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MBA Management Consulting Project Wins Leadership Award for Sustainable Pharmacy Practices

MBA Management Consulting Project Team and recipients of the Leadership Award for Sustainable Pharmacy Practices

What happens when a team of brilliant MBA students step into the role of project management consultants? An award-winning project to support a sustainable change in hospital pharmacies is created.

We are proud to announce that a consulting team in the Telfer MBA Management Consulting Project has been awarded the Excellence in Pharmacy Practice – Leadership Award by the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists. This award recognizes outstanding leadership and notable contributions to the advancementAriane Blanc and Nisha Varughese, winners of the CSHP Leadership Award of the pharmacy profession through excellence in practices, education, research, or administration.

Ariane Blanc and Nisha Varughese launched the project in partnership with CHEO, a pediatric hospital and research centre in Ottawa,  to implement “Eco-Friendly Pharmacy Practices to Support a Sustainable Green Transition in Hospital Pharmacy”.

What is the Telfer MBA Management Consulting Project ?

For over 15 years, as part of Telfer’s MBA program, students have offered high-quality consulting services to local businesses and organizations as part of the MBA Management Consulting Project (MCP). These motivated students propose innovative solutions to a variety of issues and problems preventing companies from reaching their goals. Some notable past partners of the MCP are Adobe, Cirque du Soleil, RBC, Bank of Canada, and Volvo. The management consulting project is one of the many ways Telfer provides experiential learning opportunities in the classroom to allow students to learn by doing.

By partnering with the MCP, organizations can benefit from a fresh and modern perspective brought by the Telfer MBA students who consider digital transformation, EDI initiatives, and sustainability in their proposals. Another benefit is the low cost of this consulting service. Former client and Co-Founder of Apollo Green, Tyler LeBlanc mentioned that the cost and time of a report of this caliber “would be cumbersome” for a small company.

These professionals are supported by the same resources that have maintained the school’s reputation as a top-notch research institution as well as an MBA program that has the triple crown of accreditations. For example, the Telfer Management Library, a fully equipped finance lab, and over 70 full-time professors within various fields of expertise.

CHEO’s Sustainable Strategy

Back in 2021, CHEO launched its “Kick the Carbon” strategy which aims at reducing the hospital’s Green House Gas emission by 30% by 2025. Reducing its emission by 5% each year, CHEO would save over 2,000 tons of emissions. To put that into perspective, that’s the total emissions produced by 468 homes’ energy use for one year.

To help reach their target, CHEO set out to implement multiple green projects. Notably collaborating with the Telfer MCP team to develop their own eco-initiative plan aligned with the children’s hospital eco-responsible strategy. This group of MBA students worked with the local Ottawa children’s hospital to reduce waste, improve energy efficiency, and promote sustainable sourcing.

The goal? Answering the following questions: What does a “green pharmacy” look like? How does CHEO’s current pharmacy operations align with this vision? What can be changed to reach this vision?

The Management Consulting Project Approach and Impact

The team tackled this mandate by analysing the pharmacy’s practices regarding waste reduction as well as paper, plastic, and energy consumption. They discovered that the main areas contributing to CHEO’s waste production were single use plastics, lack of awareness regarding eco-initiatives, and keeping lights on.

Internal and external surveys with key stakeholders wereAriane Blanc with CHEO staff in the hospital pharmacy conducted, in addition to interviews and literary research. The main obstacles found when attempting a green transition in hospital pharmacies were cost, complexity, and time. The students quickly identified that gaps in the processes and set out to find simple initiatives that could be implemented to reach “green pharmacy” status at CHEO.

Through the duration of this project, the team’s suggestions aim at reducing waste and energy consumption. As well as increasing the use of sustainable products in the pharmacy’s daily practices. This important work was well recognized by the hospital’s administration and staff.  Ariane Blanc, Director of Pharmacy and Chief Clinical Pharmacist at CHEO, promises that there’s “more to come” with this project as they are currently planning out a detailed implementation phase of the initiatives identified by the MBA students.

"The project has been a great learning experience for us, and we are excited to see the positive impact it has had on the hospital and the community.”- Murray Kronick, CMC, FCMC, Part-time Professor with the Telfer School of Management.

CSHP’s Together Conference 2023

The Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) hosted its annual Together Conference, Canada’s largest hospital pharmacy conference, on March 10th, 2023 in Banff. During the award ceremony, the CHEO Pharmacy team and the Telfer student management consulting team were recognized for their project, its impact, and its potential for the future of sustainability in Canadian hospital pharmacies. A video summary of their work was shown to a diverse crowd of professionals from across the nation. This allowed for their message to reach a larger audience.

The future of hospital pharmacy practices

In 2023, it’s never been more important for large organizations to do their part in reducing carbon emissions and the demand for greener practices in the healthcare industry is not slowing down. The collaboration between Telfer and CHEO has been recognized as a trailblazer in implementing sustainable hospital pharmacy practices. Following its local success, the project has recently been submitted as an national survey to Canadian hospital pharmacies in hopes that they join the effort to combat climate change.

The results are proof that “green” status is attainable thanks to some key changes in pharmacy processes. Its success hopefully serving as a source of inspiration and a call-to-action to other hospital pharmacies so they may join the movement by participating in eco-initiatives.

“As an MBA graduate myself, I was thrilled to work with the Telfer School of Management on our Eco-friendly pharmacy practices project. Their enthusiasm and professionalism throughout the collaboration was exceptional. They conducted thorough research, including on-site visits with our team and expert consultations, and tailored their recommendations to our specific needs. Our collaborative project won the CSHP Excellence in Pharmacy Practice - Leadership Award. We are grateful for their expertise and look forward to future collaborations with the Telfer School of Management." – Ariane Blanc, Director of Pharmacy and Chief Clinical Pharmacist, CHEO

As for the MCP program, project management consultants are becoming increasingly important assets in large enterprises. Telfer has answered this growing need with this unique experiential learning component of the MBA program that creates a lasting impact on its students and local businesses.

About the Author

Emmanuelle O'Bryan est une étudiante bilingue au B.Com., option marketing. Au cours de son stage de travail dans le cadre du programme co-op, elle s'est spécialisée en marketing de contenu au sein de l’équipe de transformation numérique et d’engagement à Telfer.<br/><br/>Emmanuelle O'Bryan is a bilingual BCom marketing student at Telfer. During her CO-OP work term, she was a Content Marketer on the Digital Transformation and Engagement team.