Pharmacy Wellness Task Force
As part of our Pharmacy Workforce Wellness Initiative, CPhA has established the Pharmacy Wellness Task Force to help identify solutions to improve the morale and mental health of the profession. This team of dedicated pharmacy professionals are exploring strategies and solutions to support the vision of a pharmacy community that values and promotes professional well-being.
With a focus on defining wellness principles and goals for the profession, developing tools for pharmacy teams and public and provider engagement, the Wellness Task Force will help to ensure that the psychological well-being of both current and future generations of pharmacy professionals is supported and improved.
Meet the Task Force
The Wellness Task Force is comprised of a diverse membership representing a wide range of expertise, practice areas and career levels.
- Jaden Brandt
- Makboolee Fyith
- Havalee Johnson
- Amy Lamb
- Lyona Lunter
- Janet MacDonnell
- Katrina Mulherin
- Cara Stevenson
- Christine Vaccaro
Jaden Brandt is a practising community pharmacist in Manitoba and current PharmD student. Since beginning his professional licensed career in 2013, he has served on numerous committees and has fulfilled various functions for the three main pharmacy organizations/institutions in Manitoba; regulatory, advocacy and education. He completed his MSc. (focus on the clinical pharmacoepidemiology of benzodiazepine receptor agonists) and Diploma in Population Health concurrently in 2019 through the University of Manitoba. Jaden’s current dream is to establish an eventual pharmaceutical care practice in the area of community mental health service. He was instrumental, among many others, in drafting the 2020 standards of practice for benzodiazepines and Z-Drug prescribing by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba.
Involvement on the Wellness Task Force is important to me because of my broad community pharmacy experience (from northern rural to southern urban and from independent to corporate retail) over the past 10 years. These varied environments have provided me with insights into issues preventing pharmacists from achieving their full potential with and for their patients. I am passionate about contributing to resolving matters of burnout and possible concerns about the future sustainability of a healthy work-life balance among pharmacists.
In my spare time, I enjoy being outside, perfecting my morning espresso, bowling and reading Russian literature, political economics, philosophy and/or history books to my cat and girlfriend (the cat seems to enjoy it more on occasion!). However, I will occasionally trudge my way through a sappy romance for her sake.
Makboolee Fyith El-Hayek is a fourth year Doctor of Pharmacy student at the University of Alberta and former Vice President of Professional Affairs for the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns (CAPSI). She also represented the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Pharmacy on the General Facilities Council and served as Chair on CAPSI’s Advocacy and Professional Affairs Committee. Aside from her pharmacy associations, Makboolee is an employer and co-owner of a self-storage facility in rural Alberta.
This work is important to me because I am entering the profession during a very profound and dichotomous time.On one hand I am excited about the advancements happening within our scope, however, I am worried about the ever-growing problem of pharmacist burnout and staff shortages in the workforce. I want to support sustainability in the pharmacy profession and create healthy workforces. I spend most of my summer hiking, kayaking, and playing golf with my husband. A fun fact about me is that I used to be a Certified CrossFit trainer.
Havalee is a Jamaican immigrant living in Canada. She holds triple pharmacist registrations in Jamaica, Alberta and Ontario and has a combined 8 years of practice experience. Feeling the need for growth and expansion in her life and career, Havalee successfully pursued her pharmacist licensure in Canada, completely self-sponsored and moved from Jamaica to Canada at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. She seamlessly transitioned and integrated into the Alberta healthcare system where she completed an internship then practiced as a clinical pharmacist for a year.
Havalee is people-centric and multi-passionate and loves to help, empower and inspire others. Noting the myriad of challenges encountered by pharmacists, peers and colleagues who have been unsuccessful in their many attempts to transfer their licences to Canada, Havalee is on a mission to support and assist as many immigrants as possible. She is founder of Immigrant PharmAssist where she helps international pharmacist graduates (IPGs) successfully navigate and accelerate through their licensure processes so that they can smoothly transition into their careers while thriving as newcomers in Canada.
Working throughout the pandemic and having experienced firsthand the negative implication of "burnout", exhaustion and long COVID symptoms, I am on a mission to advocate for the wellness of healthcare providers.
Amy Lamb has been a community practicing pharmacist in Saskatchewan for 10 years, with clinical expertise and focus on women's health, functional medicine (root cause health analysis), health coaching, complementary medicine, and Indigenous health. Amy is an operational partner at a community pharmacy in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and travels to remote Indigenous communities to improve access to pharmacist care in these underserved spaces. Amy is the owner of Lamb and Sage Personalized Health Solutions, which provides pharmacy practice consulting to compounding pharmacists, and education sessions for pharmacists interested in holistic health and patient consultation strategies. Amy is a Métis woman and currently acting as the CEO of the newly founded Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada, and the Chair of Prince Albert's YWCA. Amy is the mother to two little girls, deeply connected to the natural landscapes in Saskatchewan, and dedicated to a sustainable work-life balance so that she can contribute to her development, her family, and her community.
This work is important to me as an individual who has experience with childhood trauma, depression, anxiety, workplace burn-out and maladapted coping strategies that can be exacerbated in unsafe work environments. It is important to me as a practitioner who provides effective comprehensive health advice and understands the value of evidence-based and personalized wellness strategies. It is important to me as a pharmacy operator to ensure that the team I work with is holistically healthy and empowered. Finally, it is important to me as an Indigenous woman who recognizes the significant importance of creating safe spaces for healthcare practitioners and patients alike.
Lyona Lunter is a Coordinator/Professor in the Pharmacy Technician and Community Pharmacy Assistant programs in the School of Health Sciences at Fanshawe College. She joined the faculty in 2015 and completed her Masters in Professional Education from the University of Western Ontario (2019), where she also received her bachelor’s degree with a double major in Criminology and Health & Aging (2009). As a Registered Pharmacy Technician with the Ontario College of Pharmacists, Lyona is committed to inspiring future graduates to pursue registration with the College and is passionate about promoting the expanded scope of pharmacy technicians in Ontario. She is an active member of the Canadian Pharmacy Technician Educators Association (CPTEA) and Director of Social Media and Communications on the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Technicians (CAPT) Board of Directors. Her vast experience in the field spans 20 years of practicing in various community pharmacies, including long-term care, methadone/pain management clinics, and retail chain locations. Through this experience, Lyona has become an advocate for psychological health and wellness in pharmacy and is proud to be part of the Pharmacy Wellness Task Force and its efforts to destigmatize mental health challenges, facilitate more inclusive environments, and promote overall well-being within the pharmacy profession.
A Dalhousie University College of Pharmacy graduate, Janet has been involved in pharmacy practice in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick since 1986. Most recently, she has served as Interim Director of Professional Affairs at CPhA. Janet owned and operated several Shoppers Drug Mart franchises from 1988 to 2008, after which she has provided consulting services to several organizations. Projects she has been involved in include the NB Drug Information System, implementation of Central Fill Pharmacy, Interim Executive Director of NBPA and Pharmacy Lead at NB Public Health for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in community pharmacies. Throughout Janet’s career she has also been actively involved as a representative on both the pharmacy regulatory and advocacy bodies in New Brunswick. She has had the opportunity to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for PEBC and CCCEP.
As my pharmacy career begins to wind down, I hope my experience and participation on the Pharmacy Wellness Taskforce will serve to influence change, so all pharmacy professionals feel not just well, but joy in their accomplishments.
Katrina Mulherin pulls from her experiences in regulatory, clinical, academic and consultant pharmacist positions to contribute to professional engagement and wellness. She’s formerly a practising NICU pharmacist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, Deputy Registrar of the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists and is presently the CEO of Windpharm Consulting. Katrina consistently incorporates PharmD students on rotation in her practice and has been recognised for excellence in the role of preceptor.
Katrina’s research interests include the impact of multimedia in qualitative research, examining the relationship between practitioners and their practice, ethics and professionalism and transformative learning. The Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy presented her with the Wellspring Award in recognition of her narrative documentary work in 2014.
She is a certified yoga instructor and recalibrates through various outdoor athletic activities and creative pursuits.
Cara Stevenson is in her final year of the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Dalhousie University. Having spent several years working in a rural community pharmacy on Prince Edward Island, Cara has witnessed firsthand the evolution of the pharmacy profession, and the transformative impact pharmacist care can have on rural healthcare. After working with the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns’ (CAPSI) Student Wellness Committee last year, Cara was driven to expand her impact further. As the current Executive Secretary of CAPSI, she strives to use her involvement with the Task Force to bring student perspectives into the discussion, ensuring that future pharmacists receive the necessary support as they enter the profession.
Christine Vaccaro represents over 4000 students as Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns (CAPSI) President. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Christine completed a BSc in 2018 and is currently a 4th-year PharmD student at the University of Manitoba. Christine has had the unique opportunity of watching pharmacy practice evolve throughout her life. Growing up as the daughter of a pharmacist and working in a pharmacy since high school, she saw the impacts scope of practice changes had on patients and communities. This drew her to pursue the profession in due time.
Today, Christine is an avid researcher, passionate advocate and promoter of STEM outreach who has garnered a reputation as a dedicated, thoughtful and collaborative leader. She has held roles on CAPSI National Council and the Pharmacists Manitoba Board. She now serves as the CAPSI National President where she is a powerful voice for Canadian students and the profession of pharmacy.