New Indigenous-led association sets sights on supporting Indigenous pharmacy professionals and improving health care for Indigenous patients
September 29, 2022 (Ottawa): Indigenous pharmacy professionals from coast-to-coast-to-coast have come together to create the Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada (IPPC)—a new association with the goal of building a supportive community for the country’s Indigenous pharmacy professionals, while making a positive impact on the lives of all Indigenous Peoples across Canada.
First announced at the Canadian Pharmacy Conference in June by IPPC co-chairs Dr. Jaris Swidrovich and Amy Lamb, the association will help build a foundation for anti-racism, anti-oppression and cultural safety in the delivery of pharmacy care to and by Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
“Recognizing that pharmacy professionals are among the most accessible health-care professionals and knowing that the greatest gaps in health outcomes experienced by people in Canada are between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples, we are well positioned to lead the way in identifying and addressing the historical and ongoing policies, practices and racism that are at play in creating and re-creating these gaps,” says Dr. Swidrovich.
It is critical for Indigenous patients to have access to health professionals who recognize the disparities that exist in our health-care system and who can provide culturally safe and affirming care that honours the individual and collective realities that Indigenous Peoples experience.
The IPPC plans to offer mentorship and support to Indigenous pharmacy professionals, develop education and resources for non-Indigenous pharmacy professionals and create standards for developing safe spaces for both Indigenous pharmacy professionals and patients.
“Safe spaces are a foundation for the healing of Indigenous communities and health care has faltered in creating safe spaces for its professionals, especially within the growing health crises like addictions, mental health, HIV and the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Lamb. “Like our communities, Indigenous pharmacy professionals experience health disparities, discrimination and racism.”
In addition to improving the pharmacy care delivered to Indigenous patients, the IPPC wants Indigenous Peoples across Canada to see themselves reflected in the profession and feel a sense of belonging throughout their educational and career journeys in pharmacy. The association will support work to recruit and retain Indigenous pharmacy professionals, including scholarship programs, training and mentorship.
To help encourage and support Indigenous youth in pursuing a role in pharmacy, the IPPC is working on launching the inaugural Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada Scholarship during the 2022-23 school year.
The work of the IPPC is proudly supported by the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA). “The IPPC will help foster collaboration and meaningful change within the pharmacy profession to help dismantle systemic racism and ensure that the pharmacy space is a safe and welcoming environment for all people in Canada,” said Dr. Danielle Paes, Chief Pharmacist Officer at CPhA.
If you are an Indigenous pharmacy professional or student in a pharmacy assistant, technician, undergraduate or graduate program in pharmacy and want to get involved, please connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada (IPPC) and the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) would like to acknowledge the generous support of Johnson & Johnson for being a founding sponsor of this important initiative. If you are interested in supporting the work of the IPPC, please contact email@example.com to learn more.
About the Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada
The Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada (IPPC) is a new 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.
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Jaris Swidrovich and Amy Lamb
Co-Chairs, Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada