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2014 M.J. Huston Pharmacist of Distinction: Rita Bowron

Rita Bowron
Safeway Pharmacy #285, Calgary

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Rita Bowron’s career as a pharmacist is firmly focused on the patient. As a certified diabetes educator since 2003, Rita collaborates daily with physicians, endocrinologists, and other pharmacists, accepting patients through referrals and by appointment. An expert in her field, Rita provides these patients with top-notch education and assessment. Rita estimates that she currently sees over 400 patients at two different Safeway locations!

Rita is also trained to provide counselling on smoking cessation and anticoagulation management. She has her additional prescribing authorization, and is authorized to provide injections. On top of that, Rita has been involved in an impressive list of studies and projects with Safeway, the U of A and EPICORE, and more—and her involvement in the community doesn’t stop there. Rita has taken on a leadership role in diabetes management, creating a “diabetes education day” through her local chapter of the Canadian Diabetes Association, holding public talks on diabetes, and educating other pharmacists about diabetes management and glucose meters.
“Learning is what motivates me,” she says. “I like applying what I learn to the patients in my care. Everyone’s needs are unique.”

Rita is also a dedicated mentor. She guides many Calgary pharmacists who are pursuing certification as diabetes educators, and has helped pharmacists with the additional prescribing authorization application process. Rita also precepts pharmacy students and interns, providing them with opportunities to engage in case study based learning, with an emphasis on patient counselling.

“I find counselling patients to be the most rewarding thing about my work,” says Rita, “especially coming up with targets or goals and seeing them act on these and experience improved outcomes or prevent something negative from happening with their diabetes, cardiovascular problems, etc.”

What is Rita’s advice for a successful career? “You need to like talking to people and learning their story,” she explains. “You need to have a passion for learning and collaborating, and a willingness to embrace change.”