Alumni Profile: Mona Kwong, BSc(Pharm)’97, MSc’02

Mona Kwong photo

Image: Mona Kwong, BSc(Pharm)’97, MSc’02

What are your current career roles? 

Pharmacy Manager and Owner, Pharmasave Howe Street
Pharmacy Advisor and Director, Addiction Pharmacy Fellowship, BC Centre on Substance Use 
Clinical Pharmacist Consultant, Infinity Medical Specialists Clinic
District 1, Board Member, College of Pharmacists of British Columbia
Clinical Instructor/Preceptor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

My greatest accomplishment is developing the confidence in sharing, not only my thoughts and experiences, but those of others in order to make a greater impact on patient care.  

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the public in different capacities at the College of Pharmacists of BC in my roles as a member, vice-chair, and chair of the Board and various committees; at the BC Centre of Substance Use as the pharmacy advisor; and as a teacher in various pharmacy programs. It has been rewarding to work with and engage in dialogue with many different individuals and organizations/stakeholders/agencies to help shape health policies and decisions for safer public health.  

Some interprofessional collaboration examples that come to mind include:

  • Updating policies/by-laws to be more reflective of current practice
  • Supporting guideline development, research, and educational module development in the context of addictions care 
  • Teaching and supporting colleagues (in practice changes such as the thought process in pharmaceutical care/care plans/medication review services; injection training and certification; and OAT and alcohol guideline training) 

How do you stay involved in the community you live in?

I live, work, play and volunteer in Vancouver. I wander out to local events and sights with family and friends.

What I love about my pharmacy and the clinic I work in is that they embrace the neighbourhood and have a small town familiarity. We get to know our clients, and it is not uncommon for them to acknowledge us on the street with a wave or a nod.

What UBC moment are you still talking about? 

Curly fries with the mini ketchup cups and Blue Chip cookies at the old SUB.

Who was the biggest influence in your career?

Daria Danylchuk, who was my manager at the Vancouver School Board for at least two summers, was a big influence on how I managed my career. It was during my summer job that I came across individuals who thought quite differently from each other and outside the box, but there was encouragement of collaboration with each other. From that time forward, I have always remembered that there are many ways of solving problems and to be creative in looking at issues.  I learned that every idea is worth consideration and can springboard into other solutions. I took that lesson to heart when looking at future opportunities to utilize my pharmacy knowledge, skills, and abilities.