Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada announces inaugural scholarship recipients
September 6, 2023 (Ottawa): The Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada (IPPC), in partnership with the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA), is thrilled to announce the inaugural recipients of the IPPC Indigenous Pharmacy Scholarship.
- IPPC Indigenous Pharmacy Scholarship by Shoppers Drug Mart: Makenzie Karpounin, a third-year student in the PharmD program at the University of Alberta with a passion for making a difference and inspiring others to follow their dreams.
- IPPC Indigenous Pharmacy Scholarship by Johnson & Johnson: Sasha Merasty, a fourth-year student in the PharmD program at the University of Saskatchewan and a dedicated advocate for Indigenous health equity with aspirations for future pharmacy ownership.
- IPPC Indigenous Pharmacy Scholarship by Green Shield Canada: Amy Bell, a second-year student in the pharmacy technician program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic who hopes her own success will encourage others to not give up on the things they believe in.
- IPPC Indigenous Pharmacy Scholarship by Sobeys National Pharmacy Group: Jessica Fortier, a second-year student in the pharmacy technician program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic who has seen first-hand the value of pharmacy technicians on the health-care team.
These scholarships, each awarded to a pharmacy student with First Nations (status or non-status), Métis or Inuit ancestry enrolled in a PharmD or pharmacy technician program in Canada, aim to encourage and support the growth of the Indigenous pharmacy community across the country. This year’s recipients were selected from more than 40 inspiring applicants, all dedicated to enhancing care for and by Indigenous peoples within and beyond their own communities.
“The level of interest in this scholarship speaks directly to the need for increased funding for Indigenous students interested in pursuing a pharmacy degree,” say IPPC CEO Amy Lamb. “Our scholarship and awards committee reviewed all applications with a diligent, unbiased rubric, and we are confident that the selected recipients will use their degrees and their knowledge to effect lasting change.”
All eligible applicants will be offered complimentary IPPC memberships for the 2023/24 membership year. “Though we are unable to provide financial support to all applicants, the IPPC is dedicated to building a strong network of Indigenous pharmacy professionals, and we hope to provide mentorship, cultural training and community gatherings to all applicants.” Both IPPC and CPhA hope to continue to build this program and increase funding availability in the future.
Learn more about the 2023/2024 Indigenous Pharmacy Scholarship recipients on our website.
IPPC and CPhA thank our founding sponsor, Johnson & Johnson, as well as the inaugural sponsors of the scholarship, Shoppers Drug Mart, Green Shield Canada and Sobeys National Pharmacy Group, for their support of the IPPC Indigenous Pharmacy Scholarship. Please visit our website at www.pharmacists.ca/ippc for more information or to become a sponsor. Information on the 2024/2025 application process will be available in early 2024.
“The work of IPPC is a critical step in addressing the systemic racism and health inequities that persist for Indigenous peoples across the nation. CPhA is proud to support IPPC and the Indigenous Pharmacy Scholarship to encourage Indigenous youth to pursue a career in pharmacy and build professional capacity within Indigenous communities.”
Shawn Bugden, Chair, Canadian Pharmacists Association
“I am honored to be a recipient of this scholarship and I feel grateful to have a plethora of people supporting me through the remainder of my educational journey. Being awarded this scholarship means all my hard work over the years has been acknowledged and motivates me to continue being passionate about pursuing my dreams. This scholarship is going to greatly decrease my financial burden and allow me to shift all my energy and efforts towards learning how to become a well-rounded pharmacist.”
Makenzie Karpounin, PharmD Candidate, University of Alberta
This scholarship acknowledges my successes in the face of adversity, and it will forever act as a reminder of my strength and willingness to persevere. I am elated to be the recipient and it truly is life changing, it will allow me to focus on my studies and spend time with my family.
Sasha Merasty, PharmD Candidate, University of Saskatchewan
Graduating from this program will be an accomplishment that will change my life, and receiving this scholarship will help me get there. I am the first person from my reserve that I know has taken this program, and I hope that seeing me behind the pharmacy counter will encourage other Indigenous people to become pharmacy technicians or pharmacists, and to always go for what they believe in.
Amy Bell, Pharmacy Technician Student, Saskatchewan Polytechnic
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be in this program, and to have been awarded the IPPC Indigenous Pharmacy Scholarship. It’s been challenging, but I have had a lot of support from amazing instructors. I know what an asset pharmacy technicians can be to a pharmacy and I’m excited to see what the future has to offer!”
Jessica Fortier, Pharmacy Technician Student, Saskatchewan Polytechnic
About the Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada
The Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada (IPPC) is an Indigenous-led association that has been established to connect and support Indigenous pharmacy professionals and help all pharmacists provide better care to Indigenous patients by creating and promoting pharmacy practice models that respect the safety, equality, strengths and teachings of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. More information is available at www.pharmacists.ca/ippc.
About the Canadian Pharmacists Association
The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of health care services, CPhA ensures that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians. More information is available at www.pharmacists.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Chief Operating Officer
Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada
Senior Manager, Communications
Canadian Pharmacists Association