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REF NO.: 45

SUBJECT: Premier Dwight Ball to attend pharmacy event

DATE: Jan. 8

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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For more information please contact Heidi Wicks, communications co-ordinator, School of Pharmacy, wicksh@mun.ca, 777-7302 (office), or 749-7462 (mobile).

   

Background:

Each year, first-year pharmacy students, accompanied by their family members, fellow students, faculty and staff, members of the pharmacy community and government participate in the School of Pharmacy’s White Coat Ceremony.           

The purpose of the ceremony is to formally welcome pharmacy students to the School and indoctrinate them into the pursuit of the pharmacy profession.           

During the ceremony, we will review the traditions and goals of the profession, and the significance of the pharmacy profession in providing for a healthy society. 

In 2016, 40 students comprising the Class of 2019 will be formally inducted into the profession with the presentation of a white laboratory coat – the traditional symbol of compassionate medical sciences. Five practising members of the provincial pharmacy community will assist the students into their coats. 

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the White Coat Ceremony at Memorial. 

Pianist Bill Brennan will play as the audience enters the ceremony. 

The reception includes finger foods and an open bar with red and white wine. A slideshow will be playing during the reception. 

Aside from VIP participants, the guest list includes the Class of 2019 and their parents/partners and most other pharmacy students, faculty and staff of the School of Pharmacy. Pharmacists from across the province have been invited but many have not RSVPed. Some pharmacy alumni and pharmacist preceptors may also be in attendance. 

VIP participants have reserved seats. Individuals accompanying VIP participants may sit in a block of seating just behind and diagonal to the VIPs. 

Approximately 300 people will attend this event.

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