Highlights from the 2017 Alberta Pharmacy Technician Conference


PTSA held its 27th Annual Pharmacy Technician Conference on September 15 & 16, 2017. I’d like to take a moment to share some of the highlights with you.

Speakers and sessions this year were chosen to align the conference theme “Unmask Your Potential” and how to make a positive change to your practice and patients.  To get the ball rolling and to and help delegates realize the power they already possess, everyone struck a power pose to kick off the conference. While this took a bit of encouraging, by the end of the conference everyone was feeling more confident and participated without hesitation!

Friday morning kicked off with keynote speaker Professor Timothy Caulfield. He spoke to the staggering amount of “bunk” health information that is out there, and how celebrity culture and social media perpetuates the problem. Professor Caulfield implored all pharmacy technicians to be critical thinking leaders!

On Friday we also had sessions on NAPRA standards, how to compound medications for animals, and we were given an inside look at addiction by Detective Dean Boyer.

During lunch our delegates had the opportunity to visit our vendor exhibit and to check out our poster contest. This year, we tried something new and held an E-poster contest. Delegates were invited to submit a power point presentation for consideration. We want to send out a big congrats to poster contest winner Tana Yoon!

On Friday night we hosted a dinner, awards ceremony and dueling pianos show. We were so excited to recognize Peggy Pischke with the 2017 PTSA Professionalism award. Look for a profile on Peggy to be coming soon! We also gave out awards for the early bird draw, 2 Education Grants sponsored by Fresinius Kabi, and we recognized friend of pharmacy technicians James Boudreau for his unwavering support over the years.

For the 3rd year the Alberta College of Pharmacists was on hand to present Jennifer Bibby an award for having the highest PEBC mark in Alberta; Jennifer is a former graduate of Bow Valley College.

Saturday was another day full of learning. Delegates were touched and inspired by Marni Panas’ very personal presentation on providing healthcare to the LGTB+ population. She left us with the sage advice to “Always choose kindness”.

We also had presentations on MAID, integrating pharmacy technicians into community practice, why the NAPRA standards were created, and how we can become better preceptors to future pharmacy technicians.

Our conference closed with a presentation from Bobby Milroy from Pier Health in Vancouver. Bobby highlighted how the safe injection sites work and the impact it has had on patients struggling with addiction.

Saturday’s Annual General Meeting of the Pharmacy Technician Society of Alberta saw a new board elected. Congrats to 2017/18 Board Members:

  • Teresa Hennessey
  • Rhonda Bodnarchuk
  • Crystal Schultz
  • Kim Fehr
  • Engi Saleh
  • Carla Dumka
  • Ghia Colceriu

During the town hall session of the AGM we heard from some of super techs who were hiding in plain sight! It was amazing to hear from technicians who are taking pride in their practice and leading the way for other technicians.

Thank you to the 2017 Conference Planning Committee for your hard work and dedication! We can’t wait to see everyone in 2018 at the 28th Annual Pharmacy Technician Conference in Calgary, AB!


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