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Dean Elbe wins for Practice Innovation at the Pharmacy Practice + Business Awards

The Pharmacy Practice + Business Awards recognize Canadian pharmacy professionals providing exceptional patient care and demonstrating creativity and innovation in pharmacy practice. We are pleased to introduce this year’s winners.
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Why he won: Dean Elbe has developed formalized psychiatry resident/fellow rotations, which he precepts as a clinical pharmacy specialist in child and adolescent mental health. Being on rotation with Elbe for four to six weeks, with a sole focus on managing pharmacotherapy for multiple patients, has given psychiatry residents some much-needed repetition to make the transition to prescribing much easier for attending physicians, and shown them how to effectively collaborate with pharmacists after they enter practice.

Since starting these rotations in 2016, 15 child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) fellows have completed the rotation—usually alongside a pharmacy student or resident—and the rotation is in high demand. CAP fellows are expected to provide pharmaceutical care services, patient monitoring, respond to clinical inquiries and drug information requests, participate in journal clubs performing critical evaluation of pharmacotherapy trials, and deliver a case presentation to the pharmacy department during their rotation.

For both the psychiatry fellow and the pharmacy learner there are many opportunities for co‐teaching and the chance to learn and understand the perspective and skills of the other profession. This has encouraged a more collegial working relationship overall.

Check out the other award winners!


What do you most enjoy about what you do?

In terms of clinical care, I enjoy seeing a patient be discharged with improved functioning compared to how they were at the time of admission, and knowing that the medication management services performed by me or my residents in training made a difference. Occasionally, former patients will come by the hospital to let the care team know they graduated from university or are working in their chosen industry, and that always puts a smile on my face. In terms of teaching, I most enjoy witnessing that “a-ha!” moment for pharmacy residents and psychiatry fellows when I’m able to help them gain clarity on a medication-related concept they were struggling with, that they turn around and put into action to improve patient care.

Is there someone in particular who mentored you, or served as a role model?

So many pharmacists have mentored me during my career and served as role models over the past 30-plus years. To name just a few: Doug Danforth (Westminster West End Pharmacy), Dr. Peter Jewesson and Dr. Nilu Partovi (both at Vancouver General Hospital), Helen Lee (Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services Informatics) and Dr. Ric Procyshyn (BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute).

What’s your favourite way to spend time outside of work?

It’s a three-way tie between playing late-night hockey with the Pharmacy Line (my linemates Malcolm, Benny, Iqbal and Chi are all pharmacists), playing bass in our 90s alternative rock band, Bitter Pills ( and exploring new restaurants around Vancouver with my wife Lisa.

What’s next for you—any goals or dreams you hope to achieve in the future?

I am so excited to launch in 2023. Having worked and presented with a prominent U.S. dietitian in this area for a number of years, I really feel like launching this site is a kind of culmination of my clinical work and my interest and passion for information systems and website design.