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ACP celebrates Class of 2017 with annual Grad Breakfast

June 9, 2017

Practice with compassion.

That was the advice from keynote speaker Gina Giurguis to the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Class of 2017 at ACP’s annual Grad Breakfast in Edmonton on Thursday, June 8, 2017. 

Gina, a U of A alumna (Class of 2012) and clinical pharmacist in Calgary, told those about to enter the profession to truly care for their patients and listen to them.

“Each patient has a story that you may know nothing about,” she told the crowd of over 200 grads, family, and friends. “Let your patients be your driving force.”

She also encouraged new grads to embrace the full scope of practice pharmacists enjoy in Alberta, including applying for their additional prescribing authorization.

“Get out there and make a difference,” Gina said. “Don’t underestimate your influence.”

The Grad Breakfast was also a chance to celebrate outstanding achievement with several award presentations.

Helen Marin, who served as the Alberta Pharmacy Students’ Association president, took home the APSA Past President Award and the Value Drug Mart Leadership Award.

“It represents the support I’ve had so far, not only from family and friends, but from the pharmacists I’ve had interactions with,” said Helen. “They’ve been passionate about providing patient-centered care and it motivated me to be the best leader I can and to try to make a difference.”

Helen is passionate about leadership and feels the future of pharmacy depends on it.

“The right type of leadership drives change and positivity,” she said. “Leadership is needed in the profession to move it forward. Health care is going to keep evolving and we need to evolve with it. We need leaders for that.”

The Faculty also handed out its Preceptor of the Year Awards. Tony Nickonchuk from the Peace River Community Health Centre was named Institutional Preceptor of the Year, while Edmonton’s Amanda Visscher earned Community Preceptor of the Year honours. (More on the preceptor award winners in our next issue of the Link.)

And Jenna Buxton won the ACP Gold Medal for outstanding academic achievement.

Other highlights from the breakfast included Registrar Greg Eberhard leading the grads as they recited the ACP Code of Ethics. And ACP President Taciana Pereira encouraged the future pharmacists to seek out mentors and learn from their peers.

“Listen to people who see things in you that you may not see in yourself,” Taciana said. “This is your career and it starts now. Enjoy the journey.”