News Release

REF NO.: 55

SUBJECT: School of Pharmacy gears up for Pharmacist Awareness Month

DATE: March 1, 2016

Every March Pharmacist Awareness Month (PAM) is celebrated across Canada to recognize and educate about the contributions pharmacists make in the delivery of health care.

Memorial University’s School of Pharmacy will run events to promote the school and the pharmacy profession; a number of events will address how pharmacists can contribute to a more efficient health-care system that better utilizes public dollars.

“If you look at things like osteoarthritis, for example, I was involved in a study to evaluate how effectively pharmacist intervention improved health outcomes,” said Dr. Carlo Marra, School of Pharmacy. “The results showed that pharmacists could not only improve health outcomes, but could do it at a lower cost and save the system money.”

PAM 2016 officially begins March 3 with a Pharmacists Association of Newfoundland and Labrador-hosted opening reception. Dr. Marra will present on the school’s PAM initiatives.


Student involvement

Kyia Hynes, Class of ’17, Memorial University’s Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns (CAPSI) junior representative, will present the student-planned events and reveal the candidates for their own PAM kick-off event, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Next Top Pharmacist.

“CAPSI and the Memorial University Pharmacy Students Association have many events planned throughout March to showcase all that a pharmacist can provide, including presentations to schools, public information booths, a Public Pill Drop on March 19 at the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary headquarters and our big event on Saturday, March 5, which is the Newfoundland and Labrador Next Top Pharmacist competition,” said Ms. Hynes.

The school’s events focus on the new doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program, the new Medication Therapy Services (MTS) Clinic and pharmacy research that supports a more efficient health system.


Doctor of pharmacy program

The new doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program was approved through the Memorial University Senate Committee on Feb. 16, under the proviso that adequate resources are available.

“Our new program is in response to the nationwide requirement for an advanced degree at the entry-to-practice level,” Dr. Marra explained. “The pharmacy profession has undergone significant expansion in scope of practice in the last few years, with the list of services a pharmacist can offer continuing to evolve. The PharmD is the current educational standard across Canada for pharmacy programs, so our new program will allow Memorial University to maintain an accredited program.”

The school has produced a doctor of pharmacy video to be used for recruitment and informational purposes. The video will premiere at the PANL opening reception and will be available online March 4.


Medication Therapy Services Clinic

“Our Medication Therapy Services—or MTS—Clinic is now open and accepting referrals,” said Dr. Marra. “This is a non-dispensing, referral-based, pharmacist-led clinic that offers medication therapy assessments, chronic disease management supports, medication adherence and more. The clinic also offers a Smoking Cessation Program, and will be expanding its community services in the future, so we’re very excited about this venture.”

The school will host an open house at the clinic on March 24 as part of the PAM 2016 initiatives and will release a promotional video on social media that week.


Pharmacy Research Innovation Day

           This annual event will take place on March 23 in the former Faculty of Medicine foyer and main auditorium in the Health Sciences Centre.

The mini-symposium features a graduate poster competition with silent judging, taking place between 9-11 a.m., followed by a Three-Minute Thesis featuring undergraduate and graduate research.

The plenary speaker is Dr. Mohsen Sadatsafavi, assistant professor, Department of Medicine (Respiratory Evaluation Sciences Program), at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Sadatsafavi will speak about using administrative health databases for health-services research.

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