Jaris Swidrovich, PhD
CIHR funding recipient, National Pharmacy Leadership Award winner and named one of CBC Saskatchewan’s "Future 40", Dr. Jaris Swidrovich is Canada's first and only First Nations Doctor of Pharmacy. Lecturer, Mentor, Community leader Swidrovich brings his experience of bridging organizational needs with Health Care mandates. Jaris is passionate about health, education, and how Indigenous and marginalized people are impacted at all levels. He integrates personal stories to explain complex issues which resonates with both young and old. His powerful presentations illustrate how we can all be part of the cure and partake in the TRC’s Calls to Action.
Dr Swidrovich's maternal grandmother was a residential school survivor and his mother is a '60s Scoop survivor. Jaris is a member of Yellow Quill First Nation and was born, raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Jaris graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BSP), completed a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of Toronto in 2013 and is currently completing his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
In his earlier years as a health professional, Jaris noticed the lack of representation of Indigenous people in health care and the inadequate education of health care workers on Indigenous history, health, and culture. In his work as a clinical pharmacist and as an Assistant Professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto, Jaris is dedicated to educating health care workers on Indigenous issues and reconciliation. He has spoken at all 10 Schools of Pharmacy in Canada, educating both staff and students about the importance of Indigenous perspective in health care.
Jaris was the Principal Investigator for a Canadian Institute of Research Funding grant into “Two Spirit peoples’ experiences accessing and receiving care in community pharmacies”. In March 2020 he was also a part of the new Saskatchewan First Nations and Metis Health and Wellness Research team which received the Canadian Institutes of Health Research funding to establish nine Indigenous health research centres across the country.
Jaris has worked as a Clinical Coordinator of Pharmaceutical Services with the Saskatoon Health Region, where his work involved caring for adult inpatients living with HIV/AIDS and substance use disorders. Within this area of expertise, Jaris works with and advocates for, the LGBTQ and homeless populations who may be living with HIV/AIDS, mental illness, and poverty. Jaris was also an active member of the City of Saskatoon's Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Committee and was a Director on the board of Sanctum Care Group until his recent move to Toronto.