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Alberta pharmacist wins national award for her life-changing patient care efforts

December 2, 2015
Melissa Hozack recognized with ‘Commitment to Care & Service Award for Health Promotion’

About 300 people in Redcliff, Alberta shed a collective 7,000 pounds over the past two years thanks to a comprehensive weight loss program provided by Melissa Hozack, clinical pharmacist and co-owner of the town’s Pharmasave. But such impressive weight loss isn’t the only measure of the pharmacy program’s success. Melissa also demonstrated a range of positive clinical results such as improved blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels; and even the elimination of some prescription medications, and improvements in mental health and self-esteem.

The initiative started in 2013 when Melissa herself struggled to lose extra pounds following the birth of her third child. After researching various weight loss strategies, she decided to transform her pharmacy practice and offer patients a weight loss method that targets the physical and mental health aspects of obesity. Melissa’s approach takes advantage of pharmacists’ scope of practice and reimbursement under the Alberta Pharmacy Services Framework.

Melissa’s personal participation in the weight loss program –– she lost 100 pounds over seven months –– helped engage patients and boost her program’s reputation for success. “With Melissa’s help, I feel like a totally different person and I cannot thank her enough for having the foresight to find a protocol to help so many of us struggling with weight and blood sugar issues,” comments one of Melissa’s patients. “It is great that she went on the protocol herself and lost weight too, as she knows the struggles we all face.”

“The leadership shown by Melissa is an inspiration to other pharmacists and physicians within the community,” says Melissa’s nominator for the award. “Her leadership has elevated the quality of care delivered by all health professionals in the community and advanced the quality of care in pharmacy practice in Redcliff.”

To learn more about the Commitment to Care and Service Awards, visit: