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UBC honours Catholic pharmacist

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Cristina Alarcon gets Educator of the Year Award
By Agnieszka Krawczynski

Photo Caption: Paulo Tchen, UBC lecturer, presents an award to pharmacist Cristina Alarcon June 1. She was recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty with UBC student pharmacists. (Agnieszka Krawczynski)

The University of British Columbia has recognized a Catholic pharmacist as Educator of the Year.

Cristina Alarcon, a community pharmacist in West Vancouver, received the Pharmacy Practice Educator of the Year Award from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences June 1.

“Cristina has not only shown commitment to patient care but also bettering the next generation of pharmacy practitioners,” said pharmacist and UBC lecturer Paulo Tchen.

Alarcon’s pharmacy has mentored and given hands-on experience to at least 12 UBC students since 2011. Alarcon was nominated for the award by student Benny Sio.

“She takes time out of her busy schedule to make sure to check in on her students and see if they require any help at any point during the day. If a student has a specific interest, she will go out of her way to allow the student to learn as much as possible,” Sio wrote in his nomination letter.

He added Alarcon also invited her students to participate in events outside of work, taking some students to meet other health-care professionals at conferences or get educated at presentations on topics including ethics, abortion, and assisted suicide.

“She has a strong mind for certain issues and her passion really influences other pharmacists to be passionate about what they believe in.”

Sio wrote she also taught him about what it takes to be a manager when he mentioned he was interested in becoming one. “This is a really good example of integrating students into the workplace.”

Tchen, who presented Alarcon the award June 1, said the honour was well-deserved.

“You have tirelessly taken our students, nurtured their personal and professional growth, and have gone above and beyond to accommodate their learning,” he wrote in a congratulatory letter. “Thank you again for your commitment to the education of our future pharmacists.”

Alarcon, who refuses to dispense birth control pills, has appeared many times in the media to speak up for the protection of conscience rights for pharmacists in the last 17 years. The Catholic Physicians’ Guild called her a “pharmacist of integrity” when it gave her its St. Camillus award in 2016.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 July 2017 10:58  

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