A Webinar on Planetary Health: Understanding and Contributing to a Sustainable Oncology Pharmacy Practice

An ISOPP Webinar on Planetary Health: Understanding and Contributing to a Sustainable Oncology Pharmacy Practice

Thursday, October 26, 2023, 8am to 9am PDT
Presenters:  Shellyza Sajwani, Co-chair, Canadian Association of Pharmacy for the Environment (CAPhE); Inpatient Oncology Pharmacist, Ottawa Hospital and Gigi Wong, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Quality at Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services; Green+Leader, Greencare
Moderators: Himanshu Patel, ISOPP Education Committee Chair and Amy Lim, ISOPP Education Committee Member


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Session Description

In this informative one hour session, Shellyza and Gigi discussed the concept of planetary health and its relevance to pharmacists. Planetary health encompasses the interconnections between human health and the health of our planet's ecosystems. As pharmacists, it is essential to grasp the impact of our actions on environmental sustainability and the well-being of future generations.

They explored the key aspects of planetary health, including the environmental impacts of chemotherapy medications and climate emissions by pharmacy practices. Moreover, they outlined practical steps that pharmacists can take to support sustainable practices in their daily operations, from waste reduction to extreme heat management. 

Participants gained an understanding how planetary health intersects with pharmacy practice and discovered how pharmacists can play a vital role in preserving the health of our planet.

Learning Objectives

Session 1

  1. Describe how oncology pharmacy professionals can reduce climate emissions within pharmacy practice
  2. Understand how oncology pharmacy professionals can adapt pharmacy services to climate hazards
  3. Explain how heat can affect the management and stability of oncology medications 

Session 2

  1. Describe how pharmaceuticals enter the environment - examples
  2. Outline an example of non-target organisms (wildlife) negatively impacted by chemotherapy use 
  3. Discuss the environmental classification of pharmaceuticals
  4. Understand the precautionary principle

Presenter information: 
Session 1: Shellyza Sajwani, MPharm, PharmD

Shellyza Sajwani completed her Masters of Pharmacy at Aston University in 2010 and her PharmD at the University of Toronto in 2018, and identifies as a clinical pharmacist specialized in oncology, global health and climate change.
She completed a climate and health certification from Yale University and a global health delivery intensive program from Harvard University, representing one of the only pharmacists in each of the two cohorts.  She currently serves as the national co-chair of the new Canadian Association of Pharmacy for the Environment (CAPhE) , and also works with the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) as co-chair of their environmental sustainability initiative policy committee. 
She is also the Chair of the Ottawa Hospital Pharmacy Environmental Committee, and has experience working as the previous co-president of Pharmacists Without Borders Canada, and as a current oncology and palliative care pharmacist at the Ottawa Hospital.

Session 2: Gigi Wong, BScPharm, RPh, ACPR, MPH
Gigi is a pharmacist who strives to increase pharmacy stewardship for planetary health, to inspire action to sustainable practices. Gigi remembers that she was traumatized by the waste she observed during a hospital rotation as a student pharmacist. In particular, Gigi focuses on increasing awareness of how pharmaceuticals enter the environment, such as through improper disposal or by way of the sewage system after human consumption, and the impact this has on our waterways and wildlife. Over the years, Gigi has dedicated her time to endeavours to serve this cause. 
Gigi completed her pharmacy studies at the University of Toronto, her hospital residency at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton Ontario, and her Masters of Public Health at the University of British Columbia.  Her current role is as the Clinical Pharmacy Specialist for Quality with Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services (LMPS), that encompasses four local health authorities that covers most of the Greater Vancouver Area. Her main project focuses on safe sterile drugs, and is of considerable scope and depth, impacting 25 hospital pharmacies.

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