COVID-19 pandemic highlights her innovative approach to pharmacist education.

Named the 2020 Canadian Pharmacist of the Year by the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA), Dr. Kelly Grindrod is a University of Waterloo professor, researcher and primary care pharmacist.

Even though she was appointed as Canadian Pharmacist of the Year before the pandemic, Dr. Kelly Grindrod ‘s consistent devotion to helping pharmacists in their daily practices has become much more conspicuous and significant in light of the ongoing global health crisis.

“CPhA is very proud to recognize the significant contributions Kelly Grindrod has made to the pharmacy profession throughout her career and today as our profession helps combat COVID-19 on the front lines,” says CPhA chair Christine Hrudka. “Her innovative approach to pharmacist education makes an incredible difference to her students and to practicing pharmacists around the world.”

Kelly has been transparent about the important position pharmacists play in safeguarding canadians, and the need for government support. “COVID has been an eye-opener. Pharmacy isn’t a flashy profession. We tend to put our heads down and get the work done,” she says. “When COVID arrived, we quickly saw how critical pharmacies were to a healthy community.”

She believes that pharmacies need to be more actively implemented into the health care system, but also that pharmacists need recognition as providers of public health. “Pharmacies stay open no matter the circumstances. They picked up a lot of the slack when COVID shut down communities, are working around the clock to manage drug shortages, and will play a critical role if a vaccine becomes available. We need to protect them so they can protect us.”

Kelly’s enthusiasm for pharmacist education fuels her mission, and she strives to ensure pharmacists of all levels of expertise are able to access knowledge in groundbreaking and accessible ways.

In addition to her position as a teacher, Kelly is a valued researcher and primary care pharmacist at the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre.