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Magnum Opus Awards
Magnum Opus Award

Meet the 2015 Winners

Olivier SeMoNis
alberta wiNNer
olivier seMoNis

eDMonton nortH priMary Care network
eDMonton, aB

With nearly 20 years of diverse pharmacy experience behind him—including retail, hospital and industry—Olivier Semonis is putting his acquired skills and knowledge to good use as a pharmacist with the Edmonton North Primary Care Network (PCN). He considers the PCN an ideal environment for pharmacists to utilize a broad scope of practice to improve patient care. Since graduating from the University of Alberta in 1994, Olivier has undertaken a range of specialty training to improve his teaching skills, clinical knowledge and health promotion abilities. Over the past five years, he completed the Evidence Based Medicine - Best Practice Support Visits Academic Detailing Program, TRAC - Tobacco Cessation Core Training, has certification in Geriatric Pharmacy and is a Certified Diabetes Educator. He also completed Additional Prescribing Authorization, American Academy of Pain Medicine Conference, Train the Trainer - Group Facilitation Training Course, and Conversation Map Training (Diabetes). While most of his patients receive diabetes assessments and consults for insulin starts or adjustments, he also does medication reviews and chronic pain assessments, handles drug information requests, and takes part in discussions on mental health treatments. As well as teaching patients, Olivier provides regular education sessions for clinicians at the PCN clinic and to healthcare providers involved in the clinic's various programs. He offers accredited CME programs to family physicians and an academic detailing program to ensure that physicians are aware of the best possible evidence to help patients make proper shared decisions regarding their health. Olivier says expanding his teaching skills and clinical knowledge helps all aspects of his daily one-on-one interactions with patients.

MegaN cheverie
MegaN cheverie

souris reMeDy's rx
souris, pei

With a strong dedication to patient care, Megan Cheverie has steadily broadened her knowledge, expanded her scope of practice and opened her own pharmacy and clinic to meet local health needs. She graduated as a pharmacist from Dalhousie University in 2009 and has since become a certified geriatric pharmacist, holds laboratory tests interpretation certification, has completed minor ailment and injection training and is a certified diabetes educator. Two years ago, Megan and her husband opened the Souris Remedy's Rx pharmacy and the Seaside Medical Clinic in Souris, PEI, with the idea of creating a one-stop-shop for patients. Two physicians signed on to work at the newly built clinic, which recently expanded to 3,000 sq. ft. to accommodate 10 exam rooms, four offices, a nurses' station and a larger waiting area. As well as physicians, Cheveriecollaborates with other healthcare providers to offer patients the ultimate in patient care services. She also contributes to the community as a board of director of the Souris Credit Union and the Souris Coop, as a committee member of Islandwide Hospital Access—Souris, which advocates for local services such as dialysis, lab/x-ray and ambulance service. Megan says the timing was right for opening the clinic and is very pleased with how the community has embraced her pharmacy services. Last year was the first time PEI pharmacists had authority to give injections and flu shot season went "extremely well."

Alicia Wall
NewfouNdlaNd wiNNer
alicia wall

Dr. H Bliss MurpHy CanCer Centre
st. JoHn's, nl

Alicia Wall's career in pharmacy oncology began with placement at the Dr. H. Bliss Cancer Centre during her last year as a pharmacy student at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN). She graduated as a pharmacist in 2007 and two years later was hired as a clinical pharmacist at the Cancer Centre where she was instrumental in developing the Centre's breast cancer toxicity program. Since 2007, she has also been a preceptor to pharmacy students during their clinical practice rotation and has lectured on a range of oncology-related topics, such as cancer-associated thrombosis and Tamoxifen for early breast cancer. Alicia has been involved in numerous process improvement projects and patient safety initiatives in the pharmacy and in other departments of the cancer centre. She recently helped to organize a clinical pharmacy oncology program, which has lead to an increase in the ability to care for oncology patients in the province. As well, she recently presented at the Canadian Association of Oncology Pharmacy national conference and was asked to sit on the pan-Canadian oncology drug review committee. In May 2015, Alicia received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Colorado Denver and is currently a facilitator in-training with the LEADS Collaborative."Dr. Wall is a role model for young pharmacists and completely embodies the principals of this award," said her nominator. "She is a persistent advocate for the profession and motivates students and pharmacists alike to strive for the best in their practice."



In the 10 years since Hajra Mirza arrived in Canada, the Dubai-trained pharmacist earned her Pharm D from Purdue University and pursued numerous opportunities for advanced training in pharmacy. Today she is a consultant pharmacist with plans to open up her own pharmacy in the near future. Mirza has worked at Norway House, in northern Manitoba where she was the sole pharmacist in the only pharmacy on one of the largest reserves in the country. She is ADAPTcertifi ed, holds CATALYST (Call to Action on Tobacco Addiction) certifi cation, and has participated in CME conferences, including COPD Management, Optimizing Pain Relief, Helping Patients Reach Blood Pressure Targets, Rosacea and CCS Dyslipidemia Guidelines. In January 2015, she received authorization to prescribe drugs for self-limiting conditions and is working on becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator. The skills and knowledge she has gained have proven useful at Norway House in her provision of comprehensive pharmacy services and her close collaboration with other healthcare providers. Even with a very heavy workload running a busy pharmacy and making daily visits to the community clinic and hospital, Hajra devoted a great deal of effort to educating other healthcare providers and teaching patients about their medications. One of her nominators noted that, backed by her advanced education and training, Hajra "clearly has gone beyond" to promote improved patient care to an underserviced and remote community. Another said: "today the community is more open than previously to pharmacist teaching and intervention."



Described as a pioneer in providing unique patient services, Lennie Walser graduated as a pharmacist from Dalhousie University in 2000 and has since worked in both retail and hospital pharmacy. He opened his first community pharmacy in 2012 and recently opened his second in Truro, N.S. Over the years, he's completed additional training to provide patients with a broad range of specialty services, including INR testing, custom compounding, injections, weight loss counselling and compression stocking fi ttings. His advanced credentials include three levels of Anticoagulation Training, the University of Florida's Medisca Compounding program and PCCA Training. Compounding is now a major part of Lennie's practice where he focuses on hormone replacement and pain management. With injection certifi cation, he routinely administers vaccinations, including flu shots. Lennie is also one of Nova Scotia's Bloom Program pharmacists, a provincially funded program that encourages patients with mental health issues to talk to their pharmacist. To help those with issues related to metabolic syndrome, Lennie offers the "Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method," which he says has helped a lot of his patients with diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. He is currently taking further training in metabolic nutrition and is enrolled in a fellowship in anti-aging through the University of Florida. "Lennie is fi nding lots of ways to differentiate and grow his business," said his nominator. "The type of things he is doing is unique in our area."



As a community pharmacist, Julie Dyck is determined to make a difference in her patients' lives by taking extra training to boost her credibility as a healthcare provider. Julie graduated from the University of Toronto in 2008 and has since gained additional qualifi cations. In 2010, she took the Ontario College of Pharmacists' Structured Practical Training Workshop for Pharmacy Students, followed by Pharmacist Injection Training in 2011. Two years later, Julie went through the Canadian Pharmacists Association's ADAPT course to receive a Certificate in Patient Care Skills. That same year, she completed the Comprehensive Compounding Course (C3) offered by the PCCA. More recently, Julie was inspired to become a Certifi ed Diabetes Educator when she began providing diabetes care to a nine-year old boy with type 1 diabetes. The boy—who is now 11—is one of Julie's biggest fans and nominated her for the Magnum Opus Award. He wrote: "I was scared at first but with Julie's help I am good now. Julie knows so much about diabetes!" Julie's next goal is to acquire a Certifi cate in Travel Health through the International Society of Travel Medicine, which she plans to put to good use in her day-to-day practice. As she says, it isn't the quantity of education or the number of certificates you obtain, but using them to their full potential.

Jeannie Collins-Beaudin
New Brunswick Winner
Jeannie Collins-Beaudin


After close to 40 years as a community pharmacist, Jeannie Collins-Beaudin is now semi-retired but she continues to speak, write, teach and consult on pharmacy issues, readily sharing what she has learned on the business and practice sides of the profession. The New Brunswick-based pharmacist, who graduated from Dalhousie University in 1977, has owned and operated several compounding specialty pharmacies and acquired extensive experience that she uses to help patients and other pharmacists. As well as holding numerous positions on provincial and national pharmacy organizations, Jeannie spent 10 years studying hormone imbalances and attending conferences on compounding. She was one of the first pharmacists to regularly bill patients for specialized professional services and she continues to provide private consultations, particularly for menopausal and postmenopausal women. Jeannie was also the New Brunswick lead pharmacist trainer for Dalhousie's Immunization and Injection Administration Training Program and, as well as teaching others to inject, she has personally administered more than 1,000 injections. In recent years, she lead a range of workshops and training sessions on everything from medication error prevention to menopause and smoking cessation. These days, Jeannie still fills in at pharmacies around the province and enjoys consulting with pharmacy owners on how to update their practice to incorporate expanded services. As her nominator wrote: "Jeannie is a wonderful example of a pharmacist with a life-long passion for learning and improving both her own practice and the profession as a whole."

Jessie Haggai
Quebec Winner
Jessie HaggaÏ


Since graduating from the Université de Montréal in 2006 at the age of 21 -- the youngest of her class -- Montreal pharmacist Jessie Haggaï has had a noteworthy career path. For instance, just three years after getting her degree, she started mentoring students in the workplace while taking care of her clients, some of which were suffering from substance abuse. In 2012 onwards, she took on the role of head pharmacist and worked on client development at a banner store. Two years later, she became a Certified Diabetes Educator. "Innovation drives me and there is a lot going on in the field of diabetes, " says Jessie. Since March of this year, she is the proud owner of her own independent pharmacy. "My goal is to provide a personalized experience and put the client first," says the 30-year-old entrepreneur, who says she can spend an hour with a diabetes patient. "She goes the extra step," says one of her patients. This pressure-free approach epitomizes her business model, which she eventually hopes to replicate by setting up a pharmacy chain specializing in diabetes. In the meantime, she's also collaborating on the development and launch of Coaguwiz, a medical technology startup working to optimize the effects warfarin. Thanks to her passion, dedication and multifaceted skills, this young professional is already making a difference in peoples' lives and in her community.

Courtney Junop
Saskatchewan Winner
Courtney Junop


When Courtney Junop started working as a pharmacy technician in 1999 she wanted a challenging job with room to grow. She got her wish when she was hired by an innovative compounding pharmacist, and over the next decade she completed a range of courses, including primary compounding, adrenal fatigue, nutritional products, pediatric compounding, pain management and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. In the meantime, she went back to school and by 2011, graduated as a pharmacist from the University of Saskatchewan. She then opened her own compounding pharmacy in a hospital where she specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement, adrenal and thyroid health, pain management, weight loss and pediatric compounding. As well as providing a range of compounding services and sterile product preparation for the hospital, the retail pharmacy also offers bone density screening. Women with hormonal issues can book private consultations with Courtney who reviews their medical history and symptoms, interprets their saliva test results, and develops a therapy plan which may include natural/ nutritional supplements and/or bio-identical hormones. To help other health professionals understand her services, she regularly does presentations on compounding topics to physician groups and patients. Courtney is currently working on her Fellowship in AntiAging, Regenerative and Functional Medicine through the Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), which she expects to complete in the fall of 2015. She then plans to continue with a Masters degree.

Jennifer Chan
British Columbia Winner
Jennifer Chan

South Surrey, BC

By any measure, Jennifer Chan has accomplished a tremendous amount since graduating as a pharmacist from the University of British Columbia in 2007. She actually started her pharmacy career even earlier as a technician at Overwaitea Pharmacy and as a pharmacist has managed pharmacies under three different Overwaitea banners. All the while, Jennifer has steadily expanded her scope of practice. In 2010 she became a Certified Diabetes Educator and a Certified Insulin Pump Trainer and provides numerous diabetes-related clinics. Among one of the first pharmacists in B.C. to become injection certified, Jennifer started out giving flu shots and expanded her injection services to offer other vaccines and specialize in travel health. With diabetes and travel health as her primary specialties, she passionately shares her knowledge with others. During semi-annual educational seminars aimed at community physicians, Jennifer discusses a range of topics, such as insulin dosing, understanding PharmaCare, the need for compression stockings and medication reviews. For the community at large, Jennifer routinely provides health-screening clinics for foot neuropathy, blood glucose, cholesterol, diabetic nutrition, bone density, sleep hygiene and travel health. Community pharmacists have also attended Jennifer's presentations on a range of health topics and how they relate to community practice. Her award nominator described Jennifer as "a role model to all" and stresses that "her positive attitude, strong interpersonal skills and compassion for the well-being of her clients are all hallmarks of an exceptional and dedicated pharmacist and an inspiration to others."

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