June 3, 2019 (MISSISSAUGA) – Local pharmacist, John Magdy Girgis, has been named Pharmacist of the Year by the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA). The award will be presented at Pharmacy Experience Pharmacie (PxP) 2019 – a joint conference hosted by OPA and the Canadian Pharmacists Association in Toronto from June 3-5, 2019.

The Pharmacist of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding achievements in all areas of pharmacy practice. The recipient is selected based on a variety of criteria including recognized leadership among pharmacists, a commitment to continuing education, implementation of new or expanded services within their practice, and a commitment to the Association proven by more than 10 years of membership with OPA.

“John is an excellent example of a pharmacist who has evolved his practice and his personal expertise alongside the industry,” said Bill Wilson, Interim CEO of the OPA. “He has added value over the years to our Association along with a number of pharmacy initiatives and programs. We are honoured to recognize John with the Pharmacist of the Year Award.”

Girgis has been in the profession for 35 years and practices at the Apple-Hills Medical Pharmacy in Mississauga, Ont. He opened his first of six independent pharmacies in 1992 and has since been recognized for incorporating pharmacy technology into his practice. He was the first independent pharmacist to install an IVR system and web refill capabilities for his clients. In 2011, he was also the first independent owner in Ontario to install a robot machine in his pharmacy, which enabled him and his team to focus on clinical services. John is also one of the founding members of United Pharma Group, where he serves as president of the organization, and recently was named vice-president of the now merged OnPharm/United organization.

Girgis has successfully built strong professional and client relationships where he is recognized as a valuable healthcare professional. He derives his greatest satisfaction in advancing patient health. “It is a privilege to serve each of my clients to the best of my ability through continued education, technological innovations, and having sincere empathy for their physical and whole well-being” said Girgis.

With a desire to contribute to the profession of pharmacy, Girgis has held positions with the OPA, including co-chair of the Independent Caucus of the Owners Advisory Council, and has participated in various advisory committees with the Ontario College of Pharmacists, including the forming of the new PACE program, where he is an accessor and mentor. Girgis has also been a preceptor for many pharmacists over the past 28 years and carries certifications in smoking cessation, diabetes education, minor ailments, injections, cardiovascular health coaching, INR management and genetic testing.

OPA’s Annual Awards Ceremony recognizes and acknowledges the significant contributions that are being made by individuals in the pharmacy profession throughout Ontario.

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About the Ontario Pharmacists Association The Ontario Pharmacists Association is committed to evolving the pharmacy profession and advocating for excellence in practice and patient care. With more than 10,000 members, OPA is Canada’s largest advocacy organization, and professional development and drug information provider for pharmacy professionals across Ontario. By leveraging the unique expertise of pharmacy professionals, enabling them to practise to their fullest potential, and making them more accessible to patients, OPA is working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare system. The pharmacy sector plays a strong role in Ontario with an economic impact of more than $6.3 billion across 4,500 pharmacies, employing 60,000 Ontarians.