2018 Conference Speaker Bios


Amy Hing, RPhT

Amy Hing is a regulated pharmacy technician who graduated from Red Deer College in 2002. She has, until August of last year, worked in a pharmacy specializing in Methadone Maintenance Therapy for over 8 years in Medicine Hat, Alberta. She has also been with Alberta Health Services for 8 years and is currently working with the provincial Smart Pump team within the Drug Information portfolio in a temporary position and has a permanent position working with Cancer Control Alberta as a regulated tech with chemotherapy checking and preparation authorization.

Mary Katherine Johnson, CPhT

Mary Katherine Johnson is a PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technician and most recently Staff Sergeant in Charge of Pharmacy Services at Geilen-kirchen NATO Air Base in Germany, the largest technician-lead pharmacy in the US Air Force. She was honored to be named as the “2017 PTCB CPhT of the Year”. Mary is an advocate for pharmacy technicians as demonstrated through her commitment to excellence and high level of responsibility in leadership roles. She authored and presented “European Prescription Regulations and Standards Compared with Federal Guidelilnes in the US”, at the Joint Pharmacy Seminar. An abstract of her paper was published in the January-February 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. Mary has implemented many other initiatives to advance patient care and many of her strategies have had positive financial implications in terms of cost savings.

Mindy Kohar, RPhT

Mindy Kohar has been a technician with Alberta Health Services Pharmacy for over 14 years. In addition to frontline pharmacy work, she has held many progressive technician roles over the years which have enabled her to establish advanced knowledge in projects, leadership, safety, operations, change management, and clinical development. Teamwork is Mindy’s passion and she challenges others to think outside the box to create efficiencies, improve practice and collaborate with others. When she is not advancing pharmacy technician practice you can find her camping or exploring the great outdoors.

Dana Lyons, RPhT LSS BB

Dana Lyons is a pharmacy technician whose love for curiosity has kept her career full of meaning and joy. As a lean six sigma black belt and change practitioner, Dana has led many initiatives in pharmacy, with the most rewarding initiatives occurring when the potential of others is developed. Her commitment to the profession is evident in her work with the PEBC Examining Board, and her Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP) Councillor responsibilities. Dana’s current role within Alberta Health Services has her leading the practice of over 800 pharmacy technicians. Dana is passionate about giving back to the community and finds ways to connect with those experiencing homelessness.

Rilla Sakamaki, RPhT

Rilla Sakamaki is a full time pharmacy technician who has been practicing for 4 years as the compounder for Shoppers Drug Mart, in Canmore, Al-berta. This Shoppers Drug Mart location delivers specialized patient specific medications for not only patients in the Bow Valley area, but for many Southern Alberta pharmacies.

Beginning in Calgary, Rilla finished a Bachelor’s Degree at University of Calgary, and only found it fitting to go into pharmacy, to follow in her mother’s footsteps, as she is a pharmacist. After finishing the Pharmacy Technician Diploma program, at Bow Valley College, in Calgary, she moved back to Banff to further her career. Keeping busy with multiple jobs around the Bow Valley corridor, Rilla still finds time to travel the world, attends conferences, weddings and chases summer. Rilla believes ‘work hard, play hard’ is a good motto to follow.

Samantha Thompson, CPhT

Samantha Thompson is a PTCB and Idaho State Board Certified Pharmacy Technician with over 25 years of experience. She has achieved her Pharmacy Immunization Certification through the Washington State University. She holds the position of Lead Pharmacy Technician with Safeway Pharmacy (since 1997) and was previously a Department Manager with Pay n Save Drug Store. Samantha has an Associate of Applied Science Diploma and resides in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.