Silver Anniversary Celebration for the Canadian Association of Pharmacy in Oncology (CAPhO)

Submitted by Lynne Nakashima, Senior Director, Provincial Pharmacy, BC Cancer

Due to the ongoing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic, CAPhO was forced to hold our annual national oncology conference, the CAPhO Conference virtually this year.  It was held June 4-6, 2021 and coincided with CAPhO's 25th Anniversary!

The theme of the conference was "Change, Challenge, Opportunity".  This past year has brought huge changes and challenges for us, both professionally and personally.  But with that, we also found opportunities - to be a part of the front line efforts to fight the pandemic, to change the way we care for patients, and to take our practiced to the next level!  Our CAPhO Conference highlighted these themes throughout the 3 day event!

The virtual conference platform was awesome, allowing us the opportunity to network in small groups, connect with sponsors and view the poster session.  The ability to participate in the sessions, through breakout groups, virtual question and answer sessions, and polls really enhanced our experience.  So while we were apart, we were still together in spirit.  CAPhO also hosted its Annual General Meeting and Awards Presentations during the conference.

The first plenary session on "Managing the Challenge of New Oral Cancer Treatment Medications" reviewed the huge change and growth in oral treatment options, the many mechanisms of action and opportunities to support patients and expand pharmacy practice.  Our next plenary session was on the "Expanding Role of Immunotherapy".  These new and exciting treatment options have really changed how we manage a number of different types of cancers.  They bring challenges in managing a whole new profile of adverse effects, which is also an opportunity to provide patient counseling and support.  And our closing plenary session took a look at "Opioid Risk Mitigation Strategies for Patients with Cancer".  This session addressed many myths, and gave us tips and tools to better manage patient care.  There were also several concurrent sessions and roundtable sessions to round out the program.

I think all the attendees enjoyed the virtual experience, even though there's no substitute for being able to attend a conference in person.  We hope that next year, we will be able to travel to Winnipeg, Manitoba and get a chance to renew old friendships, meet new friends and learn a lot about oncology pharmacy practice!

CAPhO Virtual Conference Lobby

CAPhO Virtual Conference

CAPhO Virtual Conference