower pharmacists to fill the gaps in migraine care.

While migraine affects one in every five households in Canada, she says the condition is often dismissed, underdiagnosed and undermanaged. In most provinces, the wait time is often 18 months to see headache specialists.

Bani is putting her Wellspring Leadership grant towards a Masters in headache disorders from the University of Copenhagen. She is the first-ever pharmacist accepted into the program. She says she will use her learnings to further train pharmacists and pharmacy students on migraine and other headache disorders, treatment options and non-pharmacologic counselling in primary healthcare settings.

“Advanced education is the first step needed to integrate pharmacists into the care of people

living with migraine and other headache disorders,” she says. “By undertaking this endeavor, I am confident in acquiring transferrable skills…and will build the credibility of pharmacists within the headache specialists’ community and other primary healthcare providers,” she says.

On top of that, Bani is also collaborating with the World Health Organization to identify medications used to treat headaches and migraine around the world and generate data that can help decision-makers assess medication use and the potential to leverage pharmacists as an underutilized resource in the management of medication overuse headache—a major contributor to chronic headaches.

“I aim to bridge the existing gaps in care and empower pharmacists with knowledge [to] inspire them—and advocate for both pharmacists and patients to best address the care gaps that exist,” says Bani.

2023 Wellspring Award winners | Steven Kary, BSP, ACPR, Clinical Instructor, University of Saskatchewan, and President, Saskatchewan Branch, Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP)  - Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy

Steven Kary, BSP, ACPR, Clinical Instructor, University of Saskatchewan, and President, Saskatchewan Branch, Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP).

Described by colleagues as a “natural-born leader,” Steven Kary is determined to pay it forward by helping cultivate future pharmacy leaders in his home province of Saskatchewan.

A clinical instructor at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Pharmacy and Nutrition and president of CSHP’s Saskatchewan Branch, Kary is currently working towards his Master of Health Administration (MHA) through the University of Regina’s Johnson-Shoyama School of Public Policy. His Wellspring Leadership grant will be put towards completing his studies and then developing a leadership-focused experiential learning rotation for fourth-year pharmacy students to begin in 2024.

“Steven has taken on a gargantuan challenge [as] one of only a select few clinical instructors for the new University of Saskatchewan Pharmacy Experiential Learning program,” noted a colleague who nominated him for the award. “He developed the entire learning plan, established a Saskatchewan preceptor network, and instructed dozens of students to successful completion of their Saskatchewan Heath Authority rotations.”


The MHA program focuses on improving program and policy development, effective health service delivery, and managerial and administrative performance. Kary’s latest courses will delve into policy, law and Indigenous health policy, which he says will not only help in developing new learnings for pharmacy students, but also will help support advocacy for improved patient care through his role at CSHP. As pharmaceutical care in Saskatchewan continues to evolve at a rapid pace, Kary says the MHA program is providing him with the skills he needs to move pharmacy practice forward. “The knowledge and skills that are developed within the MHA program have been instrumental to my success as a leader, and the ability to continue this education will only serve to further enhance this work.”

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