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2020 Future of Pharmacy: Colter Young

Colter Young
Pharmacy Manager
Shoppers Drug Mart #3034

The Future of Pharmacy Award is awarded to up to three pharmacists per year who have been in practice less than five years and who exhibit strong leadership skills, the initiative to become a role model, and offer extraordinary promise to the profession.

One of this year’s recipients is Colter Young, a pharmacy manager with Shoppers Drug Mart. Colter works with vulnerable populations as part of the Shoppers Drug Mart-AHS Opioid Dependency Program (ODP) satellite pharmacy in downtown Edmonton. He identified key unmet needs within the ODP and set out to address them. One of these needs was streamlining screening and treatment of hepatitis C. Colter completed several training courses and engaged in continuous self-directed learning on the topic to help him advocate for, and develop, a hepatitis C program within the ODP.

Colter co-created the CHOICE (Coordinated Hepatitis C and Opioid Dependency Intervention in a Community Environment) Program with the aim to improve hepatitis C screening for patients on opioid substitution therapy (OST), complete lab work and clinical assessments for chronic hepatitis C infections, connect patients seamlessly to treatment, support them through treatment, and provide ongoing follow up and education around re-infection. With the integration of point-of-care hepatitis C tests into practice at ODP, it allowed patients instant access to screening when they came in for their OST dosing. Colter has become the first non-specialist health care provider to apply for prescribing ability for hepatitis C medications in Canada. He recently presented both in Montreal at the International Network on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users Conference, and in Spain at the European Hepatitis C Summit.

“Colter is a true role model for pharmacists both locally and around the world. Through his research, he has been able to demonstrate the value of pharmacy practice in Alberta on an international scale,” said Klaudia Zarbrzenski, Program Manager for the ACE Team, who co-nominated him for this award.

“Colter displays an extraordinary level of empathy towards patients. He has a keen understanding of how social determinants impact health and prioritizes this during patient interactions,” said Idy Ekpe, co-nominator and fellow clinical pharmacist with the Shoppers Drug Mart ODP.