News Release

REF NO.: 45

SUBJECT: Premier Dwight Ball to attend pharmacy event

DATE: January 8, 2016

Premier Dwight Ball will receive an honorary white coat from the School of Pharmacy at the 10th anniversary White Coat Ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 12. The premier will also bring greetings to the Class of 2019 as they begin their careers in pharmacy.

The event formally welcomes first-year students into the profession of pharmacy. Students recite the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board Code of Conduct and sign the School of Pharmacy’s Pledge of Professionalism, vowing to enter the profession with a strong and enduring sense of ethics, responsibility, pride and professionalism.

“It’s such an honour to have Premier Ball attend this landmark event in the students’ careers,” said Dr. Carlo Marra, dean, School of Pharmacy. “His presence will make their evening very memorable.”

Before entering politics, Premier Ball attended the School of Pharmacy in St. John’s, has been a leading pharmacist in the province and owns pharmacies in Deer Lake. He is a past president of the Canadian Pharmacists Association, and was awarded the Bowl of Hygeia, the highest honour for a community pharmacist.

“This is a very exciting time for pharmacists,” Dr. Marra said. “Pharmacy practice is now more about the patient than the product.”

Last year, the provincial government announced Newfoundland and Labrador pharmacists are now licensed to administer injections, including the influenza vaccination, and can prescribe medication for minor ailments.                                                                                                                                                                                             

“The Pharmacists’ Association of Newfoundland and Labrador’s advocacy has changed the face of pharmacy in this province dramatically in a short period of time, greatly expanding

the scope of services pharmacists can provide” said Stephen Green, president, Pharmacists’ Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. “Pharmacists are vital to the efficient delivery of health care in our province and when our expertise is leveraged fully, we can help alleviate strains on the health-care system. I congratulation the School of Pharmacy Class of 2019 as they begin the path to their pharmacy careers and anticipate their tremendous contributions to the profession as they positively impact our patients, our communities and our province.”

“Our school is committed to professionalism and to graduating pharmacists who are fully practice ready, and whose skill sets meet the demands of a rapidly changing health system,” Dr. Marra added.

The School of Pharmacy has a number of new initiatives to support expanding scope, including the development of new programs and professional development opportunities for both pharmacy students and pharmacists. The school will open a Medication Therapy Services Clinic this winter, which will offer specialized services to patients with complex medication-related needs.

For more information on the School of Pharmacy’s initiatives, its 2014-15 Annual Report: Illustrating Innovation, can be viewed at www.mun.ca/pharmacy. The video will also be screened at the ceremony.

Interview opportunities are available with Premier Ball; Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University; Dr. Marra; and Stephen Green, president, Pharmacists Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, during the reception following the ceremony.

The 10th anniversary White Coat Ceremony takes place on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 5 p.m. in the Health Sciences Centre’s Main Auditorium. A reception will take place following the event in the foyer of the new Medical Education Centre.

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