The CPE hosts a monthly Speaker Series on critical issues impacting the future of health care and pharmacy. The Speaker Series is open to students and practitioners working in the field of pharmacy who seek to learn more about the three focus areas of the CPE: management education and training, transformational research, and best practice and innovation. The CPE Speaker Series takes place on the first Thursday of each month and usually consist of a 20-30 minute presentation followed by 30 minutes of open discussion and Q&A.

For more information or to be notified of upcoming speakers, please contact the CPE Speaker Series at

Past Presentations

The CARD System for Improving the Vaccination Experience at School: Results of a Small-Scale Implementation Project on Student Symptoms

Tamlyn Freedman is a recent Master of Science graduate of the department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toronto. At the age of three, she had an aversive experience getting a vaccine, which led to a deep fear of needles for the entirety of her childhood. It was a natural progression for her to then pursue research programs exploring the ways to improve the school vaccination experience for youth. Under the supervision of Dr. Anna Taddio, her MSc project examined the impact of ‘The CARD (Comfort-Ask-Relax-Distract) System,’ which was adapted from a clinical practice guideline to help mitigate vaccine fear, pain, and dizziness in children.

  • Presenter: Tamlyn Freedman, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto
  • Discussant: Dr. Robert Bonin, Assistant Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto; Canada Research Chair in Sensory Plasticity and Reconsolidation; Scientist at the University of Toronto Center for the Study of Pain
  • May 7, 2020

Digital Tools Engaging Patients in their Healthcare Journey: Opportunities for the Role of Pharmacists

An increasing number of digital tools are now freely available on the Internet for supporting patients through their health care journey.  Although these tools typically operate outside of the health care system, they can influence how patients manage their own health issue, as well as whom they might consult with for health advice.  This presentation will highlight processes facilitated by digital tools, as well as opportunities for pharmacists to participate with their patients in shared and collaborative decision making processes.

  • Presenter: Claudia Lai, post doctoral fellow, University of Laval
  • Discussant: Marie Rocchi, Associate Professor and Academic Director of the International Pharmacy Graduate Program (IPG), University of Toronto
  • April 9, 2020

Negotiating a Role for Pharmacists in Primary Care Teams

With the focus of healthcare teams delivering care, especially in primary care, Jennifer had an interest about why pharmacists do specific tasks in their teams. For her PhD she completed a multiple case study looking at how the role of the pharmacist was negotiated in Family Health Teams. This presentation is preliminary discussion of the results and how the individual and organization impact the daily activities of the pharmacist.

  • Presenter: Jen Lake, Lecturer, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto; MD Program Lead Pharmacology/Pharmacotherapy Theme
  • Discussant: Doret Cheng , Lecturer, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto; Clinical pharmacist at St. Michael’s Hospital Academic Family Health Team, Toronto
  • April 2, 2020

Revisiting Our Past To Shape Our Future: A historical view of professional identity in pharmacy

Jamie's presentation will explore the professional identity of pharmacists over the last century in North America. She will present the results from her PhD work which critically examine identity discourses from a historical perspective. Findings from Jamie’s study illustrate multiple identity discourses at play in pharmacy education which impact identity formation for the profession as a whole. This presentation will illustrate how understanding the past can provide valuable insight to reshape pharmacy’s future.

  • Presenter: Jamie Kellar Associate Professor & Acting Director, PharmD Program Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Discussant: Nancy Waite, Professor; Associate Director, Clinical Education, University of Waterloo; Ontario College of Pharmacists Professor in Pharmacy Innovation
  • March 5, 2020

Can Clinical pharmacist services be provided beyond the four walls?

Sammu will describe the role of telepharmacy to expand clinical pharmacist services into patient homes.  Pharmacists need to adopt emerging technology into their practice and be ready for patient demand for personalized care.

  • Presenter: Sammu Dhaliwall, Clinical Pharmacist at St. Francis Memorial Hospital and Chapleau FHT; Business Development Manager at Northwest Telepharmacy Solutions
  • Discussant: Peter Tolios, Director of Pharmacy Operations in the GTA for Loblaw Companies Pharmacy
  • February 6, 2020

Clinical Trial Design informing Technology Implementation Strategies: The Journey of one Pharmacist

A  multi-pronged session showcasing results from two complementary research projects about clinical communication and mobile devices care teams use to collaborate. Findings from the research project will highlight how a secure smartphone application used by both hospital clinicians and community practice providers improves patient care and care team experience. As mobile devices become more and more common in healthcare, it is important to standardize communication to simplify workflows. It is also important to adopt certain security protocols – from cyber to sanitary. Therefore, the speaker will share results and recommendations from an investigation into cleaning methods of smartphones and wearables to prevent infectious contamination in a patient care environment.

  • Presenter: Sean Spina, Clinical Associate Professor, University of British Columbia; Clinical Coordinator, Department of Pharmacy, Vancouver Island Health Authority, Royal Jubilee Hospital
  • Discussant: Jim Bowen, Clinical Research Manager at the THETA Collaborative at UHN (University Health Network), Program Manager at Diabetes Action Canada's Health Technology Assessment and Network Analytics department, Assistant Professor at McMaster University
  • February 3, 2020


Hospitalization prevention through telephone intervention in a Geriatrics Clinic for Parkinson’s: a novel approach to a complex problem

Parkinson's disease (PD) in older persons is a very challenging clinical problem due to the intersection of non-motor and motor complications of PD, multiple co-morbidities, and polypharmacy. The psychosocial aspects of the disease, as well as caregiver burden, are significant. Current North American models of care are highly subspecialized and often result in fragmented care. This talk explores a novel comprehensive model of care, based on Comprehensive Geriatrics Assessment and Management, in the management of PD in older persons. Research with focus on prevention of hospitalization for older persons with PD and alleviation of caregiver burden will be presented. Suggestions for availability and scalability of this model of care will be discussed.

  • Presenter: Joyce Lee & Greta Mah; Geriatrician & Pharmacist at North York General Hospital, Specialized Geriatrics Program
  • Discussant: Chris Fan-Lun, Geriatric Medicine Pharmacist at Mount Sinai Hospital; Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto's Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. 
  • December 5, 2019 

Is pharmacy late to the party? The emergence of pharmacy data quality indicators

Community Pharmacy has been slow to adopt data quality indicators that have become commonplace in healthcare. Dr. Tadrous' presentation will overview the evidence of quality indicators and the future of quality indicators in community pharmacy in Canada.

  • Presenter: Mina Tadrous, Assistant Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto; Scientist, The Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care
  • Discussant: Mona Sabharwal, Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Services at Rexall Pharmacy Group
  • November 7, 2019


Healthcare Administrative Data in Ontario

This presentation will review the main healthcare administrative and utilization databases housed at ICES, and discuss opportunities (and challenges) to leverage these data to study drug utilization, safety and effectiveness. A summary of the Ontario Pharmacy Evidence Network (OPEN) Atlas of Professional Pharmacy Services will also be presented and a preview of the forthcoming OPEN Atlas Tool will be revealed. The objectives of the talk are to: 1) encourage broader use of ICES data for research purposes, and 2) receive feedback on the OPEN Atlas Tool to inform its launch on the Centre for Practice Excellence website.

  • Presenter: Suzanne Cadarette, Assistant Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
  • October 3, 2019; In Partnership with OPEN: Ontario Pharmacy Evidence Network

The Safety of Smoking Cessation Pharmacotherapies

This presentation focuses on using linked administrative data to improve our understanding of how medications are used at a population-level, and their safety and effectiveness in the real world setting, related to smoking cessation pharmacotherapies and medication use and safety during pregnancy.

  • Presenter: Dr. Alys Havard, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health, UNSW Sydney
  • August 19, 2019

Evidence and Opportunities for Pharmacists as Travel Health Care Providers

Travel health services are being increasingly offered by pharmacists nationwide. This talk will review the scopes of practice for pharmacists across Canada related to travel health, evidence to date on pharmacy practice in this field, and opportunities for further expansion.

  • Presenter: Sherilyn Houle, Assistant Professor, School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo
  • Discussant: Dr. Sandra Bjelajac Mejia is the Interim Director of Professional Programs and Assistant Professor from the University of Toronto
  • May 2, 2019; In Partnership with OPEN: Ontario Pharmacy Evidence Network

Electronic Medication Adherence Products: Classification, Usability, and Potential Impact on Adherence among Older Adults

Limitations in domains, such as physical abilities and cognitive capacity, affect an older adult’s ability to manage their medications effectively. There are several medication adherence aids that aim to accommodate those limitations. However, there is not a tool that effectively measures these limitations. Additionally, there is a paucity of research on the usability and effectiveness of medication adherence aids. This presentation will highlight these challenges and review emerging research in the use of electronic medication adherence aids.

  • Presenter: Tejal Patel, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo
  •  April 4, 2019

If competency is the answer, have we asked the right questions?

Competency currently dominates the thinking and work of educators, regulators, and employers, yet competency may mean very different things to different people.  This presentation will review evolving constructs of competency and implications when disagreements regarding the meaning of competency arise.

  • Presenter: Zubin Austin, Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto
  • Discussant: Dr. Robert Paul, Centre for Ambulatory Care Education at Women’s College Hospital and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto
  • March 14, 2019

The Future of Pharmacy: Enhancing the impact of the profession of pharmacy on peoples’ lives in the context of health care trends, evidence, and policies

This presentation will describe opportunities for the profession of pharmacy in the future, with particular attention to opportunities that encourage the use of existing or expanded scopes of pharmacy practice within the health care system in ways that make a difference in people’s lives.

  • Presenter: Lisa Dolovich, Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto
  • Discussant: Susan James, Ontario College of Pharmacists
  • February 7, 2019

Shared decision making and diabetes: Practice and teaching implications for pharmacists

This presentation will touch on the role of pharmacists in patient care, equity in resources allocation, comparative health policy, and stakeholder engagement in health care decision making.

  • Presenter: Zahava Rosenberg-Yunger, Ontario Pharmacist’s Association
  • November 1, 2018

Brief screening for prescribed opioid dependence in community pharmacy: developing fit-for-purpose screening tools and implementing software-facilitated opioid outcome monitoring

This presentation focuses on understanding how to improve identification of prescribed opioid use disorder through screening in community pharmacy settings, with the aim of reducing risks relating to prescribed opioid use through brief intervention, naloxone supply and referral to evidence based treatments for opioid use disorder. Suzanne has been a registered pharmacist for over 20 years. 

  • Presenter: Suzanne Neilsen, Monash Addiction Research Centre, Monash University, Australia
  • Discussant: Feng Cheng, University of Waterloo
  • September 6, 2018

The Windsor Essex Compassionate Care Community approach: What opportunities are there for pharmacy?

Compassionate Communities (CC) initiatives are inherently complex webs of interactions across and between community sectors that can be intentionally mobilized to promote quality care for people who are vulnerable and their families. The Windsor-Essex Compassionate Care Community (WECCC) is built based on a CC philosophy and is a multi-level intervention includes: (1) community advisor/coach (volunteers); (2) audit and feedback; (3) care pathways; and (4) eHealth technology that connects the patient, community agencies and social groups to identify needs and support change among individuals, communities, the health system, and policy. To date pharmacy has not been formally involved in WECCC.  WECCC offers an opportunity for engagement that may also translate into opportunities to engage with similar community based approaches.

  • Presenter: Lisa Dolovich
  • May 3, 2018

Medications Prescribed, Stopped and Modified at Hospital Discharge and Filled Medications in the Community: Non-adherence to in-Hospital Medication Changes 30-days Post Discharge

This presentation is focused around preventable sources of medication related morbidity and mortality in patients with multiple chronic conditions discharged from hospital. 

  • Presenter: Daniala Weir
  • Discussant: Olavo Fernandes, Director of Pharmacy, University Health Network; Assistant Professor Status, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto
  • March 8, 2018

A qualitative study exploring the clinical reasoning processes of pharmacist and nurse independent prescribers in the United Kingdom

Clinical reasoning is a central component of prescribers’ competence when reaching a clinically appropriate decision. Like doctors, pharmacist and nurse independent prescribers in the United Kingdom have extensive prescribing rights, but little is known about their clinical reasoning. This study explores the process and influences of clinical reasoning by secondary care pharmacist and nurse independent prescribers in the United Kingdom. A constructivist approach using think-aloud methodology immediately followed by semi-structured interviews was conducted with 11 nurse and 10 pharmacist independent prescribers working in secondary care between March and December 2015. Each participant was presented with validated clinical vignettes for the think-aloud stage, based on clinical therapeutic areas they chose. Data were analysed using a constant-comparative approach. Clinical knowledge and experience heavily influenced the process of clinical reasoning. Despite prescribers approaching the clinical vignettes holistically, their focus varied according to professional background and job role. Nurses were more likely to describe interacting with patients, compared to pharmacists who were more focused on medical notes and laboratory results. Think-aloud protocol analysis revealed a distinct pattern in the process undertaken to reach a clinical decision. This is presented as a prescribing model, encompassing case familiarisation, generating hypotheses, case assessment, final hypotheses and decision-making stages. Influences on clinical reasoning were broadly categorised into themes: social interaction, intrinsic and contextual factors. For example, prescribers were aware of treatment pathways but chose to refer patient cases to avoid making the final prescribing decision. Exploration of this behaviour revealed that experience and attitudes such as confidence and cautiousness associated with responsibility were strong influencers within the decision-making process. The resultant prescribing model shows clinical reasoning as a complex and dynamic process. Findings from this study could inform the training of independent prescribers to improve their professional development, clinical reasoning skills and subsequently improve patient care.

  • Presenter: Aseel Abuzour
  • February 1, 2018

Pharmacy Service Users’ Support for and Willingness to Use Community Pharmacist Prescribing Services in Ontario

This presentation focuses on the results of focus group sessions conducted with members of the public regarding their views about pharmacist prescribing as part of OPEN’s Pharmacist prescribing project.

  • Presenter: Ida-Maisie Famiyeh
  • February 1, 2018

Productive Failure: Instructional design in pharmacy education

This presentation explores an instructional design method, productive failure, which has the potential to prepare novice students to construct new knowledge in the future. The results will shed some light on what systems of instruction and assessment can enhance students’ effectiveness in their future learning.

  • Presenter: Naomi Steenhof
  • January 11, 2018

*For presentations that are not available, please contact the CPE Speaker Series at