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Jaris Swidrovich Pharmacist + Health Care + Educator

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'Bridging the Healthcare Gap'

Named one of CBC Saskatchewan’s "Future 40", Dr. Jaris Swidrovich is Canada's first self-identified First Nations Doctor of Pharmacy. As President of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists, and member of numerous other boards Swidrovich brings his successful multiversity experience of bridging organizational needs with Health Care mandates. Passionate about health, education, and how Indigenous and marginalized people are impacted at local, provincial, national, and international levels, Dr. Swidrovich delivers powerful presentations illustrating how we can all be part of the cure and partake in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action.

Dr. Swidrovich's maternal grandmother was a residential school survivor and his mother is a '60s Scoop survivor. Jaris is a member of Yellow Quill First Nation and was born, raised, and continues to reside in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Jaris graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BSP) and completed a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of Toronto in 2013.

In his earlier years as a health professional, Jaris took note of the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in virtually all areas of health care. He also noticed that many issues related to inadequate education of health care workers on Indigenous history, health, and culture. Both in his previous and current work as a clinical pharmacist, and as a Lecturer at the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan, Jaris is dedicated to educating health care workers and students on Indigenous issues and reconciliation. Jaris is involved with "Indigenizing" the University of Saskatchewan in a variety of areas and frequently finds himself working with fellow faculty both locally and nationally on how to proactively address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action.

In his career thus far as a pharmacist, Jaris has worked as a Clinical Coordinator of Pharmaceutical Services with the Saskatoon Health Region, where his clinical work was caring for adult inpatients living with HIV/AIDS and substance use disorders. Within this area of expertise, Jaris also works with, and advocates for, not only the Indigenous population, but the diverse (e.g., LGBTQ) and marginalized (e.g., homeless) populations who may be living with HIV/AIDS, mental illness, and poverty. Jaris remains active on the City of Saskatoon's Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Committee, as a Director on the board of Sanctum Care Group (a transitional care home and hospice in Saskatoon for people living with HIV), and is a regular clinical pharmacist and mentor at SWITCH, which is the Student Wellness Initiative Toward Community Health that operates out of Westside Community Clinic in the core neighbourhood of Saskatoon.

    • Identifying how colleges, schools, and institutions may respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action
    • Identifying a multitude of opportunities to "Indigenize" the classroom (e.g., delivery, assessment, evaluation)
    • Interpreting how health care workers, health institutions, and health regions may address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action
    • Interpreting and applying the differences between cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity, cultural competence, and cultural safety, with a focus on Indigenous people
    • Describing the history and health inequities experienced by Indigenous people in Canada
    • Preventing racism, both systemic and personal, in health care and education
    • Drug therapy for HIV/AIDS
    • Social determinants of health in HIV/AIDS and other health conditions
    • Challenges unique to Indigenous Canadians in diagnosing and treating HIV/AIDS
    • Drug therapy for mental illness
    • Social determinants of health in mental illness and other health conditions
    • Challenges unique to Indigenous Canadians in diagnosing and treating mental illness
    • Drug therapy for substance use disorders
    • Social determinants of health in substance use disorders and other health conditions
    • Challenges unique to Indigenous Canadians in diagnosing and treating substance use disorders
    • Differentiating traditional use of tobacco versus mainstream Western use of tobacco
  • Awards/Highlights

    • National Patient Care Enhancement Award.
    • University of Toronto President's Award for the Outstanding Native Student of the Year (2013)
    • New Horizon Award (2014)- Pharmacists' Association of Saskatchewan
    • Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) Saskatchewan Branch New Hospital Pharmacy Practitioner Award (2014)
    • Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) National New Hospital Pharmacy Practitioner Award (2015)
    • University of Saskatchewan Students' Union Engaged Young Alumni Award (2016)
    • CBC Future 40 (2016)
    • Evan Hardy Collegiate Wall of Fame Inductee (2016)

Dr. Swidrovich's maternal grandmother was a residential school survivor and his mother is a '60s Scoop survivor. Jaris is a member of Yellow Quill First Nation and was born, raised, and continues to reside in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Jaris graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BSP) and completed a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of Toronto in 2013.

In his earlier years as a health professional, Jaris took note of the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in virtually all areas of health care. He also noticed that many issues related to inadequate education of health care workers on Indigenous history, health, and culture. Both in his previous and current work as a clinical pharmacist, and as a Lecturer at the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan, Jaris is dedicated to educating health care workers and students on Indigenous issues and reconciliation. Jaris is involved with "Indigenizing" the University of Saskatchewan in a variety of areas and frequently finds himself working with fellow faculty both locally and nationally on how to proactively address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action.

In his career thus far as a pharmacist, Jaris has worked as a Clinical Coordinator of Pharmaceutical Services with the Saskatoon Health Region, where his clinical work was caring for adult inpatients living with HIV/AIDS and substance use disorders. Within this area of expertise, Jaris also works with, and advocates for, not only the Indigenous population, but the diverse (e.g., LGBTQ) and marginalized (e.g., homeless) populations who may be living with HIV/AIDS, mental illness, and poverty. Jaris remains active on the City of Saskatoon's Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Committee, as a Director on the board of Sanctum Care Group (a transitional care home and hospice in Saskatoon for people living with HIV), and is a regular clinical pharmacist and mentor at SWITCH, which is the Student Wellness Initiative Toward Community Health that operates out of Westside Community Clinic in the core neighbourhood of Saskatoon.

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