Back to the Future

Back to the Future

Myrella Roy


On October 21, 2015, Marty McFly and Dr Emmett Brown arrived from 1985 in today’s future aboard the DeLorean time machine, in part II of the Back to the Future film trilogy. The Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) may not have predicted flat-screen televisions, biometrics, or 3D technology, but several of its objectives materialized in 2015.

The implementation of CSHP’s 2011–2015 strategic plan landed the association close to the visionary destination targeted by its 4 strategic directions: to promote safe and effective medication use for patients, to advocate for practice excellence, to engage members and volunteers, and to ensure organizational effectiveness. Overall, the CSHP Board was generally satisfied with the collective performance in reaching the plan’s objectives.

The journey of the CSHP 2015 project, begun in 2007, came to a triumphant end last summer, thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of the 2 project coordinators, Barbara Wells and Carolyn Bornstein, and more than 250 CSHP volunteers. How did the project score on its 2015 predictions? For half of the 36 objectives, Canadian hospital pharmacy was on target or within 30% of the target! Furthermore, the project leaves a wealth of artifacts on the CSHP website (which received 10 000 hits in its final year), including a “crosswalk” of evidence, 3 tool kits, 23 webinars, 50 virtual posters, almost 100 success stories, 8 student pharmacist–produced videos, over 200 submissions to the photo campaign, and more than 50 member updates.

The Summer Educational Sessions (SES), originally known as the “Annual Meeting” and later as the “Annual General Meeting and Educational Sessions”, reached their Ottawa terminus in 2015 after stopping at 68 stations in as many years. The road to education and learning is now strewn with hazards: health care budgets are increasingly constrained, funding for professional development is scant at best, and travel costs are rising. On the other hand, opportunities for a variety of learning modalities are broadening. After careful consideration of the recommendations from the SES Sustainability Task Force (in its report presented in August 2013) and the SES Modified Format Task Force (in its report submitted in March 2014), the CSHP Council concluded, at its midterm meeting in March 2014, that a modified format was unlikely to stimulate attendance and revenue and that, much to its regret, its fiduciary duty was to sunset the SES after the 2015 edition. CSHP is extremely proud of the quality professional development and the invaluable networking opportunities it has long been providing to pharmacists and is committed to adapt to the newfangled reality.

To keep pace with the times, CSHP just so happened to recruit and retain all female employees because, to borrow Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s explanation, “it’s 2015”. We celebrated the 5-year employment anniversary of Rosemary Pantalone (Executive Assistant). We bade farewell to Suzanne Purkis who temporarily assumed the position of Publications Administrator, and then welcomed Amanda Iannaccio to take on this job. We said goodbye to Carolyn Bornstein as CSHP 2015 Project Coordinator and to Lisa Graziadei as Controller. We said passing hellos to Linda Klein-Swormink as Finance Clerk and to Emily Kitagawa for her transient assistance throughout the year with various duties related to publications and pharmacy residency training. We then greeted Cathi Yabsley as Director of Finance and Julia Waserman-Shapero as Finance Clerk. The whole staff was instrumental in achieving a national surplus at the 2014/2015 fiscal year-end and in passing the audit finish line with flying colours after the first year of centralized branch accounting.

Like Back to the Future’s DeLorean heading for the year 2015, CSHP does not need roads where it’s going. However, in responding to calls for consultation from the following stakeholders, the Society is helping to pave the way for contemporary pharmacy practice in hospitals and other collaborative health care settings: the Canadian Pharmacists Association (on the Pharma-care 2.0 strategy), Health Canada (on the Guide to New Authorities and the needs-based assessment of credible and timely information about therapeutic products, both supporting implementation of the Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act [Vanessa’s Law] and fulfilment of the Regulatory Transparency and Openness Framework, and on the draft guidance with regard to the reporting of loss or theft of controlled substances and precursors), the federal/provincial/territorial Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee on Drug Shortages (on the draft Guidance Document to Mitigate Drug Shortages through Contracting and Procurement), the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (on the draft Pharmacy Practice Management Systems Supplemental Document on Traceability and Bulk Preparation Labelling), and the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying and the federal External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v. Canada (on considerations for the development of laws, policies, practices, and safeguards related to physician-assisted dying).

CSHP embarked for tomorrow’s practice of pharmacy aboard various projects. In the wake of the publication of the Society’s compounding guidelines in 2014 and in light of the results of its needs and resource assessment for an online education program on compounding preparations, the CSHP Board charged a task force with designing a suite of knowledge mobilization tools to assist with compounding activities, whose work has already yielded 3 webinars presented in fall 2015 ( The Society was also intimately involved in assessing the needs for specialization in pharmacy and the feasibility of a certification system for pharmacist specialists in Canada, a study led by the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy and the Blueprint for Pharmacy Steering Committee (the report on this project is available on the Blueprint for Pharmacy website: Furthermore, CSHP has published knowledge mobilization guides on clinical pharmacy key performance indicators (cpKPIs), in partnership with the Canadian cpKPI Collaborative (

CSHP’s voyage to the year 2018 is now mapped out in its new strategic plan. Preparations started in 2014 with a member survey, an environmental scan, and a facilitated session with the CSHP Board, Branch presidents, and the chairs of the CSHP Foundation Board, affiliated boards, and the Advocacy Committee. The CSHP Board approved the plan at its midterm meeting in March 2015, according to which it envisions being a thriving, progressive Society, leading and inspiring excellent pharmacy practice integral to patient-centred care in hospitals and other collaborative health care settings by the year 2018. One core strategic goal of the plan is to have a single engaging initiative that focuses CSHP’s efforts on improving patient health outcomes, following the scenic route opened up by the CSHP 2015 project. The initiative will wander throughout CSHP, reaching everybody and everything—all members and staff, and all programs and services.

As Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” CSHP’s future looks bright indeed.

Myrella Roy, BScPhm, PharmD, FCCP, is Executive Director of the CSHP.

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Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, VOLUME 69, NUMBER 1, January-February 2016

ISSN 1920-2903 (Online)
Copyright © 2019 Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists