July 11, 2019 (TORONTO) — The Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) announced today that Justin J. Bates will join the Association as Chief Executive Officer effective September 3, 2019.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and the membership of the Association, I’m pleased to welcome Justin Bates to OPA,” says Jen Baker, Chair of the Board at OPA. “Justin is a persuasive influencer with focus, vision and an effective communication style in support of organizational growth. Healthcare and the pharmacy profession are undergoing enormous transformation in Ontario and I’m looking forward to working with Justin to strengthen the future of pharmacy and our role in delivering innovative care to patients.” Bates, who joins OPA from his current position of CEO of Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies) will be focused on helping the Association achieve the ambitious goals set out in its 2019-2021 strategic plan, including implementing pharmacists’ expanded scope of practice to better meet the healthcare needs of Ontarians.

“This is an exciting time in healthcare and pharmacy,” says Bates. “Our new expanded scope of practice puts pharmacists at the centre of patient care and will ensure Ontarians are supported interprofessionally by all healthcare professionals including pharmacists. I look forward to working with the Board, the membership and staff at OPA to implement this new scope and help drive the continued evolution of pharmacy practice in this province so that our pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are empowered to deliver the best possible care to their patients.”

Bates began his career in the advertising and marketing business before transitioning into the health insurance industry where he worked as a consultant for a pharmacy benefit manager and as a principal in a health benefits third party administrator. He has spent the last 14 years advocating on behalf of the pharmacy industry in various capacities at Neighbourhood Pharmacies including as Chief Executive Officer since 2016. In his role as CEO of Neighbourhood Pharmacies, he executed a collaborative approach to management and stakeholder relations to advance strategic initiatives and economic sustainability while developing strong pharmacy industry relationships with all stakeholders.

In addition to background education in political science and psychology, Bates holds a negotiation certificate from the Harvard Negotiation Institute and has completed the Institute of Corporate Directors and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Executive Program: Not for Profit Governance Essentials Program. He serves as a Director on the GS1 Canada Pharmacy Sector Board and the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy Board.

About the Ontario Pharmacists Association
The Ontario Pharmacists Association is committed to evolving the pharmacy profession and advocating for excellence in practice and patient care. With more than 10,000 members, OPA is Canada’s largest advocacy organization, and professional development and drug information provider for pharmacy professionals across Ontario. By leveraging the unique expertise of pharmacy professionals, enabling them to practise to their fullest potential, and making them more accessible to patients, OPA is working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare system. The pharmacy sector plays a strong role in Ontario with an economic impact of more than $6.3 billion across 4,500 pharmacies, employing 60,000 Ontarians.