June 2015—Four pharmacy leaders from across the country were recently honoured by the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy at the 2015 Wellspring Leadership Awards. Hosted as part of the Canadian Pharmacists Association’s annual conference, the ceremony took place on May 30th in Ottawa and celebrated award recipients: Sherilyn Houle, Jamie Kellar, Noelle Patten and Aaron Sihota.
An Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy, Sherilyn Houle is a pharmacy practice researcher with a keen interest in the uptake and effectiveness of expanded pharmacy services. She is part of a research project that is looking at the use of facilitation in pharmacy practice. By enrolling in the facilitation workshop through McGill University’s School of Continuing Studies, she hopes to get a broad exposure to techniques used in other business sectors that can be transferred to the pharmacy profession.
Jamie Kellar spends most of her time teaching and mentoring pharmacy students and residents via her role as a Pharmacy Clinician Educator at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Committed to completing a PhD in Health Professions Education at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, she says the program is aimed at creating leaders who will revolutionize education internationally. “The current changes in pharmacy education and expanding scopes of practice offer significant opportunities for Canadian pharmacists to redefine and reposition themselves as clinicians,” says Kellar.
Associate Registrar of Quality Assurance with the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board, Noelle Patten is excited about the expansion of pharmacists’ scope of practice and wants to develop the leadership skills needed to support pharmacists and pharmacy techs as they navigate these changes. She will begin studies at McMaster University leading to a Masters of Health Management degree and a Certified Health Executive designation. “Pharmacy needs leaders who understand the challenges facing the larger healthcare system, and who can be a part of strategic effort to overcome those obstacles,” she says.
A recent University of British Columbia pharmacy grad, Aaron Sihota saw the need to support new practitioners in developing business skills. Through the help of the Wellspring award he has developed a pilot project with a series of workshops that will offer new grads the opportunity to connect with their peers and with experienced mentors to explore some of the practical questions of working in community pharmacy. “Informing and equipping our new graduates with the tools to effectively communicate the value of pharmacists is absolutely key and needs to be done constantly,” he says.
CFP established the Wellspring Awards in 2012 in memory of pharmacy leader Barbara Wells, with a mission to foster personal leadership development in the profession. Click here for information on how to nominate candidates or apply for the Wellspring Leadership Awards.