Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

Energizing connections and celebrating excellence: CPhA’s adventures at CAPSI’s PDW 2024

Christine Dalgleish Headshot

Christine Dalgleish
Manager, Member engagement & communications, CPhA

Well, CAPSI, you’ve done it again. You’ve pulled off an incredible conference off the sides of your already full desks and you’ve done it with grace, skill and good humour.

From January 3–7, 2024, some CPhA colleagues and I had the pleasure of attending CAPSI’s annual Professional Development Week (PDW). This year’s event was truly phenomenal, underscoring the dedication and passion of future pharmacists from every pharmacy school in Canada.

Kicking it off with enthusiasm and recognition

The youthful energy radiating from the delegates at the Opening Gala was exciting, and their enthusiasm and commitment was apparent in every conversation throughout the evening!

We were thrilled to present the 2024 CPhA-CAPSI Award of Professionalism and CPhA-CPJ Student Literary Challenge winners. Our team is inspired every year by the innovation of each school’s PAM campaign, and the thought-provoking and insightful articles submitted. Congratulations to this year’s award winners.

Personally, I was humbled and honoured to receive CAPSI’s prestigious CAPSI Honourary Life Membership Award in recognition of dedication to CAPSI and pharmacy students over the course of my 18 years at CPhA. I still don’t quite have the words to express how meaningful this award is. Working with pharmacy students—through CAPSI, Centennial Leadership Award winners or co-op and placement students—has always been my favourite part of my job, and I’ve built so many wonderful relationships with students across the country who are now incredible pharmacists and pharmacy leaders. I’m proud to work for an organization that recognizes and values student voices. I’m very grateful to CAPSI for this honour and the ongoing opportunities to learn with and from all of you.

Joelle Walker, Kevin Ta, Lydia Wadie, Kaley McKinnon and Manhoor Shah

Insightful discussions and collaborations

Engaging sessions were the name of the game at PDW, and Joelle Walker, our VP of Public and Professional Affairs, took the stage on Thursday with a session on Pharmacy Primary Care, sparking spirited discussions about empowering pharmacists within Canada's evolving health-care models. She gave a preview of some of CPhA’s upcoming work on a new national standard that allows pharmacists to practice to their full education—who better to weigh in on pharmacy practice of the future than future pharmacists? Joelle’s presentation included some live polling, and interestingly, just 20% of respondents felt that they’d be able to practice to their full education upon graduation – a disappointing statistic, but one that we hope to address in our new strategic plan, which includes a priority to advance a national standard that allows pharmacists in all provinces to practice to their full education. You’ll be hearing much more about our new plan in the coming weeks and months.

I also had the pleasure of attending 2 out of 3 of PDW’s exceptional keynote speakers. Despite not being a pharmacist or pharmacy student, I was moved and inspired by Cheyenne Matinnia and Jaris Swidrovich, who shared their experiences and lessons to support the ongoing personal and professional development of the keen and eager minds in the room (both young and not so young!).

CPhA has a strong partnership with CAPSI, and a highlight of our time at PDW is always our discussions with the CAPSI leadership team and local representatives. The opportunity to share priorities and hear from the students what’s important to them is incredibly valuable, and we brought back some important take aways that will feed into many of our upcoming priorities.

CPhA CAPSI meeting - PDW 2024

Engagement and advocacy: Health Fair highlights

The Health Fair on Friday was lit! (Did I use that term correctly?) Anne Tran Fazzalari, Vice-President, Digital Transformation & Chief Information Officer, and Jody Franklin, Director, Partnerships & Commercial Sales and I spoke with hundreds of students, and the booth buzzed for hours (we know our conversation was exciting, but we also had chocolate!). 

Many, many thanks to the delegates who actively engaged with us, providing valuable feedback on CPS and joining our advocacy efforts encouraging the federal government to expand the loan forgiveness program to include pharmacists. We’re ramping up our advocacy efforts on this issue and you can check out our website for info on how you can join the campaign!

CPhA at PDW 2024
CPhA booth at the Health Fair

The future is here

If you’re involved in pharmacy in any way and you aren’t engaging with pharmacy students, you’re really missing out. I encourage you to find and foster relationships with the pharmacists who will follow in your footsteps and carve new paths forward for the profession. You won’t regret bringing the passion, innovation and skill of these bright minds to the table.

On behalf of CPhA, congratulations once again to CAPSI National and to the PDW Planning Committee for an incredibly successful conference. We were honoured to attend the conference, proud to support CAPSI and PDW and look forward to working with all of you in 2024 and beyond.


2024 CPhA-CAPSI Award Winners

Award of Professionalism
Recognizing the best Pharmacy Appreciation Month Campaign.

3rd: Memorial University of Newfoundland
2nd: University of Toronto
1st: University of Waterloo

Student Literary Challenge
4th: Mahnoor Shah (Waterloo) – "A Commentary on Burnout in Pharmacists"
3rd:  Kaley McKinnon (Dalhousie) - "How to Manage the Opioid Crisis: What Can Canada Learn from Portugal?"
2nd: Lydia Wadie (Toronto) – "Requesting MAiD: How Free is the Choice"
1st: Kevin Ta (Alberta) – "Are you sure you want to be a pharmacist?"