Greg Bendera, pharmacy manager at Rexall in Ponoka, was recently honoured by his alma mater, the University of Alberta, for his work in practical teaching of first-year pharmacy students. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Ponoka pharmacist given award for good teaching

Rexall pharmacy manager recognized for excellent practical instruction of students

A Ponoka pharmacist recently received a prestigious award from the University of Alberta.

Greg Bendera, Rexall Ponoka’s pharmacy manager, was named the Preceptor of the Year in a ceremony held last month. The annual award recognizes an outstanding pharmacist that works as a teacher with pharmacy students who take part in on-the-job work experience.

“I’m honoured to have received such an award from my alma mater,” Bendera said in an interview this week.

“It’s so great to have this kind of positive feedback from the students and knowing that something I have done during their time here helped inspire them to have a passion for the job and to keep pursuing this as a career.”

Bendera has been working as a preceptor with first-year students for the past decade, including the last nine at the Ponoka Rexall Drug Mart.

He was nominated for the award by one of the students he mentored, Mia Aizon.

“What struck me the most about Greg is his genuine passion as a pharmacist, his outstanding relationship with his patients, the difference he has made in his community and how he does his job above and beyond,” stated Aizon in a statement at the awards ceremony.

“He has hugely inspired me to become passionate in becoming a pharmacist. What motivated me to nominate Greg is that feeling he instilled in me. I left not just with the skills, but Greg also gave me a sense of excitement and passion in becoming a pharmacist.”

The company Bendera works for was also pleased with the recognition he received.

“Being a pharmacist is more than your job, it is a calling that has propelled you to be the best mentor, teacher and pharmacist all rolled into one,” said Judy Orton, Rexall region 63 pharmacy regional director.

“You take pride in ensuring every single patient gets the care they need and deserve every time.”

However, for Bendera, while the honour is wonderful to have, it’s simply great being able to pass along his passion to those who will do the same job in the future.

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