» Go to news main

Pharmacy grad aims to break down barriers and improve access to care

Posted by Dal Health Communications on June 15, 2023 in News
Breanna Laffin (centre) followed her father's footsteps in becoming a pharmacist.
Breanna Laffin (centre) followed her father's footsteps in becoming a pharmacist.

Congratulations to all of our Dal Health Class of 2023! To celebrate Spring Convocation, we chatted with students from across Dal Health. Breanna Laffin graduated from the College of Pharmacy with a BSc Pharmacy.

Convation Q&A: Breanna Laffin

  • Pronouns: she/they
  • Degree: BSc Pharmacy
  • Where you’re from: Bridgewater, NS

How significant is it for you to receive this degree?

The main significance lies in simply making it through this degree. My father became a pharmacist 30 years ago and has been a role model and driving force for the past four years, keeping me motivated through pandemic waves, and intense burnout, while my mom (a former NICU nurse) provided constant “non-pharm” supportive care. I made it to the end of this degree because of pure stubbornness and the support of the people around me, and it taught me that with my community behind me and enough determination I can accomplish things that I thought were impossible.

What were the highlights of your degree?

  • Reuniting with my classmates when we returned to campus.
  • Late night study sessions in the link before exams.
  • Working with both NS Health and Dal on exciting research projects.
  • Winning Dal’s next top pharmacist and competing at PDW in Saskatoon.

What will you miss about your time at Dal?

I’ll definitely miss my classmates the most! They are so intelligent, kind, and resilient. Pharmacies across Canada are lucky to have them.

What was your journey to Dal and to this program?

I finished a degree in chemistry at Acadia I decided to follow in my fathers footsteps and apply to pharmacy school. After being rejected my first application I quickly pivoted and spent the year working as an analyst and battery R&D scientist. This work sparked my love for research, but it also highlighted that I wanted to help people more directly and not spend my career working in a lab. After calling the college to discuss my previous application they convinced me to apply one last time (shoutout to Kaylon our student affairs admin!) and the rest is history.

What topics/research/work did you become passionate about during your education?

I became passionate about equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and quality improvement research. I believe that everyone should have ready access to quality care and I’m determined to find, and break down, as many barriers as I can throughout my career.

What’s next for you?

I’m going to be sticking around the college of pharmacy at Dal to complete a master in pharmaceutical sciences! I’m hoping to learn how to effectively spot problems and implement change within our healthcare system to improve access to and quality of care for Nova Scotians.