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The true value of pharmacy lies in relationships

As I prepared to take on the role of president this September, I found myself reflecting on the 30 years that I’ve been a pharmacist. For most of these years I worked in community pharmacy – both in chain and independent stores. I experienced a variety of ownership structures and now understand and appreciate the different environments in which pharmacists around the province practice. However, what I also noticed during my time as a front-line pharmacist was how similar the working environments actually are. In essence, we put our pharmacy license on the wall and then turn around and start helping people. And I think the strength of the day-to-day relationship between us as an individual pharmacist and our patients is where the true value of pharmacy lies. And that relationship is being practiced successfully in many different environments around BC. This September will be my fourth year on the BCPhA Board. During this time I’ve grown to appreciate the Association much more than I did from just looking at it from the outside. The staff are excellent – they are skilled, hard working and understand what the priorities of pharmacists are. Our Board members also have considerable ability and experience and I am grateful that I can draw on them to help me in the coming year. As well as a desire to give back to the Association, I was also drawn to the role of president because I thoroughly enjoy and respect the discussion that happens each month around our Board table. Before making a decision, our team has a robust discussion that explores new ideas and takes everyone’s views and opinions into account. We’re all pharmacists but we all look at issues with a different perspective and have a contribution to make to the discussion. This diversity and freedom of speech helps the Board make the best decision at the end of the day.

In the coming year, I’m excited to continue the excellent work of the Association – in particular, starting Phase 2 of our pharmacogenomics project in late fall. This project represents an important opportunity to build our relationship with patients. The relationship that BCPhA has with its stakeholders will also be very important during my term as president. I am looking forward to fostering the positive, collaborative relationship we have with government and building our ties with the College of Pharmacists of BC. In the next year we will continue working with government on a number of emerging initiatives and collaborating with the College on projects such as e-prescribing, legislative and regulation updates, drug scheduling and other changes to pharmacy practice. I’ve heard the phrase “healthy tension” used to describe the relationship between an advocacy body and a regulator and I think it’s a great expression. Both bodies understand that while they must look at issues from a different perspective, that does not preclude them from working closely together to find solutions for both parties. I have completed two two-year terms on the College Board of Directors, as well as a three-year term as chair of the Board, in addition to serving on various College committees. These roles helped me understand how the organization operates and I will draw on this knowledge, together with the relationships I developed during my time there, to move our profession forward. I would like to thank outgoing president Allison Nourse for her strong and dedicated leadership over the past year and for the support she will provide us in the coming year during this time of transition.

Sep/Oct 2016



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