U of T 2023 Arbor Award recipients Christine Donaldson and Alina Lalani

Christine Donaldson (left) and Alina Lalani are recipients of U of T's 2023 Arbor Awards.

Two volunteers with the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy are being honoured with U of T’s 2023 Arbor Awards. Christine Donaldson and Alina Lalani have both volunteered with the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy for many years in a variety of leadership and mentorship roles that have supported the Faculty and its students.

The Arbor Awards, the highest honour given to U of T volunteers, recognize volunteers who have significantly contributed to the experience of U of T students, faculty members, staff and alumni. The awards were presented in a ceremony at the Carlu event space on Tuesday, where volunteers from various faculties and the broader university were recognized.

“The Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy community is enriched by incredible efforts of our volunteers,” says Lisa Dolovich, dean of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. “Christine and Alina are exemplary role models, demonstrating leadership and mentorship for our students, making immense and continuing contributions to our education programs and providing input and support to our overall goals as a Faculty and university.”

Christine Donaldson

Christine Donaldson is the interim president and CEO at HealthPRO Procurement Services, Inc. where she leads the procurement of pharmaceuticals on behalf of more than 1,300 hospitals across Canada. She received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Toronto, a master’s degree in adult education, and an Osgoode certificate in public procurement law and practice.

Donaldson is a leader among her graduating class, serving as the 9T2 Class President for Life and participating in reunion organizing committees. She also shares her knowledge and experience as a speaker, including alumni networking events and Centre for Practice Excellence speaking events, as well as a mentor for pharmacy students through the PharmaSEE mentorship program. In 2022, she joined the Faculty’s Dean’s Advisory Council (DAC). The DAC is tasked with providing high-level advice to the Dean, collaborating on strategic plans, offering insights on pharmacy practice and healthcare trends, supporting fundraising initiatives, and serving as ambassadors for the Faculty.

“Giving back to my profession has been central to my career as a pharmacist.”

“Giving back to my profession has been central to my career as a pharmacist. I’ve been fortunate to teach and mentor pharmacy students for many years and now can help shape the future direction of pharmacy education, ensuring pharmacists practice within their full scope providing the best possible patient care,” says Donaldson.

“It is a humbling experience to be recognized by U of T – an academic centre of excellence where I am so fortunate to have been a student and faculty member. To receive this recognition is a highlight of my career.”

Alina Lalani

Alina Lalani is a clinical practice specialist at Unity Health Toronto, where she coordinates clinical practice and education for the Department of Pharmacy at St. Joseph's Health Centre. She is also a clinical pharmacist on the geriatric unit and conducts professional practice research related to quality improvement and deprescribing. Lalani has been a preceptor for the advanced pharmacy rotations since 2014, providing practical experience and learning opportunities in hospital pharmacy for fourth-year students.

Lalani is known as an empathetic preceptor who teaches with kindness and compassion, particularly in working with struggling students, while pushing students to pursue excellence and achieve the goals of the rotation.

“With age and experience, it's become my duty and calling to help learners at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy figure out their path as emerging pharmacists.”

“With age and experience, it's become my duty and calling to help learners at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy figure out their path as emerging pharmacists. It has been incredibly rewarding,” says Lalani.

“This reward is an absolute honour. I would never have considered what I have done to help mentor and teach pharmacy students as anything other than necessary or a vocation. I strongly empathize with struggling students who are trying their best but just need a bit of time and support to be successful. This award is added motivation to keep going along this path of helping students be successful.”

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