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Making a change

Pharmacy alumna returns to Memorial to advance her practice

Student Life

By Heidi Wicks

What makes a leader?

Passion. Advocacy. Advancement.

That’s what inspired Deanne Goulding of Kirkland, Ont., to return to Memorial 22 years after graduating with her B.Sc (pharmacy).

As part of the first class of the School of Pharmacy’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) for working professionals degree program, she decided to add the PharmD credential to her pharmacy practice because she was ready to take a chance, to make a change.

“I saw this as a unique program in that it’s part time, can be done in three or four years, and is largely online,” Ms. Goulding said.

“I felt there’s so much more to learn and that a higher education would be necessary to pursue my future career goals. When I began a new position in hospital pharmacy a few months after starting the program, I realized that it was the perfect time to advance my education.”

Watch a video about the PharmD program below.

The business of change

Change management, an essential skill for propelling advancement, is explored in depth in two of the program’s earlier courses and reinforced throughout the program.

Stephen Coombs teaches Pharmacy 4910: Applied Learning I, Leadership and Education, a continuation of Keith Bailey’s Pharmacy 4902: Pharmacy Management and Leadership.

Both courses explore in great detail the steps to implement change in practice through education and advocacy.

Mr. Coombs says the applied learning feature of the program requires students to incorporate coursework into their practice.

“We foster leadership development by refining persuasive writing skills and preparing advocacy documents and materials, such as promotional collateral and social media campaigns,” he said.

“These activities allow students the opportunity to  communicate their vision for pharmacy practice concisely to opinion leaders, decision-makers, potential partners and other stakeholders.”

From left are Dr. Stephen Coombs, Lisa St. Croix, Dr. Tiffany Lee and Keith Bailey.
From left are Dr. Stephen Coombs, Lisa St. Croix, Dr. Tiffany Lee and Keith Bailey.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

This work is a continuation of the coursework completed in Pharmacy 4902, which involves the creation of a business canvas, incorporating the pharmacy business environment, financial management, continuous quality improvement, marketing and promotion, human resources, pharmacy services implementation and effective operations and technology.

Sculpting a novel practice

Ms. Goulding’s business canvas was built around consultations with key members in her organization, to gather suggestions for something that is lacking and needed.

“As students, we worked in small groups to toss around thoughts and suggestions, and then finally narrowed it down to one idea. From there we developed a Business Canvas Model, which is a road map for the pharmacy practice change idea I want to put into place.”

Her project focuses on pharmacist-initiated therapeutic drug monitoring services leading to positive patient outcomes in hospitals, including decreases in morbidity and patient harm, length of drug therapy and duration of hospital stay.

“Communication and collaboration is required with key partners, including other pharmacists, physicians and nurse managers.” — Deanne Goulding

She says the model is organized into nine segments: value proposition, customer relationships, channels, customer segments, key activities, key resources and partners, cost structure and revenue stream.

“While it’s mostly self-directed, much communication and collaboration is required with key partners, including other pharmacists, physicians and nurse managers, to see how they want this model to look,” Ms. Goulding said. “I’ve had great response and interest, and they are all excited about the proposal.”

Team teaching

Dr. Tiffany Lee, program lead for the PharmD for working professionals program, feels that the collaborative teaching model used in the program is one of its key strengths.

Collaboration is not only evident in content delivery, but at all stages throughout the development process.

“The ideas that the content experts have are brought to life by Lisa St. Croix, a senior instructional designer at Memorial’s Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, and her team,” said Dr. Lee.

“We work together to ensure the curriculum flows naturally for students and can be incorporated into their current practice. We want to make sure students can apply theory to their practice, almost on-the-spot and as they’re learning.”

To view a Facebook Live and ask your questions on the program, visit the School of Pharmacy Facebook page. The application deadline is Feb. 1.

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