To be a man is, precisely, to be responsible. It is to feel, when setting one’s stone, that one is contributing to the building of the world.— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars (1939)
In 2017, the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) celebrated its 70th anniversary; Canada, the centennial year of its Confederation; and Montréal, the 50th anniversary of Expo 67, the 1967 International and Universal Exposition. I still vividly remember 1967: it was the year my parents converted our home on Montréal’s South Shore into a bed and breakfast for 6 months, during which my family welcomed our share of the 50 million visitors from around the world. I am ever so grateful to my parents for allowing me plenty of spare time from housekeeping to spend most of that summer on the exhibition archipelago, passport in hand, travelling the world within 3.65 km2 in the middle of the St. Lawrence River.
The basic unit of Expo 67’s logo is an ancient pictogram of a human figure with outstretched arms, linked in pairs and arranged in a circle to symbolize friendship around the world. As for CSHP, it adopted a new logo on the occasion of its 70th anniversary. The broken, overlapping aspect of the stylized cross and mortar and the different colours are meant to portray the interconnection among the various facets of pharmacy practice—patient care, drug distribution, education, research, informatics, etc.—as well as the diversity of CSHP’s members, their practice areas, and the patient populations they serve.
The theme of Expo 67 was “Man and His World”, based on the 1939 book entitled Terre des hommes (translated as Wind, Sand and Stars) by the French aviator-writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The Expo 67 directors likened their vision of the event to the celebration of friendship, mutual assistance, and humanistic values emanating from the book. CSHP also embraces these principles and exemplified them through its collaboration with other healthcare organizations on a number of salient enterprises in 2017.
After 7 years of relentless advocacy to Health Canada’s Office of Controlled Substances, CSHP was ecstatic when a class exemption to section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act was issued last March for practitioners prescribing methadone to inpatients in a hospital setting. Since then, practitioners have no longer had to obtain a temporary methadone s.56 exemption to continue treating inpa-tients who were taking methadone before their hospital admission.
CSHP made 7 commitments toward the Joint Statement of Action to Address the Opioid Crisis, led by the Government of Canada (https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/substance-abuse/opioid-conference/joint-statement-action-address-opioid-crisis.html). CSHP submitted a further 2 commitments through its participation in the Pharmacy Opioid Summit convened by the Canadian Pharmacists Association, which brought together 38 pharmacy and partner organizations in June 2017 (https://www.pharmacists.ca/news-events/news/cpha-statement-on-canadian-pharmacists-conference-opioid-summit/).
As a member of the Surgical Care Safety Best Practices Partners Group, CSHP endorsed the Enhanced Recovery Canada position statement. A leadership and dissemination strategy has been planned to support implementation of relevant best practices for Enhanced Recovery After Surgery, within the framework of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute’s Surgical Care Safety Action Plan (www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/en/toolsResources/Enhanced-Recovery-after-Surgery/Pages/Additional-Information.aspx).
Expo 67 featured 90 national, provincial and state, theme, and privately sponsored pavilions. To visit the most popular ones (Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Soviet Union, and United States of America), I would get to the grounds bright and early with my folding chair and my packed lunch to line up before the pavilions opened. Even so, and much to my chagrin, 3 pavilion visas were missing from my passport when Expo 67 closed.
CSHP also had to get up bright and early throughout the year to answer some 35 calls from external stakeholders for consultation and assistance. Responses on the following issues stand out as the most captivating for CSHP members: to the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada, on the draft revised Educational Outcomes for First Professional Degree Programs in Pharmacy (Entry-to-Practice Pharmacy Programs) in Canada; to the Canadian Council for the Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs, on the draft revised Accreditation Standards for Canadian Pharmacy Technician Programs; to Health Canada, on an inquiry about medical cannabis ordering and handling in hospital pharmacies, on proposed regulations amending the Food and Drug Regulations to allow the importation of drugs for an urgent public health need (such as the opioid crisis) that are authorized for sale by a trusted foreign regulatory authority (namely, authorities in the United States, the European Union, and Switzerland), on draft guidance documents on the handling and destruction of unserviceable stock and postconsumer returns (specifically those containing a narcotic, targeted substance, or controlled drug), on proposed regulations amending the Food and Drug Regulations to strengthen postmarket oversight of opioids and to require a warning sticker and patient information handout be provided with prescription opioids at time of dispensing, on a consultation paper and technical discussions on the mandatory reporting of serious adverse drug reactions and medical device incidents by healthcare institutions, and on the renewal of the Special Access Programme; and to the Public Health Agency of Canada, on the draft Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use: A Pan-Canadian Framework for Action.
Expo 67’s theme pavilions were built on variations of its overarching theme, “Man and His World”. They explored humanity from various universal thematic perspectives, such as agriculture, environment, health, technology, urban life, and visual arts.
The official launch of CSHP’s Excellence in Hospital Pharmacy program in February 2017 unveiled 3 priority themes: patient engagement/patient centredness, best practice (including patient safety), and effective communication and collaborative practice. The program’s success will be gauged against 6 principles and 15 attendant measures of performance (https://www.cshp.ca/excellence).
Thanks to the generous sole sponsorship of Eli Lilly Canada for more than 30 years, the Hospital Pharmacy in Canada (HPC) Report has become a leading reference and benchmarking tool for hospital pharmacy services across Canada and around the world. In 2017, the CSHP Board accepted the HPC Editorial Board’s request to become one of its “thematic” affiliated boards. The CSHP HPC Survey Board, as it is now known, conducted its 2016/2017 survey under this new affiliation, with sponsorship from AstraZeneca Canada, Eli Lilly Canada, and Pfizer Canada. The results will be published shortly at www.hospitalpharmacysurvey.ca.
CSHP also introduced a new publication, the Canadian Medication Optimization Briefing (CMOB), a series of 2-page, peer-reviewed quick references on specific themes in clinical pharmacy practice. With the permission of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education in Great Britain, the layout was adapted from their Medicines Optimisation Briefing. The inaugural issue of the CMOB focused on antimicrobial stewardship and was released in time for World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2017.
The pavilion sponsored by the Telephone Association of Canada captured visitors’ imagination. To this day, I can still remember its feature attraction, Canada ‘67, a documentary film by The Walt Disney Company projected on a huge panoramic screen (Circle-Vision 360°), as well as its display of futuristic technological marvels, including touch-tone and cordless phones, telephone banking, and AT&T’s Picturephone. Realm of fancy?
Technology was very much on CSHP’s mind as well last year. First, its website underwent a much-needed facelift. When the website was launched, CSHP also introduced its new “.pharmacy” domain name, which was granted in 2016 by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy in the United States; this domain name assures netizens that a pharmacy-related website is safe and legitimate. Furthermore, CSHP’s Canadian Pharmacy Residency Board upgraded its residency matching service and enhanced it with a centralized application process. Lastly, CSHP introduced the Assessment Tool for Aseptic Compounding, which draws on the best and leading practices articulated in its publication Compounding: Guidelines for Pharmacies (learn more at https://www.cshp.ca/assessment-tool-aseptic-compounding-0).
Just as the hostesses and hosts were deemed ambassadors of the highly successful Expo 67, CSHP’s gracious employees played a pivotal role in these impressive achievements. What’s more, with the hiring of Sarah Jennings as part-time Professional Affairs Associate, the Society’s pharmacist complement grew to 2.5 full-time equivalents. Other causes for celebration in the course of CSHP’s 70th year were the birth of Amanda Iannaccio’s daughter, the hiring of Christopher Doody and Julie Sobowale to jointly fulfil the role of Publications Administrator during Amanda’s maternity leave, and the 5-year employment anniversary of Pamela Saunders (General Program Administrator).
Just as Expo 67 left indelible memories, may CSHP continue its unfailing and unforgettable contributions to the building of pharmacists’ practice in hospitals and other collaborative health-care settings.
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Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, VOLUME 71, NUMBER 1, January-February 2018