Dear College stakeholders, registrants and members of the public,
I am writing to you after only three weeks in my role as Registrar and CEO of the Ontario College of Pharmacists, but I wanted to introduce myself.
With admiration, I have been watching the profession of pharmacy evolve. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have risen to the opportunity to build a stronger health system for Ontario patients and there is every reason to believe that there will be continued change in the coming years. The College, just like the pharmacy profession, has a long and distinguished record of service to Ontario patients and I am honoured to be part of its story.
Like most of you reading this, I am a regulated professional. I am a non-practicing member of the Law Society of Ontario, and although I haven’t practiced law in many years, you could say I practice “regulation.” I have been in leadership roles for self-regulating professions for more than 10 years – with physicians and surgeons initially, then physiotherapy and then as a consultant with a variety of organizations across the country. I understand the duties and responsibilities of the regulator and the trust that is placed in those whose mandate is to serve and protect the public interest.
But what about pharmacy expertise? Some of you must be wondering how someone who is not a pharmacy professional can be effective in my position. In truth, I see that as an asset. I’ve had the pleasure of working with pharmacy regulators and members of the profession in some of my previous work and I appreciate the role that pharmacy plays in the lives of patients. But while this grounds some of my thinking, I am fully aware that it doesn’t mean I can speak on behalf of the profession. I will need the input of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, as well as community and hospital pharmacy stakeholders at every turn.
In addition to College registrants, our partners in serving the interests, health and well-being of the public include a generous handful of other key groups, from patients to other regulators to associations to industry. My thirst for information extends to these groups and beyond.
I want to assure you that this focus on collaboration and gathering all perspectives comes naturally to me. And perhaps that is what I bring to the table as a practitioner of ‘regulation’: I have spent many years identifying and then gathering the data (opinions and facts) required for effective decision-making about self-regulation. I am looking forward to putting this expertise to practice in the world of pharmacy.
This is my commitment to all of you as Registrar and CEO. And I can’t wait to get started.