2024 Mentorship Award: Greg Bendera

Greg Bendera, Pharmacy Manager, Ponoka Rexall

The Mentorship Award recognizes excellence among mentors in the pharmacy profession. The recipient of this award has shown extraordinary commitment throughout their career in guiding, supporting and promoting the training and career development of others and has had a significant positive impact on their mentee’s careers.

Greg Bendera, Pharmacy Manager of Ponoka Rexall is the inaugural recipient of the Mentorship Award.

From a young age, Greg’s fascination with pharmacy, evident in his Halloween costumes as an 8-year-old, has translated into a career marked by genuine enthusiasm. His daily commitment to his childhood dream is a testament to his dedication and love for the profession. Colleagues describe him as embodying the spirit of pharmacy with kindness, compassion and professionalism.

Beyond the pharmacy counter, Greg has immersed himself in the Ponoka community. Coaching football and both indoor and outdoor soccer, volunteering at a local men’s shelter, and even donning the role of Santa in the 2022 Light Up Ponoka event, he is a well-known and respected figure in the community.

Greg’s passion for patient care, particularly in mental health, takes center stage. Serving a diverse demographic, including a significant First Nations population and individuals with mental health ailments and addictions, he navigates the challenges of an overburdened healthcare system with compassion. Greg invests time in understanding each patient’s unique circumstances, engaging in difficult conversations and providing unwavering support.

As a mentor, Greg has guided future pharmacists. Over the years, he has precepted numerous student pharmacists, imparting clinical skills and instilling a sense of responsibility in providing patient care. Greg challenges students to think critically, adapt to changing scenarios and understand the importance of appropriate billing for clinical services.

In 2017, Greg was recognized as the Preceptor of the Year by the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta. His commitment to struggling students’ success is evident in the countless hours he spends collaborating with the Faculty to ensure their growth and learning. Greg’s approach is teaching clinical skills, setting professional precedents and instilling a sense of responsibility in his mentees.

Greg’s role as a pharmacy manager extends beyond their typical duties. He advocates for his staff in a corporate environment and ensures adequate staffing, a safe workspace and fair compensation. His leadership style fosters a supportive environment, encouraging colleagues within the pharmacy team to pursue their dreams.

For one colleague, specifically, Greg’s impact goes beyond professional development. Offering unwavering support to this individual during a challenging period, Greg instilled confidence and self-worth. This support has translated into improved patient care and personal growth, highlighting the transformative effect of mentorship.

Greg’s commitment to nurturing dreams, fostering excellence and positively impacting patients, students, and his pharmacy team makes him a true embodiment of a mentor and a leader in the pharmacy profession.