I am honoured to have the privilege to serve as the Board Chair for the College of Pharmacists of BC effective November 2017. Some of you may recognize me from my most recent position as the Board’s Vice-Chair. I would like to extend our gratitude for the outgoing Board Chair and District 6 Representative, Anar Dossa, for her work leading the Board over the past year. I would also like to congratulate District 7 Representative, Arden Barry, for being elected to the position of Vice Chair.
The Board saw a few changes this past year. We said goodbye to Norman Embree, Kris Gustavson, George Walton. Thank you for their commitment and time over the multiple terms they have been on our board. We welcomed three new government representatives at its February 2018 meeting. Tracey Hagkull and Justin Thind have been appointed by Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, to serve as public board members for a term of two years, while past board member, Ryan Hoag has been appointed for a one year term. We value the perspective provided by our public members and look forward to working with Tracey, Justin and Ryan.
The College has had an active year. From combatting the opioid crisis by further building awareness of naloxone; to engaging with the public on initiatives including Certified Pharmacist Prescribers; to introducing new pharmacy ownership requirements; to updating standards regarding compounding and telepharmacies as well starting the pre-planning process for the next strategic plan, the College Board and staff continue to make significant strides toward the provision of quality pharmacy care in BC.
There are still a few steps however, that need to be taken to bring patient care forward. Earlier this year, I published a ReadLinks article about the effects of stigma on patients with mental health and substance use disorders. As pharmacy professionals, we are required to always protect and promote the health and well-being of patients and to treat them with respect. I encourage pharmacy professionals to help combat stigma for all impacted individuals by recognizing how our attitudes and judgments affect how we think about and behave toward others, and by learning how to use respectful “person-first” language.
I’m also pleased that we’ve made a formal commitment to cultural safety and humility alongside BC’s other health regulators. This represents a vital first step toward achieving our collective BC health systems goal of culturally safe health services for Indigenous Peoples in BC.
A heartfelt thank you to the many dedicated and engaged pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and public representatives who volunteer their time on the College’s many committees. Committees are an invaluable part of the College’s processes, helping to steer both organizational and legislative efforts. Thank you for your commitment to the pharmacy profession and I look forward to another productive year.
On behalf of the Board, I present the College of Pharmacists of BC’s 2017/18 Annual Report.
Mona Kwong, Board Chair, College of Pharmacists of British Columbia