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Much is in store for 2024

January 10, 2024
Portrait of ACP Council president, Patrick Zachar
A New Year’s message from ACP president Patrick Zachar.

2023 was a big year for ACP. We launched our new information management system—myACP—and refreshed our website, all to better serve regulated members and the public while we support and regulate pharmacy practice.

While 2023 was a big year, 2024 will be even bigger.

One of Council’s first priorities for the new year will be to begin the search for a new registrar. After 35 years at the helm, Greg Eberhart will be retiring effective December 31, 2024. We all owe Greg a great deal of gratitude for the leadership he has provided since he first began with what was then known as the Alberta Pharmaceutical Association (APhA). Greg has been the driving force behind much of what ACP has accomplished during his tenure, not the least of which were pharmacists gaining the ability to prescribe medications and administer injections, pharmacy technicians becoming regulated health professionals, and the APhA splitting into two distinct organizations: ACP as the regulator and the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association as the advocate for pharmacists. Under Greg’s leadership, Alberta has been recognized worldwide as an innovator in pharmacy practice and policy. We are where we are today thanks in large part to Greg’s vision and perseverance.

Finding a replacement for Greg won’t be easy. Council has appointed a succession planning committee, including individuals with a broad range of experience in governance, leadership, health regulation, and the practice of pharmacy. The committee is in the process of engaging a search firm to begin a national search for a new registrar. We plan to have a registrar-elect announced and in place by the fall. At that point, Greg will work with the registrar-elect to orient them into the position, with the registrar-elect assuming increasing responsibilities until they become the registrar on January 1, 2025.

While all of this is taking place, Council will continue to strive towards completion of our 2024 priorities as indicated in the college’s 2021-25 Strategic plan. As part of Goal 2 (There is a modern and relevant framework to regulate pharmacy practice), we will work through the process to approve and introduce new Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians (SPPPT), and Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies (SOLP).

The consultation for the SOLP is currently underway. I encourage you to review the standards and provide your feedback before the February 23, 2024, deadline. Your feedback will help ensure the standards contribute to the best possible pharmacy care for Albertans.

There are also three regulated member seats on Council that will be up for election in 2024. If you are a pharmacy technician in District A (northern Alberta), a pharmacist in District 1 (northern Alberta), or a pharmacist in District 2 (southern Alberta), I urge you to consider putting your name forward to the nomination committee. Those nominated will be eligible to run in the June election.

On behalf of all of Council, I hope you were able to spend some quality time with family and friends during the holidays, and were able to recharge your batteries for what will be a busy year ahead. Best wishes for a happy and safe 2024!

Patrick Zachar
ACP Council president