University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine
Photo of Susanne Priest
Photo courtesy of Susanne Priest

Transforming Health Care

Pharmacists will be crucial to developing a more efficient health-care system in Canada

Susanne Priest (BScP 1976) was a community pharmacist for 30 years, then an executive at Shoppers Drug Mart. She recently gave $25,000 to support the new Centre for Pharmacy Management, Research and Innovation at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy – an initiative she believes will be crucial to developing a more efficient healthcare system in Canada.

“I think this is a transformational moment for pharmacy in Ontario and in Canada. Pharmacists are taking a more active role in primary health care and are helping to support a health-care system that is beginning to sag under the growing needs of the baby boomers. Pharmacists are delivering new services to patients at the pharmacy counter, such as influenza immunization and the diagnosis of minor ailments. This is giving family physicians more time to deal with patients that have more serious illnesses.

“I believe that pharmacists today need to have a good understanding of not only the practice and profession of pharmacy, but also of how pharmacy will support new health-care models in the future. Certainly, patient care is as important as ever, but pharmacists must understand the economic aspects as well. A joint pharmacy doctorate and MBA program being developed at the Centre will offer an exciting opportunity in this regard for both pharmacy students and practitioners.”

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