MAY 2016 – Karen Wolfe, the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy’s newest board member, says she’s been eager to join the organization for years. “I think it is one of the ultimate pharmacy boards to be part of because CFP is raising money for research in pharmacy, which is ultimately giving back to the profession,” says Wolfe, Director of Policy at the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada.
Drawing from almost 30 years of experience in all facets of the profession, Wolfe is looking forward to providing the Foundation with some unique perspectives. “Right now there is still that disconnect between the research produced and the businesses that can’t translate that knowledge into how it will benefit them,” she says. “If we can focus on connecting those two worlds, it is going to move the profession forward.”
As a past pharmacy owner, educator and regulator, Wolfe says her current role at Neighbourhood Pharmacy allows her to focus on finding collaborative ways to advance the profession and business of pharmacy. Her latest endeavours centre on patient safety initiatives that can be implemented into community practice. “We are looking at what patient safety means from a community practice and operational standpoint,” she says, noting that Neighbourhood Pharmacy will be launching a comprehensive patient safety resource guide for members in June. “Our goal is to help our members assess the culture of safety in their organizations and give them resources to fix those gaps.”
The association is also aiming to foster broader collaboration in the profession through its first ever Expo, held in Toronto June 14-16. The program will feature educational sessions on everything from advancing reimbursement to the pharmacist’s influence as a self-care advisor. The first day will feature a hands-on pharmacy business management workshop. In addition, the event will be open to a much bigger audience of associate members, pharmacy owners and practising pharmacists than in previous events.
Wolfe says pharmacy is finally on the right track but the focus on change management—and the organizational changes needed to support it—has to be ongoing. “We have momentum now and I would hate for it to go back to inertia,” she says. “It’s important to support people and give them the confidence and encouragement needed to make those changes.”