President’s Message


Dear Colleagues,

In this, my first, letter as newly elected President of the Ontario College of Pharmacists, I’d like to start by expressing how much of an honour and privilege it is to serve on Council and to be involved with a regulator that has put patients first since the organization was founded nearly 150 years ago.

My time with the College in varying capacities since 2009 has been both professionally rewarding and personally gratifying. Serving in the public interest as a Council member, Committee member and now as President comes with a tremendous sense of responsibility as I truly believe in the public-protection mandate of the College and in the important role pharmacy professionals play in the lives of patients and the health of our communities. I am very much looking forward to the year ahead as the College takes on some important issues that will help further influence the quality and safety of pharmacy practice in the province in support of its new Strategic Plan.

I truly believe that pharmacy professionals have a lot to contribute to the College and the profession and that their diverse perspectives and experiences from all walks of life is a strength – one that we must continue to tap into in order to respond to society’s evolving expectations of regulators and those entrusted to provide quality, safe and ethical healthcare to the people of Ontario.

No one will argue that patient safety is top of mind for everyone who works in healthcare, whether you work in a community or hospital pharmacy, or as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. We all contribute to making our pharmacy system safer; it is a cornerstone of our professionalism and it is one that each of us must hold ourselves and each other accountable to.

As you all should know by now, the College’s Medication Safety Program – known formally as the Assurance and Improvement in Medication Safety (AIMS) Program – is being rolled out to community pharmacies across the province. The milestone that we have now reached with such an incredibly important patient safety program would not have been possible without the insights provided by the public and pharmacy professionals and without the direct contributions of ambassador pharmacies which helped contribute to the development and refinement of the program leading up to the province-wide roll out. Read more about the province wide implementation of this mandatory medication safety program in this issue of Pharmacy Connection.

The privilege to care for the people of our community is one of, if not the top, reasons why pharmacists and pharmacy technicians chose to practice pharmacy and it is one of the traits that defines our professionalism. The AIMS Program is just one of the many examples of how the College relies on the perspectives, expertise and insights of those who provide care, and those who receive care, to improve the overall safety and confidence in pharmacy in the province.

For this reason, I strongly encourage you all to continue to seek and respond to opportunities to be involved with the College, to provide your constructive insights, expertise and perspectives on College or other broader professional activities and initiatives, and to be both an informed and engaged participant in pharmacy regulation in the province. This includes reading eConnect and Pharmacy Connection, visiting the website, providing input on consultations and participating in committees and ongoing engagement opportunities, from webinars and focus groups, to regional meetings (you’ll hear more about the College’s Spring 2019 regional meetings very soon).

I truly believe that pharmacy professionals have a lot to contribute to the College and the profession and that their diverse perspectives and experiences from all walks of life is a strength – one that we must continue to tap into in order to respond to society’s evolving expectations of regulators and those entrusted to provide quality, safe and ethical healthcare to the people of Ontario.

Yours in health,

Laura Weyland
RPh, BSc.Pharm
President