Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

University of Waterloo professor named Canadian Pharmacist of the Year

COVID-19 pandemic highlights Dr. Kelly Grindrod’s innovative approach to pharmacist education

May 20, 2020 (Ottawa/Kitchener-Waterloo): A University of Waterloo professor, researcher and primary care pharmacist has been named the 2020 Canadian Pharmacist of the Year by the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA).

Though nominated as Canadian Pharmacist of the Year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Kelly Grindrod’s steadfast dedication to supporting pharmacists in their day-to-day practices has become even more apparent and valuable in light of the current global health crisis.

“CPhA is very proud to recognize the significant contributions Kelly Grindrod has made to the pharmacy profession throughout her career and today as our profession helps combat COVID-19 on the front lines,” says CPhA chair Christine Hrudka. “Her innovative approach to pharmacist education makes an incredible difference to her students and to practicing pharmacists around the world.”

Kelly has been outspoken about the critical role pharmacists play in keeping Canadians safe, and need for support from governments. “COVID has been an eye-opener. Pharmacy isn’t a flashy profession. We tend to put our heads down and get the work done,” she says. “When COVID arrived, we quickly saw how critical pharmacies were to a healthy community.”

She feels pharmacies need to be more fully integrated into the health care system and that pharmacists need to be recognized as public health providers. “Pharmacies stay open no matter the circumstances. They picked up a lot of the slack when COVID shut down communities, are working around the clock to manage drug shortages, and will play a critical role if a vaccine becomes available. We need to protect them so they can protect us.”

Kelly’s passion for pharmacist education drives her work, and she strives to ensure that pharmacists of all experience levels can access information in innovative and accessible ways. She is the creator of Pharmacy5in5, an innovative game-based web platform that uses various multimedia approaches, including YouTube videos, quizzes and infographics, to educate pharmacists and support their evolving practices. “Pharmacy can be a puzzle, where you have dozens of pieces that need to fit together. In a busy pharmacy, it can be hard to find the time to solve the puzzle,” she says. “Pharmacists need support to navigate the many challenges facing the health care system right now.” The platform content now includes a number of modules highlighting critical information pharmacists need to care for their patients during COVID-19.

In addition to her role as an educator, Kelly is a respected researcher and a primary care pharmacist at the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre where she mentors students and provides care to vulnerable populations.

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.

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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.