2023 M.J. Huston Pharmacist of Distinction: Anil Goorachurn

Anil Goorachurn

The M.J. Huston Pharmacist of Distinction is awarded annually to a pharmacist who demonstrates leadership through their long-time commitment to patient care, innovation, and the advancement of the profession.

This year’s M.J. Huston Pharmacist of Distinction is Anil Goorachurn. Over his twenty-three-year career, Anil has demonstrated a significant commitment to patient care, innovation and the advancement of the pharmacy profession in Alberta.

Graduating from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2008, Anil began his career in healthcare in British Columbia before moving to Alberta in 2011 to expand his pharmacy practice. Anil’s commitment to specialized patient care is evident as he has continuously sought to enhance his clinical skills, obtaining authorizations to administer drugs by injection, prescribing medication (APA), achieving his PRAC-ID and becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE).

At London Drugs, Anil was a pharmacy manager for twelve years, leading teams in diverse settings, including rural and urban communities and high-volume and specialized pharmacies. Two years ago, he transitioned to a head office role as the Manager of Clinical Pharmacy Practice, and his focus shifted to mentoring and empowering his teams across 22 stores and close to 150 pharmacists in Alberta.

Anil’s involvement extended beyond managerial responsibilities. He actively collaborated with regulatory bodies such as the Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP), professional associations like the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association (RxA), Canadian Pharmacy Universities, and the Pharmaceutical Industry. His leadership and expertise were recognized when he participated in the ACP 2nd Annual Leadership Forum and served two terms on the ACP Hearing Tribunal Committee from June 2016 to June 2022.

As an expert reviewer for Continuing Education materials and an active member of multiple Canadian Pharmacy Advisory Boards, Anil contributes to shaping the future of pharmacy practice. His dedication to mentorship is evident in his role as a preceptor for Pharm.D students, supporting their learning while guiding his pharmacy teams to obtain clinical designations.

Anil’s impact on pharmacy practice in Alberta is tangible through innovative initiatives like creating templates to facilitate the prescribing of specific vaccines. This strategic move significantly increased routine vaccine administration, showcasing Anil’s commitment to expanding patient access to healthcare.

Remaining at the forefront of patient care, Anil actively managed chronic diseases, particularly diabetes. Regular consultations include critical aspects such as insulin initiation, hypoglycemic awareness and management. Anil’s collaborative approach involves inviting practicing pharmacists to join him in consultations, countering clinical inertia and assisting local physicians in achieving target levels for chronic conditions.

Anil’s commitment to professional development is evident in the continual programs he implemented for his pharmacy teams. These programs cover diverse topics to ensure they stay at the forefront of patient care, fostering a culture of continuous learning.

Beyond his professional endeavours, Anil actively engages with the community, collaborating with organizations to provide healthcare services to marginalized and vulnerable populations in Edmonton. His initiatives include hosting Hypertension Awareness Day Events and showcasing his commitment to community health.

In May 2023, the University of Meiji (MPU) in Tokyo, Japan, acknowledged Anil’s exceptional contributions. Sponsored by MPU, he travelled to Japan to present and contribute to discussions on expanding the pharmacist’s scope of practice, reflecting his commitment to global healthcare sustainability.

Anil’s outstanding leadership, passion and dedication make him a deserving candidate for the 2024 MJ Huston Pharmacist of Distinction Award. His tireless efforts continue to propel the pharmacy profession forward in Alberta, leaving a lasting impact on patient care and the broader healthcare community.