Board of Directors

‘A Really Rewarding Experience’: An Interview with College Board member Andrea Fernandes

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Andrea Fernandes is a pharmacist who has been a member of the College’s Board of Directors since 2022. Andrea spoke with Pharmacy Connection about why she decided to apply to be a Board member, what she’s gained from the experience and her proudest moment.

In your own words, how do you see your role as a Board member?

I see it as an opportunity to work with my fellow directors, both professional and public, to make thoughtful decisions that will protect patients.

Why did you decide to apply to be a Board member?

I had been working for over 10 years, so I felt that I had gained a lot of experience in different pharmacy settings and with different patient populations. I thought I could highlight the challenges that I’ve gone through and the challenges I’ve seen patients go through, then use these experiences to help keep all patients safe and healthy.

Ultimately, I was hoping to improve patient safety and the overall healthcare system.

Why should pharmacists and pharmacy technicians consider applying to be a Board member?

I think that everyone has a different experience. In hearing the experiences of my fellow Board members working with different populations or being patients themselves, it’s really stood out to me that we each have a unique perspective. By offering those perspectives, we can combine them and use them to guide decision making, ensuring that the College is setting the right direction to improve health outcomes for patients.

What have you gained through your experience as a Board member?

Being part of the Board has bolstered my belief that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, through the services they offer, are essential in helping patients achieve good health. It’s also given me the chance to strengthen my own competencies, such as in finance and governance, in order to make thoughtful decisions in the public interest.

Was there one specific Board decision that you were involved with that you find especially meaningful?

I am extremely proud of the strategic planning session that resulted in Strategic Goal #1. This goal focuses on the expectation that management and business needs do not compromise the well-being of pharmacy professionals or impede their ability to meet the standards of practice and Code of Ethics.

We heard what pharmacists and pharmacy technicians were saying about what was happening on the ground. We made the connection that addressing their challenges would help protect patients. And, ultimately, we created a goal that recognized that the wellbeing of the pharmacy professional impacts the safety and wellbeing of the patient. I look forward to seeing the work that will come from it.

Is there anything else you want to share about the experience?

I feel proud to be part of this profession.

Being a Board member has been an extremely gratifying experience because I’ve been able to use my skillset to give back to the profession. I’ve been able to work with my fellow Board members, both professional and public, and build new relationships. I feel like I’m contributing to the improvement of our healthcare system. It’s been really rewarding.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted for candidates interested in running for election to the College’s Board of Directors for the 2024-25 year between April 29 and May 17, 2024. There are three available seats for pharmacists, and one for a pharmacy technician. Ideal candidates will include those with competency in financial oversight and who reflect diverse populations, marginalized groups and individuals with disabilities, or those with experience working with these groups. Availability of approximately 20 days per year is mandatory for all applicants.

Further details about the competencies and experience sought by the Board, the time commitment required, and the application and election process are available on the Election Process page.

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