“This award means the world to me. It’s recognition for myself & my staff for all the hard work we’ve done, in setting up our pharmacy, serving our community and rising up when patients needed it the most – during COVID. This award belongs to my entire team as much as me and I will continue to recognize them for all they do.”
Kristen Watt is the Owner and Pharmacist at Kristen’s Pharmacy in Southampton. Graduating from the University of Toronto’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy in 2010, Kristen has worked in many rural pharmacy settings including corporate and independent community pharmacy, corporate pharmacy management and as a long term care clinical consultant. Kristen’s Pharmacy grew with Kristen consulting for the local residential hospice, the palliative care physicians group and partnerships with Saugeen Ojibway First Nation. Kristen was a vocal advocate for her rural community during the COVID-19 vaccine roll out as part of the Grey Bruce vaccine distribution task force and was the first pharmacy in all of Bruce County to offer Astra Zeneca in April 2021. Since then, the team at Kristen’s Pharmacy has administered over 6,700 COVID-19 vaccines including 1,000 in one day at a drive-up clinic. Kristen has also spent time contributing to many documents created by the Focused Covid Communications team, a group of like-minded pharmacists, physicians, researchers and public health experts who came together during the first days of considering mixing and matching vaccines following concerns about the AstraZeneca vaccine. During all of this, Kristen’s Pharmacy grew into a local hub for all things COVID and pharmacy – dispensing, vaccines, testing and most importantly, clinical cognitive services. In late 2021, Kristen’s Pharmacy underwent a full internal renovation yielding three office rooms that can be used for patient appointments. Kristen has pulled her pharmacists from the dispensing area to work entirely in these offices. This has set the stage for the next stage of community pharmacy practice – minor ailments, and what Kristen hopes to see in the future: autonomous prescribing. This model relies heavily on pharmacy technicians in their full scope. Kristen has contributed to many pandemic-related webinars with the OPA, CPhA, College of Family Physicians of Ontario and more. Kristen also guest lectures on palliative care and community pharmacy business and management at the Universities of Waterloo, Toronto and Western University. She takes on co-op students from Waterloo and has moved her pharmacy team of four technicians, three assistants and two drivers to a four-day work week to provide some semblance of work-life balance amongst all the chaos. Kristen has received many awards and accolades, in 2018 she was recognized by the community with the local chamber of commerce customer service award, and she graced the cover of Pharmacy Practice + Business magazine to highlight the novel use of pharmacy technicians in her practice. Kristen has also been nominated for the 2022 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. She plans to round out 2022 with a medical aid tour to Zambia where she hopes to provide care to over 800 children at a remote school. When not trying to effect change in the pharmacy landscape, Kristen is a mom of two active young boys and the wife of a weekend warrior and enjoys a glass of prosecco while tweeting as @PharmacistMama.