Annual Report 2023
This past year, the board completed a strategic plan pulse check to identify which of the identified 25 objectives would be prioritized. A decision was made to defer refreshing the Strategic Plan and focus on maintaining ongoing initiatives.
This Annual Report post will provide you with a look back on the work completed by the volunteers that dedicate their time to helping our organization achieve its goals.
Celebrating and Promoting our Profession
Celebrating RxTechDay and Pharmacy Awareness Month (PAM) topped the list of priorities this year. These celebrations provided us an opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments as pharmacy technicians, our setbacks, our moments of burnout, and a vision for excellence for the year ahead.
On Pharmacy Technician Day Oct 18 2022 – PTSA, pharmacy technicians were challenged with a virtual scavenger hunt for a chance to win prizes, including free registration to the 2023 Alberta Pharmacy Technician Conference, free membership renewals and gift cards.
During PAM, we took to social media where questions were posed each week to engage pharmacy technicians in discussion. Responses to the question about what role expansions pharmacy technicians would like to see included the ability to be a licensee, authorization for ordering, receiving and destruction of narcotics, and injection certification. Of those that responded to the question about being interested in gaining injection certification and performing vaccine/injection technical functions, 85% were in favor, 13% aren’t interested, and 4% are undecided. You can view more of the responses on the Facebook and Instagram pages.
PTSA continues to acknowledge the contributions to our profession by recognizing one member each year to receive the Professionalism Award. The 2022 winner of the award was Heather Snook. You can watch a video of the award presentation on the PTSA YouTube channel: Professionalism Award Presentation 2022 – YouTube
Providing Continuing Education
Hosting an annual conference remains one of PTSA’s top 3 priorities. For the 2022 conference, the board made the decision to continue online but with a new and exciting format. For the first time, attendees could take advantage of both on-demand and live education sessions along with interactive and engaging virtual networking opportunities all through the online conference platform.
Shortly following the 2022 conference, planning began for the first in-person conference since 2019, to be held in Calgary in September 2023. The Conference Planning Committee’s efforts resulted in a conference program that is sure to help pharmacy technicians aspire to grow beyond the dispensary.
PTSA’s Education Committee planned and hosted two online education events this year. On March 23rd, Catharine Gimbel presented What to Know When Compounding Hormones. On March 30th, Matthew Grissinger from the Institute of Safe Medication Practices presented Lessons Learned from a Harmful Medication Error. For Neelu Duhan, this webinar helped her learn how to evaluate risk at the start of the workday. Read more about her experience here: To Err is Human – PTSA.
A new accredited Education Course, Final Product Checking – A Role for Pharmacy Technicians, was also introduced this year. This program will provide pharmacy technicians with the necessary steps to help with their approach to final product checking.
Membership Programs and Engagement
Membership has remained consistent over the past year. At the time of this post, there are 720 members.
During the Refer a Friend Promotion for March 2023 – PTSA any current PTSA member who referred a new member received their next membership renewal for free. The initiative was so successful that another campaign is being run to coincide with RxTechDay2023.
Mark’s Commercial Client Savings Cards continue to be available for PTSA members to save 10% off workwear, casual clothing, dress clothes, and more. The card is now available in a digital format to make it even easier for members to access this benefit. New Mark’s Digital Discount Cards Available – PTSA are accessible through the Member’s Only section of the website.
Supporting the development of pharmacy technician students and welcoming newly registered pharmacy technicians to the profession remains a top priority. The Membership Engagement Committee once again presented to students at each of the Alberta pharmacy technician schools. A total of 139 pharmacy technicians who became an RPhT between August 1, 2022 and July 31, 2023 were invited to receive a welcome package and attend a ceremony in their honor to be held during the Friday evening reception at the 2023 Alberta Pharmacy Technician Conference.
Website and Communications
A move away from PayPal to Stripe was made this past year to improve the online payment processing experience for members. With this change, an update was also made to provide Access to Receipts Available from the Members Only Dashboard – PTSA.
The Communications Committee was also hard at work increasing PTSA’s social media presence and improving the bi-monthly member newsletter. PTSA’s Annual Blog Post Contest – PTSA was launched this year to encourage members to communicate with each other about the world of pharmacy. To support new bloggers, PTSA Blog Post Guidelines – PTSA were drafted.
Annually, each member that writes a blog post will be entered to win a free admission to the annual conference, or a $150 gift card. Congratulations to Regan Pape, the first winner of the annual blog post contest. Regan wrote about The Pharmacy Tech-nology Experience – PTSA.
There were several consultation opportunities this past year that the Advocacy Committee focused on. This included Feedback on Standards of Practice Changes – PTSA in December 2022. Based on feedback provided by PTSA, further changes were made to the Standards that became effective March 2023. We were pleased with that outcome and appreciated the opportunity to provide feedback during another consultation period in the spring of 2023 on completely redesigned standards of practice. The Advocacy Committee noted that many of the changes PTSA has been advocating for were reflected in the redesigned standards, but also identified that there are still opportunities for further changes. Feedback was submitted by our Advocacy Committee members to reflect that.
PTSA was also invited by Health Canada to provide feedback on Exceptions to the Prescription Drug List and by the Alberta Government regarding the pharmacy technician and pharmacy assistant occupational profiles. The advocacy committee also provided feedback to inform these consultations.
PTSA was unable to prioritize work this year on drafting a white paper for pharmacy technicians to gain authorization to inject. This remains on the list of objectives to achieve the strategic plan.
Providing Good Governance and Connecting with Stakeholders
Good governance underpins all the Society’s work and ensures that we can operate effectively and transparently. This year, the board continued to work on defining board roles and procedures. With the help of a facilitator, a template was introduced that will guide board directors when making decisions.
Work also continued to review and update the PTSA bylaws. The board approved several bylaw amendments affecting membership categories, meetings, and board director terms of office. The membership will be asked to ratify the amendments during the annual general meeting on September 9, 2023. Members can find more information about the special resolution to amend the bylaws in the 2023 AGM Materials: Agenda, Minutes, Financial Statements and Slate of Nominations – PTSA.
Partnerships with external organizations are important in meeting PTSA’s goals. Several partners generously extended invitations for board members to attend their annual events. In October 2022, Melissa Olson, Advocacy Director, attended the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists – Alberta branch symposium. Ivan Yu, President, attended the Pharmacy Technician Society of British Columbia’s conference. Later in the year, Nicole Rees, Membership Director, participated virtually in the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists national conference and Teresa Hennessey, Administrator attended the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Technicians’ Professional Development Conference. You can read more about their experiences in the following blog posts:
What strategy and work accomplished this past year is most important to you? Are there things you’d like to see PTSA work on that have not already been identified? Share your thoughts in the comments below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org