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Three new council members elected

April 26, 2017

The results of the spring election are in. Council will welcome three new members this summer.

Peter Eshenko (Pharmacist, District 2, Southern Alberta), Fayaz Rajabali (Pharmacist, District 3, Edmonton), and Dana Lyons (Pharmacy Technician, District B, Southern Alberta) were the successful candidates in online voting that took place between March 15 and April 13.

Peter has been a pharmacist for 30 years and owns pharmacies in Banff and Golden, BC. He is passionate about providing person-centered care, particularly in pharmacies in smaller, tight-knit communities like his.

“We know everybody,” said Peter. “We live in the community. We see the people every day. It’s important we can custom fit to the people we’re helping.”

Peter served on numerous boards and committees early in his career, but took a step back while his two boys were growing up. Now that his sons are older, Peter has a renewed interest in serving his profession, especially since his older son has been accepted into the University of Alberta’s pharmacy program.

“Before having a family, I worked on the internship program and really enjoyed working with students more than anything,” he said. “Now I’ll be spending more time with my son and talking to his friends and seeing how the changes in pharmacy have evolved quite dramatically to person-centered care.”

Continuing education and training are Fayaz’s biggest priorities. He helped develop a curriculum for a pharmacy bridging program. He believes continuing education and training have a direct correlation to the enhancement of patient care.

“I’d like to have a more formalized practice approach to intern training,” said Fayaz. “I’ve seen strides in how the college has implemented the new system. But I’d like to see a system where interns have the exposure and opportunity to learn in a classroom setting. I think that would help.”

Fayaz is a community pharmacist and wouldn’t practice anywhere else.

“I love the powers we’re given here in Alberta,” he said. “We have the support and the policies that go in sync with our evolving roles and help enhance our practice even more. I think we’re in the best jurisdiction in North America. We have the most opportunity.”

Dana, who works in a management role for Alberta Health Services in Calgary, is committed to the improvement of compounding standards to enhance safety and quality.

“It’s a piece of work almost all pharmacy technicians are engaged in at one point or another, whether it’s sterile compounding or non-sterile compounding,” said Dana. “It’s a place where we can really get a hold of the standards and improve distribution and compounding. That’s an area of our expertise where we’re all trained.”

She also feels strongly about collaboration among pharmacy teams, especially on the front line, and will advocate for integrated pharmacy practices.

“I think there’s a lot more room for inter-collaboration between pharmacists and pharmacy technicians,” she said. “It appears to have been a bit of a struggle. We’re still re-engineering how things work so that we can provide better care to patients through an integrated model, and maximize our resources.”

Terms for the new council members begin July 1.