Saskatchewan pharmacist who specializes in HIV treatment and prevention named Canadian Pharmacist of the Year
May 29, 2019 (Ottawa/Regina): A Regina pharmacist who specializes in HIV treatment and prevention and who also operates the only pharmacist-led pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) clinic in Canada has been named the 2019 Canadian Pharmacist of the Year by the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA).
Mike Stuber works directly and indirectly with patients who are infected with HIV/HCV or may be at risk of becoming infected. He is a clinical pharmacist at the Regina General Hospital where he is part of a team with infectious disease specialists, nurses and social workers who work to achieve the best outcomes for more than 500 Saskatchewan residents living with HIV.
In his role with the Saskatchewan HIV Collaborative, a provincial initiative that promotes high-quality HIV prevention and support services, Stuber has also traveled to remote/reserve communities to facilitate HIV care.
“CPhA is very proud to recognize the significant contributions Mike Stuber has made to the pharmacy profession,” says Christine Hrudka, Chair, Canadian Pharmacists Association. “Mike’s tireless commitment to some of the most vulnerable patients among us shows the power that innovative pharmacy can have in improving health outcomes for at-risk populations.”
“Saskatchewan has the highest rate of new HIV cases in Canada. Pharmacists, by expanding their scope of practice, have stepped up to provide greater capacity to respond to this crisis by implementing innovative services such as a pharmacist testing pilot for HIV in Regina, as well as advocating for full drug coverage for HIV medications which was implemented last year,” says Stuber.
In what is the first of its kind in Canada, Stuber operates a pharmacist-driven PrEP clinic out of Public Health where he, a nurse and a consulting infectious disease specialist, screen, interview, prescribe and monitor pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis for their patients. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medication that a person who is HIV-negative can take to reduce their risk of getting HIV.
Although the clinic is in its relative infancy, it has so far been a success with more than 100 patients now on PrEP. The feedback from patients has been universally positive.
Stuber is a relentless advocate for his patients – particularly when it comes to access to medication, adherence, removing financial barriers and keeping current on the latest clinical evidence and science in the field of HIV.
He serves as a clinical expert on several provincial committees including those reviewing both pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis against HIV. He was the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan 2018 Pharmacist of the Year and was recently appointed the Chair of the Canadian HIV and Viral Hepatitis Pharmacists Network (CHAP).
The Canadian Pharmacist of the Year Award is given annually by the Canadian Pharmacists Association to recognize a pharmacist who demonstrates leadership and exemplifies the evolution of the pharmacy profession toward an expanded role in health care. Stuber was nominated by the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan.
Mike Stuber will be honoured alongside other CPhA Award winners at the Pharmacy Experience Pharmacie 2019 (PxP2019) conference, Canada’s largest gathering of pharmacists, at an awards ceremony on Monday, June 3 in Toronto.
PxP2019 will highlight speakers who are innovative industry leaders and will tackle a diverse range of key health issues currently at the forefront of our country’s health care system.
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.