History of CAPhO

Oncology pharmacists in Canada started to get organized as a profession in 1986, when Rosemary Bacovsky and Mary Gannon invited 20 of their colleagues to a meeting in Toronto. Two years later, in 1988, Rosemary and Larry Broadfield organized the first National Oncology Pharmacy Symposium (NOPS).

NOPS’ success generated interest in the formation of an association that would support the conference and also represent oncology pharmacists across the country.

The CAPhO Founding Meeting was part of NOPS in 1995, and over that year, the work of bringing CAPhO to life was completed. The first Annual General Meeting was held at NOPS in 1996.

CAPhO’s main objective for several years was the organization of NOPS, which was originally scheduled to coincide with the Annual General Meeting of the National Cancer Institute of Canada’s (NCIC) Clinical Trials Group. One highlight was in 1993 when NOPS partnered with the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners (ISOPP) to host ISOPP III in Toronto. This same opportunity occurred in 2002 and 2014 when NOPS (now known as the CAPhO Conference) again partnered with ISOPP to host ISOPP VIII in Vancouver and ISOPP XIV in Montreal.

As the Association grew, so did its membership and its mandate. CAPhO members work as oncology pharmacists, technicians, pharmacy assistants and other healthcare professionals interested in the practice of oncology pharmacy. They benefit from membership in a myriad of ways, including educational initiatives, online resources, networking forums, standards of practice, and a grants and awards program.

From a local meeting with colleagues in the 1980s to a national association that is well respected in the international arena, CAPhO’s history reflects the dedication of its members to the practice of oncology pharmacy.

NOPS / CAPhO Conference

From NOPS' first Annual General Meeting in 1996 in Toronto, the CAPhO Conference has been held in various locations all over Canada. View our Conference History to learn more about past CAPhO Conferences.

CAPhO Logos

CAPhO logo old

The original logo was in red and white, until 2006. The colouring was updated in 2006 to blue and yellow.

The logo was redesigned in 2011.

CAPhO's 25th Anniversary Celebration

25th Anniversary Logo

In 2021 we celebrated 25 years of being a member-directed association that promotes, supports and advances oncology pharmacy practice. 

It was an auspicious beginning with a small organized group of oncology pharmacists in 1986. Today, it is a recognized leader of oncology pharmacy in Canada, with pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, assistants and students supporting the provision of safe and effective oncology pharmacy services to oncology patients.

The first Annual General Meeting was held in Toronto in 1996 and since then, over the years, conferences have taken place from St John’s to Vancouver and many Canadian cities in between. In 2021, due to the COVID pandemic, the Conference was held virtually and participants from all across the country joined together continuing the long tradition of sharing and gaining knowledge.

We thank all our members and tireless volunteers for their commitment to CAPhO over the past 25 years. Walk down Memory Lane by reading a few of CAPhO’s Past Presidents’ stories and watching the 25th Anniversary promotional video - celebrating CAPhO’s quarter of a century birthday!

Jeff Barnett, CAPhO President 1999 to 2001
Lynne Nakashima, CAPhO President 2003 to 2005
Gabriel Gazzé, CAPhO President 2006 to 2007
Philip Shaheen, CAPhO President 2018 to 2020
View the CAPhO 20th anniversary slides for an overview of CAPhO's history. 

CAPhO's 20th Anniversary Celebration

CAPhO began as a small organized group of Oncology pharmacists in 1986, and today, it is a well-respected national association with over 300 members, ranging from students to senior practitioners. We are therefore proud to celebrate 20 years of CAPhO, and we hope there are many more years to come!

View the CAPhO 20th anniversary slides for an overview of CAPhO's history.

CAPhO's 20th Anniversary Celebration