• Ben Nemtin
  • Dr. Nese Yuksel
  • Teri Charrois
  • Dr. Joey Ton
  • Kirsten George-Phillips
  • Dr. Samantha Nutt
  • Marni Panas
  • Dr. Ross Tsuyuki
  • Dr. Jaris Swidrovich
  • Ron Pohar
  • Michael Landsberg
  • Pat Mayo


Ben Nemtin

Like typical college students, Ben Nemtin and his friends, Dave Lingwood, Duncan Penn and Jonnie Penn craved more excitement than what their daily lives offered. Unlike typical college students, the foursome committed to expanding outside of the monotony and to achieving to-dos on their list of “100 things to do before you die”, including everything from riding a bull (#8) to hosting a cooking show (#42) to helping to deliver a baby (#74). Their quest also included helping a stranger with something on their list for every item the group accomplished. Since first venturing out in 2006 as The Buried Life, with a secondhand video camera and a rented RV, Nemtin and friends have inspired and helped people around the world to achieve their own goals.

What started out as a two week journey to see how many items they could check off their list has become a popular TV show (checked #53 off the list), a #1 New York Times bestselling book (took care of #19), and an inspiring movement that encourages individuals to realize their dreams and help others in the process.

A sought after speaker, Nemtin has inspired individuals at universities, businesses and events around the world, including Harvard Law School and various TEDx presentations (#67—make an important speech). Nemtin’s work has earned him honors including Prism Award and Do Something Award nominations.

Along with a sold-out national book tour and appearances on top-rated programs, including the Today show, Nemtin and The Buried Life were invited to the White House in 2015, in acknowledgement of their efforts in helping others.

With lessons learned from achieving his own goals and helping others with theirs, Nemtin delivers perspective that inspires audiences to dream big, accomplish their objectives and identify creative strategies to help others

Dr. Nese Yuksel

Dr. Yuksel is currently a Professor with the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta. Additionally, she holds a cross-appointment with Alberta Health Services and practices in the Menopause Clinics at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women. Her research goals include bridging her interests in women’s health, osteoporosis and practice-based research to develop innovative techniques to enhance patient care. Dr Yuksel is a NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner (NCMP), a consultant with the Scientific Advisory Council of Osteoporosis Canada, and on the Board of Directors for SIGMA Canadian Menopause Society. She was the CPhA Canadian Pharmacist of the Year in 2016.

Presentation Summary:

Pharmacists are in an ideal position to support women with their reproductive health needs. A wide range of hormonal contraceptive options is now available to suit a woman’s individual needs and preferences. This session will highlight the continuum of reproductive health options now available in Canada.  Current trends include the use of highly effective long acting reversible contraception as a first line contraceptive option. Clinical pearls in managing hormonal contraceptives, as well. As practical counseling strategies to promote contraceptive continuation and adherence will be presented. The pharmacist’s expanding role in improving contraceptive access will be discussed.

Teri Charrois

Teri, a University of Alberta grad, decided in 2010 to combine her love of travel with her interest in teaching. This meant a move to Perth, Western Australia, the most remote capital city in the world. After being a life-long prairie girl, Teri attempted, rather unsuccessfully, to become a beach bum. Those 4 years in Australia opened her eyes to pharmacy practice and education, and how lucky she was to be a pharmacist in Canada. Now back home in Alberta, and happy to be teaching once again at the UofA, Teri brings some international insight to her teaching philosophy, with a love of all things sunny and sandy.

Presentation Summary:

Teri will talk about pharmacy education from the Australian perspective. She will compare and contrast the teaching practices and programs in Canada and Australia. In addition, Teri will discuss the research she has done comparing what these differences and similarities mean to students.

Dr. Joey Ton

Joey Ton obtained his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and his Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of Alberta. Currently, he works with Dr. Mike Allan at the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. This role focuses on developing and providing continuing education materials for family physicians of Alberta. Some of the projects he has been involved with include the Tools for Practice distributed by the Alberta College of Family Physicians, Best Science Podcast, and an academic detailing program for Alberta. In addition to this position, Joey continues to practice in a community setting on the weekends..

Presentation Summary:

Trials of 2017: Some New, Some True, and Some Poo: Review of some recent research of this past year and speak to whether they should apply to practice or if they should be ignored. Materials were developed by and alongside Dr. Mike Allan (Tools for Practice and BS Podcast) and the PEER group.

Joey’s focus on evidence based medicine will lead to his talk on recent trials where he will focus on some interesting trials of 2017 and speak about the criticisms and take-away points. The big focus is on the practical aspects of the trials and he will make sure that the students come out, only semi-confused.


Kirsten is a clinical pharmacist at the University of Alberta Hospital where she manages medication therapy for ambulatory patients in the Stroke Prevention Clinic. Kirsten also works as a Clinical Practice Leader for Alberta Health Services, where she supports pharmacists and encourages them to optimize the care they provide patients by working to their full scope of practice. She has also served as an instructor and facilitator with the University of Alberta Practice Development’s Anticoagulation, Lab Values modules, and Clinical Decision Making Modules, and lectures at the Faculty of Pharmacy in the undergraduate and Pharm D programs.

Presentation Summary:

Regardless of our area of practice, decisions we make as pharmacists will affect our patients’ future risk of stroke related morbidity. Antithrombotic therapy in secondary stroke prevention has become more complex with debates over “Dual or Single Antiplatelet,” “Antiplatelet or DOAC?” and “DOAC/Warfarin and Antiplatelet?”

Secondary prevention decisions may be affected by new recanalization options and expanded efforts in AF detection.

This session will present current debates in secondary stroke prevention and review the evidence to assist you when making decisions regarding related therapy.

Dr. Samantha Nutt

Samantha Nutt is an award-winning humanitarian, bestselling author and acclaimed public speaker.  A medical doctor and the founder of the renowned international humanitarian organizations War Child Canada and War Child USA, Dr. Nutt has worked with children and their families at the frontline of many of the world’s major crises – from Iraq to Afghanistan, Somalia to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone to Darfur, Sudan.  A leading authority on current affairs, war, international aid and foreign policy, Dr Nutt is one of the most intrepid and recognized voices in the humanitarian arena and is amongst the most sought-after public speakers in North America.  With a career that has spanned more than two decades and dozens of conflict zones, her international work has benefited hundreds of thousands of war-affected children globally.

Dr. Nutt is a respected authority for many of North America’s leading media outlets.  She is a regular foreign affairs panellist on the acclaimed news program, CBC TV NEWS “The National” with Peter Mansbridge. Nutt’s written work has been published by The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Maclean’s Magazine, Reuters, The Ottawa Citizen and The Huffington Post, among many others, and she has appeared in Time Magazine, Chatelaine Magazine , More Magazine and on CTV National News, Global TV News,  NBC Nightly News and BBC World News Service, to name just a few. In November 2015, Dr. Nutt spoke at the Ted Talks Live event on Broadway in New York City.

Dr. Nutt was named one of Canada’s 25 Transformational Canadians by The Globe and Mail, and has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.  Time Magazine has featured her as one of Canada’s Five Leading Activists.   In July 2011, Dr. Nutt was appointed to the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honour, for her contributions to improving the plight of young people in the world’s worst conflict zones.

Samantha Nutt graduated summa cum laude from McMaster University, earned an M.Sc in Public Health with distinction from the University of London and holds a Fellowship in Community Medicine (FRCPC) from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.  She is further certified by the College of Family Practice and completed a sub specialization in women’s health through the University of Toronto as a Women’s Health Scholar.  Dr. Nutt is the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates from universities in Canada and the U.S.A.

Dr. Nutt is a staff physician at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.  She is a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto and is on the board of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Marni Panas

Marni Panas is a Senior Advisor of Diversity and Inclusion, Alberta Health Services with a focus on creating safe, welcoming and inclusive environments for staff, physicians, patients, families and volunteers. She has been invited to share her experiences and expertise in Patient & Family Centred Care, bereavement and inclusive health for LGBTQ patients and their families locally, nationally and internationally. Most recently she provided testimony as a witness to the Canadian Senate in their deliberations on Bill C16 (An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code). Marni is also a transgender woman who has been very transparent throughout her journey in hopes of fostering acceptance through education and respectful dialogue.

Presentation Summary:

We will explore how to better work with, support and advocate for patients, family, friends and colleagues who identify as sexual or gender diverse (LGBTQ). Participants will hear personal experiences and stories, learn terminology, and discuss what we can do to improve the experience for this often marginalized and vulnerable population.

  • Understand the lived and learned realities of sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ) people
  • Breaking down the myths and misunderstandings about transgender people
  • Skills in creating a safe, supportive and nurturing environment for people of a sexual or gender minority.
  • Skills in communicating with and about LGBTQ people in a way that is respectful and meaningful

Dr. Ross Tsuyuki

Dr. Tsuyuki is currently a Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Director of the Epidemiology Coordinating and Research  (EPICORE) Centre (a health research coordinating centre). He is also an honorary Professor in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Tsuyuki has received several awards for teaching and mentorship, as well as appointment as a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists and the American College of Cardiology. In 2005, he was recognized as the Canadian Pharmacist of the Year by the Canadian Pharmacists Association .

His interests include: improving public health through engaging community pharmacists as primary care providers (interventional pharmacy practice research). He is also very involved in the provision of support for other researchers and training the next generation of health researchers.

Presentation Summary:

Pharmacy is about patient care, and with a broader scope of practice, there is more we can do for our patients. Alberta has the broadest scope of practice in the world, and our research group has been conducting pharmacy practice research studies to provide evidence for that advanced scope of practice.

In this presentation, Dr. Tsuyuki will present evidence for pharmacist prescribing and care in the areas of diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular risk reduction. In addition, he will present a compelling economic model for hypertension which shows that pharmacist prescribing is not only better than usual care, but will also save money for our healthcare system (but only if we actually do it!).

Dr. Jaris Swidrovich

Dr. Swidrovich is a member of Yellow Quill First Nation and was born, raised, and continues to reside in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BSP) and completed a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of Toronto in 2013.

Both in his previous and current work as a clinical pharmacist, and as a Lecturer at the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan, he is dedicated to educating health care workers and students on Indigenous issues and reconciliation. Dr. Swidrovich is involved with “Indigenizing” the University of Saskatchewan in a variety of areas and frequently finds himself working with fellow faculty both locally and nationally on how to proactively address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.

In his career thus far, he has worked as a Clinical Coordinator of Pharmaceutical Services with the Saskatoon Health Region, where his clinical work included caring for adult inpatients living with HIV/AIDS and substance use disorders. Within this area of expertise, Dr. Swidrovich also works with, and advocates for, not only the Indigenous population, but the diverse (e.g., LGBTQ) and marginalized (e.g., homeless) populations who may be living with HIV/AIDS, mental illness, and poverty. He remains active on the City of Saskatoon’s Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Committee, as a Director on the board of Sanctum Care Group (a transitional care home and hospice in Saskatoon for people living with HIV), and is a regular clinical pharmacist and mentor at SWITCH, which is the Student Wellness Initiative Toward Community Health that operates out of Westside Community Clinic in the core neighbourhood of Saskatoon.

Pharmacists are ideally situated on the front lines of health promotion, disease prevention, and, of course, participating in the treatments of various ailments. In these various roles, we undeniably see a high proportion of Indigenous people, patients, and families. Understanding the concept and enforcement of culturally safe care can help ensure our Indigenous patients receive the best possible care, given some unique differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients.

Presentation Summary:

This session will highlight important aspects of Indigenous history necessary to appreciate current health disparities, examine the current state of health of Indigenous people in Canada, describe culturally safe care with tips on how to engage in providing culturally safe care, and suggest tangible ways to contribute to reconciliation in health care and pharmacy education in Canada.

An overview of terminology and a brief summary of Indigenous history will be provided followed by a deeper discussion on Indigenous Health, cultural safety, and reconciliation. Suggestions will be provided regarding how to encourage, celebrate and coordinate the inclusion of traditional healing practices in the chronic disease management of Indigenous peoples in conjunction with the truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s Calls to Action. Commonly described “myths” about Indigenous history, peoples, and services will also be discussed.

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe the unique differences in meaning between Indigenous, Aboriginal, First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples.
  2. Summarize key historical government policies and practices that affected and continued to affect the health of Indigenous Canadians.
  3. Describe the magnitude of health challenges experienced by Indigenous Canadians (e.g., HIV and Mental Illness)
  4. Describe cultural safety and give examples of how this may be demonstrated when working with Indigenous peoples.
  5. Summarize the Truth Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada and propose how pharmacy professionals and the profession of pharmacy may respond to the TRC Calls to Action through chronic disease management.

Ron Pohar

Ron Pohar graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Alberta in 1995 and began his career as a clinical pharmacist specializing in mental health, geriatrics, and smoking cessation, particularly in those with mental illnesses. Ron has extensive training in tobacco addiction and smoking cessation from the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health, and has been involved with many smoking cessation initiatives including the Tobacco Reduction and Cessation (TRaC) Project as well as efforts to remove the sale of tobacco from pharmacies in Alberta. Ron has developed a number of smoking cessation training programs for health care professionals, including accredited certificate level self-study program for pharmacists  (Smoking Cessation: Counsel to Quit) and the CATALYST (Call to Action on Tobacco Addiction: A Model for the Busy Pharmacist) Program, a live program that has trained over 5000 pharmacists across Canada in smoking cessation. In his clinical practice, Ron works with inner city residents and those with mental health issues to assist them in tobacco reduction and cessation.

A founding board member of the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association, Ron’s work in smoking cessation has been recognized with local, provincial and national awards including the Alberta Pharmacy Centennial Award of Distinction and a Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award.

Presentation Summary:

Patients with psychiatric disorders have significantly higher tobacco usage rates compared to the Canadian average and suffer a significant health burden as a result. Although smoking cessation interventions have been shown to be effective in this patient population, healthcare professionals may not offer treatment due to misconceptions they may have. This presentation will review the complex relationship between tobacco use and psychiatric disorders. It will outline the different treatment strategies, including combination therapies and nicotine replacement therapies and the rationale for their use. New evidence demonstrating the neuropsychiatric safety of oral therapies for smoking cessation in mental health patients will also be reviewed. The presentation will provide recommendations for difference pharmacotherapeutic options which are safe and effective in this patient population and provide recommendations for management of quit attempts, including an approach to recognizing and managing drug interaction with smoking cessation.

Michael Landsberg

Michael Landsberg has been a prominent face and voice on the Canadian sports scene since 1984. With his unique style, he quickly became one of this country’s most polarizing personalities- perceived by some as forthright and others as arrogant.

In 2009 people began to agree more on Michael after he publicly shared his, then decade long, struggle with severe depression and anxiety. Since then, he has become one of this country’s loudest voices- pushing for all Canadians to see mental illness as a sickness, not a weakness. Michael frequently used his platform as producer and host of Off the Record on TSN to change people’s opinion of mental illness.

Michael has been an official spokesperson for Bell Let’s Talk Day since that initiative was launched. In 2015 Michael launched his own initiative, a not-for-profit, called SickNotWeak. SickNotWeak is dedicated to changing the way Canadians see mental illness. www.SickNotWeak.com gives a voice to celebrities and everyday folks to share their struggles and their views on mental health issues.

In January 2017, Whole Health Pharmacy Partners and SickNotWeak partnered together to provide better support for patients with mental health needs through pharmacies. Through patient focus groups, they were able to launch a patient driven mental health campaign that went way beyond the four walls of the pharmacy.

Presentation Summary:

Michael Landsberg will discuss his journey through mental illness and the impact this has had on his life and others. He will touch on his battle with medications and why pharmacists have the opportunity to play such an important role in the lives of their patients and caregivers with mental health conditions.

Dr. Patrick Mayo

Pat Mayo, is a clinical pharmacist working with the palliative care service at the University of Alberta Hospital.  He is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences with research interests in the PK-PD of opioid and non-opioid analgesics and the genomics of neuropathic and nociceptive pain.  He holds a BSc in pharmacy, a PhD specializing in PKPD relationships, and a Masters in Theological Studies.  He is member of the Clinical Ethics Committee for the University of Alberta Hospital and a Second Opinion Reviewer for the Alberta Research Ethics Community Consensus Initiative (ARECCI).  Pat works to improve symptom control and seeks to provide clinical options to improve the quality of life in terminally ill patients. Pat has participated in the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP), Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP) and Alberta Health Services (AHS) working groups on medical assistance in dying (MAID).  In addition to his work in Palliative Care, Pat has extensive experience in the pharmacotherapy of chronic-cancer pain including the increasingly problematic use of opioids in this patient population.

MAID Presentation Summary:

Canadian legislation was passed in June 2016 that allows dying patients, who are suffering intolerably from a serious medical condition, a choice of a medically-assisted death (MAID).  Bill C-14 defines the conditions and limitations for MAID in Canada, which allows physicians and nurse practitioners to provide this service with the assistance of pharmacists.  It is essential that all pharmacists  understand their role and limitations under the current legislation. Accepted drug protocols and the need for a thorough discussion with the providing practitioner will also be explored. Literature from other jurisdictions providing euthanasia will be reviewed to provide clinical insight into both drug choice and administration route selection. The ethical need to respect patient autonomy will be reviewed along with the individual’s right for objection.   Because MAID represents only one option in the continuum of end-of-life care, the continued role of palliative care and meaning of life interventions will also be discussed

Opioid Presentation Summary:

In 2016, there were 2458 apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada resulting in an apparent opioid related death rate in Canada of 8.8 per 100,000 population. This is despite increased awareness of the dangers of prescription opioid use. Concurrently, illicit use of high potency opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil, have increased the lethality of available street drugs. Prescription and illicit opioid use are linked through a complex set of circumstances that involved an effort to effectively treat chronic non-cancer pain, over-reach by pharmaceutical companies, and 2007/2008 economic crisis. This presentation will provide a summary of this complex narrative so that the participant can understand the circumstances that have led to this health crisis and the harm reduction strategies designed to save lives while working towards comprehensive and effective solutions for chronic pain and addiction.