Chronological Order of Unfortunate events with Alberta College of Pharmacy
Allegations of Unfair Practices by Registrars Greg Eberhart, Monty Stanowich, Jennifer Mosher, and Jim Krempien at the Alberta College of Pharmacy
I have been addressing allegations from the Alberta College of Pharmacy related to my practice at the Albany Cosmetic and Laser Center, primarily with the ACP registrar, Mr. Eberhart, since 2018. In light of this, I have consolidated all relevant information onto a single webpage for more coherent documentation. This webpage will also serve as a centralized source of information, eliminating the need for repeated explanations to family members, friends, coworkers, or colleagues.
Appealing to Mr. Eberhart: The Imperative Need for Aesthetic Pharmacy Regulation
Nearly four years ago, I, as a renowned pharmacist and cosmetology expert, penned a letter to Greg Eberhart, the Registrar of the Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP), requesting a comprehensive regulation of the cosmetic medicine practice within the Standard of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians (SPPPT). Today, it appears my plea has been unheeded as the ACP moves towards banning aesthetic pharmacy altogether.
In June 2019, I underscored the significant role pharmacists play in cosmetic medicine and urged the ACP to collaborate with the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA), College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA), and Alberta Health to standardize and organize the medical spa industry.
“Regulation would ensure safety and quality control while allowing practitioners to provide beneficial services to those who need it,” I explained at the time.
Contrary to my call for a structured approach to this burgeoning field, the ACP is leaning towards an outright ban. The decision, which appears to disregard the necessity of acknowledging pharmacists’ potential in aesthetic medicine, has caused considerable concern among stakeholders
Letters to the ACP council
I have repeatedly addressed the Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP) council regarding their draft Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, articulating my concerns about the problems and shortcomings associated with their proposed ban on aesthetic injections and practice.
Who is Greg Eberhart, the Registrar of the Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP)?
Mr. Eberhart has served as the ACP registrar for the past 30 years. According to his LinkedIn profile, he began his tenure as the registrar for the Alberta Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) in 1990. At that point, Mr. Eberhart brought five years of management experience from a community pharmacy in Red Deer. He then received a consecutive appointment that spanned from 1995 to 2000.
In 2000, after the dissolution of the APhA, the Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP) and the Alberta Pharmacists Association (RxA) were established. The ACP emerged as the regulatory body for all Alberta Pharmacists. With its inception, the ACP was responsible for generating new bylaws and practice standards, along with selecting a new registrar. Mr. Eberhart unsurprisingly received the nomination to serve as the first ACP registrar, a position he has maintained to this day. In 2017, the ACP updated its name to the Alberta College of Pharmacy
- serve patients
- contribute to society, and
- act as stewards of their professions.
What’s Going On, Mr. Eberhart?
To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Eberhart hasn’t sought any formal training or education in management sciences, public relations, or other related fields that would make him an indispensable registrar. Yet, his succession was made unfeasible due to Bylaw 37, a lack of accountability measures, and an absent succession plan. It appears to me that the initial ACP council wasn’t aware of the implications of these bylaws.
According to Wikipedia, a dictatorship is an authoritarian form of government characterized by single leadership or a group of leaders with minimal or no tolerance for opposition. Notably, even Sir Winston Churchill only held the Prime Minister’s office for two terms. Conversely, the ACP registrar is currently on his sixth term! I went through the list of non-royal national leaders who have held office the longest, and only six non-royal leaders have surpassed a 30-year term.
Is This Beneficial for Alberta Pharmacists? Is It Ethical or Professional?
In a word, no. A study has shown that the average CEO tenure is 7.4 years. According to a review study published in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), longer tenures also tend to correlate with diminished performance. This makes sense given that every organization or regulatory body needs to constantly modernize. The ACP lacks the innovation and fresh perspectives that new leadership can provide. Our registrar, from an older generation, does not seem very receptive to modern pharmacy practices.
Moreover, after holding a leadership position for an extended period of 30 years, it’s natural for someone to feel above the law or the act itself. Regarding ethics, I believe Mr. Eberhart should have prioritized the interests of the pharmacy profession over his own desire to retain his position. The reappointment of the same individual by six different elected councils doesn’t appear logical or ethical. Also, under Mr. Eberhart’s supervision, the ACP failed to cultivate new leaders and prepare them for the inevitable succession process.
ACP and the Cosmetic and Aesthetic Medicine
The health professions, including pharmacy, are continuously evolving. Self-regulated health professionals acquire new skills and competencies to tackle daily challenges. They achieve this through training, education, and with the help of colleges that adapt and adjust new regulations and standards. This demands a dynamic mindset and the capacity for critical thinking to balance public safety and the continuous evolution of various health professions.
For instance, the persistent efforts of the ACP have enabled pharmacists to take on a more prominent role in the community. As ACP-regulated members, we have observed the shift towards patient-centered healthcare, which has accelerated over the past decade since the inception of the ACP.
Since the FDA’s approval of Cosmetic Botox for treating moderate to severe glabellar lines in April 2002, non-surgical and non-invasive cosmetic and aesthetic practices have proven to be a promising field with significant patient and community demand. Some colleges, including CARNA and CPSA, acknowledged this field’s potential and took measures to incorporate it into their members’ practice standards. They recognized that undergraduate and postgraduate nursing and medical school programs don’t offer specific training or education for cosmetic fields. They decided that before administering cosmetic injections, regulated members must acquire necessary skills and competencies through training and self-education, as endorsed by the CPSA and CARNA.
Under Mr. Eberhart’s leadership, the ACP lagged behind other regulatory colleges in the cosmetic injections industry. No regulations or standards were issued regarding this matter. Conversely, other self-regulated health professionals acknowledge pharmacists in this field more than our own college does. (CARNA acknowledged that a nurse could administer Botox after receiving a prescription from a pharmacist with additional prescribing authority). On May 12th, 2023, the ACP proposed a prohibition on administering injections for aesthetic purposes.
On December 12, 2016, I reached out to the ACP to notify them of my plans to open a cosmetic injection practice. In response, Jennifer Mosher informed me that it was my responsibility to gain the necessary training and skills. During a routine practice evaluation in 2018, Jennifer asked one of my employees, a Pharmacist, about my cosmetic practice. This clearly indicates that the ACP practice consultant is thoroughly aware of the scope of my cosmetic practice.
The Albany Cosmetic and Laser Center, was established on April 4, 2017, as a leading provider of laser treatments and cosmetic injections. I used my name to open all accounts with pharmaceutical companies, including Allergan and Galderma. I supplied them with my details, encompassing my training certificates and ACP licenses.
- The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) informed me on June 5, 2018, that they are investigating my use of the protected abbreviation “Dr.”
- On August 7, 2018, the Associate Complaint Director at the CPSA sent me an email stating, ‘The investigation initiated against you has been formally resolved, with all matters settled to the satisfaction of the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta.’ I also received a letter indicating my eligibility to use the title ‘Dr.’, which is in compliance with the Health Professional Act, given that I hold a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
On November 4, 2018, I was approached by Mr. Jim Krempien from the ACP’s complaint department concerning an anonymous email tip from ([email protected]) regarding the use of the title ‘Dr.’ Mr. Krempien stated that the ACP did not have an official record of my Ph.D., despite my notifying the university of my doctorate in 2012, and consistently indicating this in each license renewal since then. Intriguingly, all official email correspondences (both digital and hard copy) from the ACP have addressed me as Mr. Alhallak.
I spent 30 minutes on a phone call with Mr. Krempien, during which we discussed the specifics of the submitted tips. We also discussed some minor adjustments to the website, which were promptly implemented. Mr. Krempien expressed satisfaction with the changes made to the website that clarified I hold a Ph.D., not an M.D.
This implies that both the college and the complaint department were fully aware of my cosmetic activity and practice at the Albany Cosmetic and Laser Center. Mr. Krempien, who had comprehensive access to the website (given that it is publicly accessible), didn’t express any concerns about Botox, Fillers, PRP, Laser, or PDO threads during our examination of the site’s pages. On November 8, 2018, we received a curt response from [email protected] regarding Canadian ethics and law, stating that a complaint had been lodged with the health minister. This email address was later deactivated. I suspect that Nicolette Richardson is an alias used by Dr. Bakken from Red Deer, although she denied this during cross-examination.
On receiving Mr. Stanowich’s email, which essentially stated that based on the services offered on the website, the ACP had queries about the nature of the pharmacy practice at this location and about the relationship with the two pharmacies—Health Aid Pharmacy, co-located with Albany, and Westwood, of which I am the licensee and proprietor—I agreed to comply with the request for an inspection under the Health Professions Act (HPA). The purpose of this inspection, distinctly different from an investigation under Part 4 of the HPA, was to provide the Registrar with additional information on my practice. We arranged the meeting for March 15th.
On March 15th, 2019, Mr. Stanowich arrived for the meeting within three days of delivering the ACP letter. Given the extent of his preparedness for this inspection, it was evident that his preparations had taken more than just three days. He informed me that the health minister had questioned Mr. Eberhart about my practice in the cosmetic field. Owing to a lack of communication, neither Mr. Eberhart nor the ACP had records of my higher education or training. Still, they decided to embark on what can only be described as a witch hunt, as you will see later.
Mr. Stanowich’s inquiries ranged far and wide, with no set orientation or limitation. We deliberated on some relevant aspects in detail, such as patient assessment, charting, the injection process, insurance, my training, and communication with other health professionals. I objected to certain other points, including billing, ownership, corporate structure, and laser training, explaining to him that while the college had the right to inspect facets of my practice, other elements concerning non-restricted activities fell outside the ACP’s purview. I further told him that I would not discuss anything related to my title of ‘Dr.’, as that matter had already been resolved.
Despite this, Mr. Stanowich overstepped his boundaries, exploring every room in the center, photographing our laser machine (registered with CPSA), interviewing staff, and taking pictures of training certificates. When I protested, he threatened me with professional misconduct! He asked a multitude of questions about non-restricted activities such as laser treatments and micro-needling.
He zeroed in on the vaginal treatment offered at Albany Cosmetic and Laser Center, but I informed him that a board-certified gynecologist, Dr. Abdulhafez, was in charge of this procedure. Despite this, he continued to probe into the details of the treatment. I showed him that the machines were still in their packaging and we hadn’t received training for their use yet. My role was purely logistical and marketing-oriented. However, he persisted in pressing the matter, seeming rather disappointed that he couldn’t catch me out on this issue.
Highlights from my meeting with Mr. Stanowich
When asked about my skill level as a Botox injector, I replied candidly, stating that I considered myself the best cosmetic injector in Alberta. I carry out patient assessment, injections, and follow-ups personally. Most of the renowned dermatologists and physicians employ nurses and LPNs to perform these tasks, and they do not interact directly with patients.
Although I have completed training for vaginal injections in the USA, I haven’t begun providing that treatment yet.
By the end of our meeting, Mr. Stanowich expressed his satisfaction with my practice and stated he had no concerns. He hinted that he might not need to visit Westwood Pharmacy, but if he did, it would be purely formal.
I made it clear to him that the cosmetic treatments offered at Albany don’t interfere with any medical care plans formulated by other health professionals. As such, I saw no need to inform other health professionals about these procedures and injections, especially given the emphasis many clients place on discretion. Notably, pharmacists are the only health professionals obligated to communicate their prescribing activities with other health professionals. This highlights the unique position of pharmacists as health professionals in the perspective of the Alberta College of Pharmacy’s Registrar.
Mr. Stanowich’s satisfaction with the Albany inspection suggested that any potential visit to Westwood Pharmacy would be brief or unnecessary. He reassured me that this was not a practice assessment and promised not to discuss aspects outside the intended scope.
Later that day, I received an email from Mr. Stanowich stating that he decided to conduct a brief visit to Westwood Pharmacy to ensure that I wasn’t pushing patients towards Albany.
Monty Stanowich’s inspection of Westwood Pharmacy
On March 19th, 2019, Mr. Stanowich conducted an inspection at Westwood Pharmacy, which I found highly problematic. His conduct during the inspection was noticeably unprofessional and revealed a significant lack of pertinent knowledge. He redundantly rehashed questions previously asked during his inspection of the Albany Cosmetic and Laser Center, scrutinized my decision to renew a diabetes medication, and made my staff uncomfortable.
As one of the most extensively educated pharmacists in Canada, holding a Ph.D., M.Sc., CDE, CRA, CPG, and currently pursuing an MBA, I was taken aback by Mr. Stanowich’s disregard for my qualifications. His apparent inadequacy in training seemed to cause him personal offense. When he asked if I thought I was more intelligent than him, I responded that my education in certain fields, such as diabetes, was undoubtedly more extensive. This was met with open derision of my Ph.D. and overall education in front of my team.
I queried Mr. Stanowich about his prior assurances and asked, before my staff, whether he had been satisfied with his Albany inspection. His affirmative response was quickly followed by a reminder that he had the right to ask any questions, could involve any pharmacies associated with me in the inspection, and had the authority to conduct an inspection at any pharmacy without prior notice or stated reason. I conveyed to him that such an intimidating approach was both unprofessional and ineffective.
Mr. Stanowich became so flustered that he chose to discontinue the inspection, even leaving behind his bag in the Pharmacy.
In light of this interaction, I would like to underscore the following:
- Mr. Stanowich confirmed that he was content with his inspection of the Albany Cosmetic and Laser Center.
- Despite my reminding him of the purpose of the Westwood Pharmacy inspection, he confessed that he had a habitual tendency to forget due to his familiarity with routine pharmacy practice assessments.
- He made sarcastic comments about the value of my Ph.D. in front of my staff.
- He took exhaustive photographs throughout the pharmacy but overlooked the certification displayed on the wall.
- The entire interaction was witnessed by three Westwood Pharmacy employees – Pharmacists Refqa Bader, Tahmina Karini, and Radya Bader. I am ready to share their contact information, as they have given their consent.
It’s worth noting that Mr. Stanowich has been disconnected from pharmacy practice and patient communication for a considerable time. I question the recency and relevancy of his training and the familiarity he has with current therapeutic guidelines and new treatments. It is not within my duty to educate him about diabetes or justify my decision-making process for prescribing or renewing a therapeutic agent for a patient.
ACP Registrar and Officers and Presidents
I endeavored to reach out to the Registrar, sending multiple requests for a meeting, only to be met with Mr. Eberhart’s refusal, who asked me to wait for the inspection report. In my pursuit for fairness, I turned to the then President of the ACP, Stan Dyjur, to air my grievances about the unequal treatment I was receiving from the ACP registrar and staff. Yet, he responded, saying, “It is inappropriate for any council member or myself to meet while this inspection is ongoing.”
Despite being the elected President of the ACP, tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the Registrar, Mr. Dyjur dismissed my request for a meeting as inappropriate. It’s important to note that at this stage, the inspection was merely an information-gathering process, with no formal complaint lodged against me through the complaints department.
I reiterated to him that this was intended as a fact-finding inspection, absent of any formal complaint or public concern. Nevertheless, he denied my request for a meeting and obstructed any possibility of communication with other council members. Given such circumstances, it’s not surprising that Mr. Eberhart was able to secure a 30-year reappointment. It appeared as though Mr. Dyjur was essentially sidelined. This kind of response from an elected president, denying a meeting with an ACP member on grounds of it being ‘inappropriate,’ fosters a hostile and oppressive environment. I firmly believe that my rights as a member outweigh any perceived inappropriateness on Mr. Eberhart’s part.
Furthermore, I attempted to establish communication with Craig Macalpine, hoping for a meeting. However, he responded by saying he wasn’t permitted to meet with me! At this stage, the inspection was purely informational, implying that the College should also be open to hearing my perspective. Yet, the Registrar seemed intent on thwarting all my attempts at communication.
Mar 21st, 2019 Mr. Stanowich
I received the following email from Mr. Stanowich asking all the questions again. Mr. Stanowich met with me twice for over 5 hours, yet she has no answers to any questions!
Thank you for your time on March 15th and the 19th during my inspections of Albany Cosmetic Center and Westwood Pharmacy. I appreciated the time you took to meet with me and explain your practice in detail. I believe you answered all my questions regarding Westwood and Health Aid Pharmacy. As I review the information I gathered and am compiling it, I do have some additional questions for you about Albany Cosmetic and Laser:
- On your website you indicate that you are the Medical Director for Albany Cosmetic and Laser, however in our conversation I noted you indicated Dr. Tomi was the Medical Director. Can you please elaborate on and clarify the role that Dr. Tomi plays in the facility.
- Can you please clarify the ownership structure of Albany Cosmetic and Laser?
- Can you please clarify the relationship, if any, between Albany Cosmetic and Laser and Albany Medical Clinic? Are there any sharing of records?
- I felt you clearly explained to me the assessment protocol, software, and documentation for your Botox and fillers and you indicated that you were the only person assessing and administering Botox. Can you please clarify who is prescribing Botox and the other schedule 1 products such as the compounds you indicated you use on occasion. Please include where and how these prescription records are retained.
- You indicated you have an account directly with Allergan. Can you please provide me information on how this account (in whose name, organization name, etc.) is set up and confirm that it is directly providing to Albany Cosmetic and Laser and not to either pharmacy or to Albany Medical Clinic.
- You mentioned on occasion that Albany Cosmetic and Laser purchases compounds from Health Aid Pharmacy. Vatsal provided me a list of what has been purchased (see attached). Can you please provide a similar list from Westwood Pharmacy if applicable.
- Can you please elaborate on who will be overseeing and supervising the staff performing the Votiva treatments.
- In order to complete this inspection in a timely manner please email or fax me your responses to these questions and any supporting documentation you wish to provide by March 25, 2019. Once the inspection is complete I will submit my report to Registrar Eberhart for his consideration. Your co-operation and assistance during this inspection is appreciated.
Monty Stanowich, BSc Pharm
April 17th, 2019 Mr, Sranowich
I received an additional email from Mr. Stanowich asking additional questions. One month after the inspection started, he still collected information about me. The questions are mainly related to me and have nothing to do with my practice.
May 29th, 2019 Mr. Stanowich
I received Mr. Stanowich’s report and a letter from Mr. Eberhart inviting me to respond by Sept 6th. Because the letter addressed me as Mr. Alhallak, I objected to the ACP staff and Registrar’s insistence on ignoring my title and requested that the letter be changed. Mr. Eberhart sent me a letter on May 3rd, addressing me as Dr. Alhallak and changing the date from Sept 6th to Jun 6th. This means that his initial plan was to give me only one week to respond (power abuse)
In other words, Mr. Stanowich had three months between January and March 2019 to prepare and three months to write a report. Nonetheless, Mr. Eberhart gave me one week to respond to the 40-page report.
According to Mr. Stanowich’s report, my practice as a community pharmacist and cosmetic injector falls short of the mark. Nothing is positive about it, and I could benefit from education and possibly discipline.
Surprisingly, at the same time, Westwood Pharmacy underwent a practice assessment led by Mr. Tyler Watson. He expressed no reservations about the Pharmacy practice at Westwood Pharmacy. On the contrary, our interactions with him were professional and forward-thinking. His email is attached. This is unequivocal proof of Mr. Stanowich’s biased report. How could two different ACP staff members report the same practice in two different ways? (Skewed report)
Tyler Watson email
It is also important to mention the gratitude that our community has shown for the services Westwood Pharmacy provides. This is evidenced by the excellent feedback and sincere messages we receive daily.
Monty Stanowich, Compliance Officer Report
Mr. Stanowich’s report was personal, biased and subjective. It ignored the main objects for the inspection and decided to follow me personally. You can read the concluding remarks and the full report with my reply.
Moreover, I sent an official complaint against Mr. Stanowich and two requests to the College. The first to provide me with more transparency regarding the communication during this inspection, and the second to put more effort into acknowledging pharmacists in the cosmetic field
I also provided an official letter confirming that Dr. Abdulhafez is the health professional in charge of all aspects of women’s health, including vaginal treatment.
- Eberhart’s intake of the report
After about three months of submitting my response, I received the expected response. Mr. Eberhart determined that my case must be forwarded to the complaint department. He refused to refer my complaint to the complaint department and determined that Mr. Stanowich acted within the scope of his authority as an inspector. I believe there is a significant conflict of interest because the Registrar and the field officer are on the same team, and my complaint should have been taken more seriously rather than dismissed with a simple letter from the Registrar.
When citing Section 3 of the Pharmacy and Drug Act, our Registrar failed to distinguish between Pharmacist and Pharmacy practice. To reflect this distinction, the ACP recently changed its formal name from the College of Pharmacists to the College of Pharmacies. The distinction between Pharmacy and Pharmacist is analogous to the distinction between Clinic and Physician.
dr. kamal alhallak search results
Aug 15th, 2019 Mr. Krempien
I received a letter from the ACP complaint department about a complaint from a Physician who works in Red Deer. I was shocked that some from Red Deer would be bothered by my practice. The claim was degrading, outdated, and full of misinformation. The complaint has been practicing in their private clinic and is designated as medical director for a medical spa inside her clinic; they have been practicing in Red Deer since the seventies. The report showed that the complainer is outdated in her information and not keeping up with the innovation in the cosmetic field.
Moreover, she is not aware that Pharmacist has the authority to prescribe and inject and still has the same old stereotypical image about the Pharmacists being pill counter. Moreover, the complainer could not wait for the ACP’s reply but mentioned that they reported me to the College of Physicians, the ministry of health, all the pharmaceutical companies, and training centers. Mr. Krempien informed me that he appointed Jennifer Mosher as a special investigator and asked me to take my time regarding the reply.
It is important to mention that Mr. Greg Eberhart, the ACP registrar, is originally from Red Deer, and he practiced as a Pharmacist in Red Deer from 1977 to 1990 (I realized the coincidence on Dec 20th, 2019
Read the full complaint and my reply here
Sept 6th, 2019 Mr. Eberhart
Within two weeks of the complaint submitted by the Physician in Red Deer, I received a letter from the ACP registrar, Mr. Eberhart, informing me that he had decided to escalate the inspection into the investigation. Moreover, he said he gave me the time to reply as a courtesy.
courtesy from Mr. Eberhart
This courtesy from the ACP registrar contradicts his first letter, dated Mar 11th. According to section 54.3 of the Professional Health Act, the letter stated that I would receive a copy of the report! I believe this copy’s purpose is for me to send my reply and comments. This is exactly the mentality the Greg Eberhart; he is the law! Even the week he granted me to reply to a 40-page report is a courtesy, not my lawful right. One week of courtesy to reply to a report that took Mr. Monty Stanowich over six months to prepare!
March 11th letter
Oct 10th, 2019
The ACP complaint department opened a new investigation, as requested by Mr. Eberhart. Mr. Jennifer Mosher oversaw the investigation. We went over the questions again. She informed me that Mr. Eberhart requested that she investigate the inducement I provide to my clients through discounts. This question reflects our Registrar’s outmoded mentality and inability to distinguish between a pharmacy and a cosmetic centre. Furthermore, it demonstrates his determination to build a case against me. It is against the law to provide a discount or inducement in a pharmacy; however, Albany Cosmetic and Laser Center is not a pharmacy. Discounts on cosmetic treatments are common in all dermatology clinics and medical spas.
After meeting with Ms. Mosher, she sent another email to Dr. Abdulhafez and me asking about the vaginal treatment.
focusing on the vaginal treatment
I answered as following
“Thanks for your email, Jennifer. To answer your question, I did not perform nor attend any vaginal treatment or training for any patients in Canada. I am not involved in any consultation nor meeting any patient or client regarding women’s health, and I do not collect information or provide advice of any sort in this regard. I can provide an affidavit if you wish. I provided a letter from Dr. Abdulhafed, whom you interviewed, stating that he is responsible for any vaginal treatments at Albany cosmetic and laser Center. Since I declared that I am not involved in any practice related to women’s health and vaginal treatment in Albany Cosmetic and Laser center or any pharmaceutical or medical facilities in Canada, this makes the whole issue outside the scope of ACP.
Other health professionals performing these treatments are self-regulated health professionals and report to other colleges that regulate their practice. We are two physicians, a nurse, a pharmacist, and two certified laser technicians related to the laser center. My last letter to the Registrar highlighted my suspension about the coincidence between the amendment and inspection led by Mr. Stanowich. I believe that the Registrar and Mr. Stanowich used the amendment to build a case against me, similar to the Registrar’s approach about the inducement and discounts.” The focus on the vaginal treatment from the ACP team reflects their intention to build a case against me. It is clear that we have a trained nurse and a board-certified GYN taking responsibility for this treatment. It means that this treatment is simply not within their scope of practice,
Dec 2nd, 2019 Fayaz Rajab Ali
After many attempts to communicate with the ACP’s previous and current President, I received an encouraging letter from Mr. Fayaz Ali, the current ACP president.
ACP President 1st letter Re: Complaint Letter respecting Mr. Greg Eberhart, Registrar of the Alberta College of Pharmacy
You sent a letter of complaint to Ms. Jennifer Mosher in an email dated Nov 26th, 2019, asking that it be forwarded to me. I acknowledge receipt of your undated letter of complaint.
Should you have additional information that you want me to consider about your complaint, please provide it to me no later than Jan 8th, 2020, at [email protected]. Please advise me at your earliest convenience if you do not intend to provide additional information.
Once I hear further from you, I will ask that Mr. Eberhart provide me with a response to your complaint and any additional information that you may provide. I will then be in a position to consider the matter. I thanked Mr. Rajabali for his cooperation and promised him to send all the details within the specified timeline. Dec 17th, 2019, I received another letter stating, “I note that it would be inappropriate for me to comment or become involved in any matters that involve the inspection process because if an inspection leads to an investigation by the Complaints Department and a hearing before the Hearing Tribunal, the Council serves as the appellate body.” ACP President 2nd letter
I’m still not sure what inappropriate means. Mr. Dyjur, the previous ACP President, stated that it was inappropriate when the inspection began. There was no complaint against me in the complaint department at the time. Now, the current ACP president has reversed his position on my complaint and decided that he should not intervene! To my knowledge, no one, including the ACP registrar, is above the law. An ethics committee even looked into our Prime Minister! Everyone at the ACP has made me feel unwelcome simply because the Registrar does not agree with my practice.
I have officially requested the meeting minutes from 1990 in which Mr. Eberhart was re-appointed as Registrar. I also requested the historical Bylaws of the Alberta Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) to compare our current ACP bylaws to the ones that governed the Registrar before Mr. Eberhart’s six terms. I have received no communication from the ACP regarding this matter.
Dec 20th, 2019 Fayaz Rajab Ali
I raised two issues that merit further investigation:
1- The complainant and Mr. Eberhart (the ACP registrar) are from Red Deer (population 27K in 1970) and practised there from 1977 to 1985. (population of 30K). I’d like to know if they have any personal or professional acquaintances and if they communicate about my cosmetic practice at any point.
2- I’m curious if the Registrar followed up with the complaint department or Ms. Mosher after he filed his complaint. Mr. Eberhart, to the best of my knowledge, asked Ms. Mosher to personally investigate the inducement in the form of a discount that we offer at Albany Cosmetic and Laser Centre. He should have taken a step back after referring the case to the complaints department.
Please include this email in the investigation documents and treat it as an official information request.
On Jan 8th, 2020
Dear, please find attached the declarations from Westwood staff regarding Mr. Stanowich’s inspection. Please note that I complained about Mr. Stanowich to the ACP registrar. However, he dismissed my complaint without looking into it. Moreover, tried to reach out to the former ACP president Mr. Dyjur but he refused to meet me. You can contact Refqa, Radea or Tahmina if you wish to hear from them.
Feb 7th, 2020 Mr. RajabAli
I received an open letter from the ACP president, Mr. Rajabali, via Leslie Ainslie’s email, the executive assistant of Mr. Eberhart.
The letter states the following:
I write concerning the letters and emails that you have sent to me or have asked Ms. Mosher to forward to me. I have listed the documents in an appendix to see what I reviewed. Based on my review of these documents, it appears that your concerns and complaints are intertwined with an inspection and a subsequent investigation by the Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP) respecting your conduct.
At this time, I am not prepared to review this inspection and the subsequent investigation as the Council acts as the appeal body under the Health Professions Act (HPA). If the investigation about your conduct leads to a hearing before a Hearing Tribunal, and there is an appeal, Council must remain impartial. Therefore, with an ongoing inspection or investigation process, other members of the Council nor I will become engaged in the matter. I drew this to your attention in slightly different terms in my Dec 17th, 2019 letter. My review of the additional materials from you since has highlighted how closely your concerns, complaints and questions are intertwined with the inspection and the subsequent investigation process into your conduct.
I hope that I may be of assistance in providing you with some background information about the complaints process:
1. If a complaint proceeds beyond the investigation stage, it is heard and judged by a Hearing Tribunal under the procedure set out in the HPA. Each Hearing Tribunal is made up of regulated members of the College and a public member, all of whom must act fairly and are required to be unbiased. As I noted above, there is an appeal to the Council. The Council must also follow the procedure in the HPA and comply with the duty of fairness, including being unbiased. Beyond the Council, there is an appeal to the Alberta Court of Appeal. Therefore, there is a system of checks and balances built into the complaint and discipline process.
2. The inspection process and investigation process are key elements of the ACP’s mandate to protect and serve the public interest. It would not be appropriate for the Council or for me to become involved in that process, except to the extent permitted by the HPA. The legislation has a process that is to be followed. That process does not involve review by the President or the Council, except if there is an appeal.
You raise issues about who sets the vision of the ACP, how certain standards of practice were adopted, the qualifications of the Registrar and oversight of the Registrar.
1. Council determines the policy direction of the College, and the Registrar executes Council’s policy direction. The “vision” of the College is determined by the Council, not the Registrar.
2. Standards of Practice are established by the Council after going through the process set out in the HPA, which includes a requirement that the standards be made available to the members for comment and that the comments be considered by the Council before adopting the standards. The Registrar does not make the standards. Council considers any comments about the proposed standards before Council adopts any standards. After considering the comments received, Council may choose to: reject the proposed Standard, defer the proposed Standard, adopt the proposed Standard with changes, or adopt the proposed Standard in its original form. Council’s focus in adopting the standards is on protecting and serving the public interest.
In the case of the Standard respecting the insertion or removal of instruments, devices, or fingers under s16(1)(d)(i) and (ii) of the Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians Profession Regulation, Council made amendments to the Standard following receipt and review of comments from members and adopted the Standard as amended at its teleconference meeting on Aug 20th, 2019. Council’s focus is described in the following excerpt from the minutes:
“With the advent of Bill 21, and acute awareness to sexual abuse and sexual misconduct by health professionals, Council determined that it was in the interest of the public and the profession to establish a standard that clarifies the limitations of a pharmacist’s role when inserting or removing instruments, devices, or fingers beyond the anal verge or beyond the labia majora.”
3. The Registrar, in his role as the operational head of the ACP, is responsible to the Council. In the exercise of its governance mandate, the Council reviews the performance of the Registrar annually. Council has, to date, been satisfied that Registrar Eberhart has served the profession admirably. This has led to Registrar Eberhart’s long and distinguished career with the ACP. The Council does not share your perspective that Mr. Eberhart’s continued service is not reasonable, ethical or effective. In my view, the ACP is a national and international leader in its approach to the practice of Pharmacy. This is due to the vision of successive Councils and the administrative contribution of Mr. Eberhart and the many staff who serve the College. Mr. Eberhart is recognized for his contribution to the profession.
In my Dec 2nd, 2019 letter, I said that after I received further information from you, I would ask the Registrar for his response. However, having received that further information and having again reviewed the original material that you sent me through Ms. Mosher, I will not be asking the Registrar for a response now. As noted above, it would not be appropriate for me to pursue this matter further at this time as there is an ongoing investigation.
Once the investigation into your conduct is complete and, if there are any disciplinary proceedings and appeals are complete, my successor or I may be willing to consider whether there are issues respecting this matter that fall within the authority of the Council and require further attention from Council.
Fayaz Rajabali, BSP, R.Ph, APA, CTE President Alberta College of Pharmacy
Privacy breach and loss of confidentiality
I contacted Mr. Rajabali to express my dissatisfaction with Mr. Eberhart’s treatment and abuse of power. Nonetheless, Mr. Rajabali sent me an open letter through a member of the accused party’s staff. Leslie Ainslie has been Mr. Eberhart’s personal and executive assistant for over ten years. Mr. Rajabali’s actions made me feel violated and exposed. Even the person in charge of overseeing the Registrar’s performance and actions failed to live up to his responsibilities and duties. Mr. Rajabali did not request that the Registrar write a response to my formal complaint. Furthermore, he defended himself vehemently. He assured me that the fact that Mr. Eberhart has held his position for three decades and has been renominated is ethical, legal, and effective. He arrived at his conclusion without conducting any kind of investigation or inspection. Mr. Rajabali stated that Mr. Eberhart is well-known around the world and that Pharmacy as a profession owes him a lot. To begin with, Mr. Eberhart is naturally well-known internationally as the pharmacy representative in Alberta, as he is the only Registrar we have ever known. Second, the idea that no one can complain about him because he has done so much for the profession is at the heart of power abuse! His actions are illegal and unethical in my opinion.
A letter to Mr. Eberhart on the same date that I did not receive
On Feb 7th, it seems that the complaint department sent a letter to Mr. Eberhart stating (I appreciate everyone’s patience and assistance as we work toward resolving the matter). The was sent to Mr. Eberhart. Therefore it means he asked for an update on the complaint, which is a huge conflict of interest and power abuse. Mr. Eberhart should have kept a distance and given enough space and autonomy for the complaint department to work independently.
My reply to Fayaz Rajabali, the ACP president
I want to thank you for putting the time and effort into looking over the materials I sent you, and for writing back such an explicit letter through Leslie Ainslie, the Executive Assistant to the Registrar, bearing in mind that my complaint is against the Registrar! I wished our communications would have been a bit more private through your ACP personal email ([email protected]) as you indicated in your first letter.
I reached out to you because I believe that the ACP registrar is not treating me fairly or professionally. He started and orchestrated the inspection, escalated the inspection into an investigation, urged a physician from Red Deer to complain against me (what is the odds), kept interfering in the investigation, and apparently will have the final saying in this complaint. Mr. Rajbali, I admire your loyalty to Mr. Eberhart, and your appreciation for his long service, 30 years, as a registrar. However, I would like to share a personal experience with you. I immigrated from a country, in the middle east, where we had the same President for 27 years until he died. This former President used to be re-assessed and re-elected every five years. The majority of the Syrian people were forced to believe that he is the chosen one. Moreover, we were forced to believe that we owed him for everything in life, such as education, water, power, roads, food even the air that we breathe. Guess what? It turned out that he was just another tyrant, and we ended up having the worst civil war in modern history. Therefore, I can tell with an honest heart and strong belief that having the same person serving in the same powerful position is not logical, ethical or effective. On the contrary, it is clear evidence of power abuse and will have destructive and dire consequences on our profession. This is a fact supported by studies and proven in history. I understand that my reply is redundant and would have no value to you, but I have learnt to stand up for myself and speak my mind loudly, which got me in trouble with Monty Stanowich and Greg Eberhart in the first place. I will wait for the complaint department’s decision and will comply with the ACP standards of practice and bylaws, as I have always done. I will keep my right to defend my license and practice through all channels inside and out of the ACP, legally and professionally. I hope that there will be a time, in the near future, when it would be appropriate for you and the Council to meet with me, as I have been waiting patiently for this opportunity for almost a year now! Dr. Kamal Alhallak, Feb 10th, 2020I, received an email from Shelby Dewhirst, an officer at the Ombudsman office, stating that the Ombudsman office will investigate Fayaz Rajabali’s decision. The email states the following.
Good afternoon Dr. Alhallak. My apologies for the delay in responding. I would like to acknowledge I have also received your recent (Feb 7th, 2020) email to Mr. Rajabali. In our office, files are created and sorted based on issues identified. In your case, your original complaint was about the unfairness of the investigation process. As we are an office of last resort, and your file is still actively being investigated at the ACP, we closed your file as a referral. When the investigation at ACP is complete, you will have further options available to you (through the ACP) for review/appeal, as already discussed. At the end of that process, if you feel the decision and/or process was unfair to
you, you may write to us again, and we would consider that to be a new complaint (as you have completed the complaint process with ACoP and your complaint is now ready for our office). After receiving a new complaint, we will create a new, separate file for
you. Any documents you have submitted to us will remain in the system (you do not need to resubmit), and your files will be linked if they are related (similar issues identified/same authority – ACP). In relation to the ACP President’s Feb 7th, 2020, correspondence to you, it appears this is a final decision. As such, I believe we could look at the administrative fairness of that decision. You expressed several concerns in your email response to the ACP about that Feb 7th, 2020 correspondence; if you have any other concerns about the President’s letter or involvement (i.e. your dealings with the President), please send them to me when you are able, and we can talk about next steps. As this would qualify as a new complaint, a new file will be created for you. Your file may be assigned to a different investigator (assignment is rotational), I will speak to my manager about this and get back to you.
On Feb 12th 2020I received the following reply from Fayaz Rajabali, the ACP president:
Dr. Al Hallak,
I confirm receipt of your email. I will not add anything further to my letter except to note that Ms. Ainslie assists me in my role as President with administrative tasks, including putting correspondence on letterhead and emailing it out.
Neither she nor Mr. Eberhart had any involvement in my communications with you or with the content of my letter.
Alberta College of Pharmacy
On the same date, I received two notifications from the ACP complaint department director, Mr. Jim Krempien, to inform me of his final decision to refer the two complaints submitted by Dr. Bakken and Mr. Eberhart to hear! I have to admit that I expected that, but I encourage everyone to read the reason and the language. It is evident that Mr. Eberhart runs small circles around him and abuses his power to amount more pressure on me! The ACP complaint department director ignored all the red flags and the concerns I raised. Moreover, she decided to join Mr. Eberhart’s circle of pressure. It seems that Mr. Krempien felt offended by my level of confidence and defensive attitude. He wanted me to be more apologetic and ask for forgiveness!
It is important to note that the report contains numerous errors and misinformation, such as PRO injection. The following is a link to the Health Canada website: https://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2019/70559a-eng.php.
It clearly shows that I am qualified to receive PRP treatment. First and foremost, PRP is a drug. Second, as a Pharmacist with an APA and an injection licence which is treating patients, I fall under the practitioner category (A “practitioner” is a person authorized by provincial or territorial laws to treat patients with prescription drugs in that province or territory. These are the only practitioners who can prepare and administer PRP. )
I want to state unequivocally that I have not received a copy of Ms. Mosher’s investigation report, which you relied on in making your decision.
Second, did you send me a registered mail copy of the letter dated Feb 7th (attached to the email)? Your email attachment from Feb 20th showed only two registered letters mailed to me on Feb 12th, based on which you made your decision. The letter dated Feb 7th is P.P. signed by someone else. On Feb 7th, I received a letter from Mr. Rajabali, the President of the ACP, dismissing my complaint against Mr. Eberhart. I’m curious if this is just a coincidence.
I’d also like to express my concern about the language change between the two letters dated February 7th and 12th (towards resolving this matter on Feb 7th, then escalating the complaint to hearing after only five days)
Furthermore, I want to clarify that your letters and reports did not address my concerns about the conflict of interest, red flags, or Mr. Eberhart’s personal involvement in this complaint proceeding.
Feb 24th, 2020
I received the following email from Mr. Jim Krempien.
Dear Dr. Al-Hallak,
Investigation reports: You will receive a copy of Ms. Mosher’s investigation reports from Shores Jardine LLP as part of the disclosure documents in advance of the hearing. I have copied David Jardine, legal counsel so that you or your legal counsel can contact him to arrange receipt of the disclosure documents.
Feb 7th, 2020 Status Update Letter for ACP Complaint File #7623:
Yes, this status update letter was sent to you via Canada Post registered mail. The Canada Post tracking number for the Feb 7th, 2020 letter is RN 391 239 604 CA”. It was sent separately from the Record of Decision letters that we sent on Feb 12th, 2020 via Canada Post registered mail. The Feb 7th, 2020 status update letter was drafted by me, but as I was out of the office on the day it was printed and mailed, I directed my assistant Lyne Daigle to print and sign it (on my behalf) and mail it. For your reference, the “P.P.” in front of Ms. Daigle’s signature refers to:
per procurationem: This term is taken from the Latin word procure, meaning “to take care of.” Now, when signing on someone else’s behalf, the signature is preceded by p.p. standing for per procurationem. The p.p. is a signal to the reader that someone signed the letter on behalf of another.
Note, from my perspective; there is no “language change” between my Feb 7th, 2020 status update letter and my Feb 12th, 2020 record of decision. The difference in content between the two documents is based on the fact that on Feb 7th, 2020 I was still in the process of reviewing the investigation file in ACP Complaint #7623 (and #7576). By Feb 12th, 2020 I had finished my review and decided to refer the matters to the hearings director to schedule a hearing.
Feb 7th, 2020 letter from Mr. Rajabali:
I have no knowledge of this letter, its contents or when/how it was sent.
My reply to Mr. Krempien at the ACP complaint department. Feb 24th, 2020
Thanks for your email, Mr. Krempien. Please cc all our communications to [email protected].
Please be aware that I am updating all our communications to the URL https://albanylaser.ca/221208-2/ with all supporting documentation and screenshots of all emails, including the ones we had in November 2018. In Oct 2018, we had a friendly 30-min phone call (you commented on my picture if you still recall that) about Albany Cosmetic and Laser Center and my entitlement to the “Dr.” title. These emails showed clearly that you personally inspected the website Albany Cosmetic and laser center and you have been aware of my practice in the cosmetic field since 2018 without any concerns. I have quite a few issues with your report from a legal and knowledge points of view, such as using my personal characters and the use of PRP https://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2019/70559a-eng.php as it is quite clear that “PRP” falls within the “drug” definition. And I am under the “Practitioner” since I have APA and injection permit. All these issues are explicitly discussed in the abovementioned URL and will be during the hearing.
As for the letter sent on Feb 7th, 2020, I am fully aware of the P.P meaning, whoever I was questioning the time, and the purpose of the letter served! Was it sent as a response to Mr. Eberhart’s requisition for an update on the status of his complaint against me #7623
What would such a letter add to the investigation if you were only two business days from taking a final decision to refer me to a hearing, special since you were out of the office the day the letter was sent?
Mr. Jardine, I am still contemplating hiring a legal representative; however, I did not officially hire anyone yet. Until otherwise informed, please communicate with me at my residential address as registered by the College or via this email.
I will ask an officer from the Ombudsman’s office to attend all scheduled hearings if all parties agree on that.
Feb 28th, 2020
I sent the following email to the hearing director.
I will seek multiple legal consultations regarding the coming two hearings; however, I decided to represent myself during the official hearing. Therefore, please direct all communication in this regard to my residential address or [email protected]
Regarding the date of the hearings, it depends on the timely manner that I receive the following items from the ACP and their legal representation. I requested some of this information from ACPmultiple times, but none of my requests were taken seriously:
1- The inspection report of Jennifer Mosher
2- Record of the APhA bylaws between 1990 and 2000.
3- Information about Mr. Stanowich’s inspection preparation and process, specifically the meetings and communications with the ACP registrar before, during, and after the inspection. The requested information includes dates, duration, and decisions taken. One important piece of information is who took the decision to inspect Health Aid Pharmacy, Westwood Pharmacy and Albany Cosmetic and laser center. I would also like to know if the ACP registrar communicated with Mr. Stanowich specifically between Mar 15th and Mar 20th 2019.
4- Information about Mr. Stanowich, the field officer who led the inspection, including:
a. Previous training that qualifies him to inspect my cosmetic injection practice at Albany Cosmetic and laser center.
b. Ongoing training and education on crucial points such as fairness, neutrality and power abuse.
c. Statistical indicators about his performance in the last two years. Specifically, the percentage of the cases he was involved in and turned into hearing or disciplinary actions.
5- Information about personal or professional acquaintance between Mr. Eberhart and Dr. Bakken. Moreover, if the ACP complaint department took my request seriously to investigate the timing and coincidence between the two complaints.
6- The purpose of sending another ACP member with the special investigator Jennifer Mosher. I would like to know more about her roles and training as well.
7- Information about all communication (email and phone calls) and meetings between Mr. Eberhart and other ACP staff regarding his complaint. That includes:
a. Who asked Ms. Mosher to investigate the discounts at Albany Cosmetic and laser center
b. Ms. Mosher kept coming back with new issues and new questions, and she used the term (I was asked to investigate this or that). Who was the source of these ongoing new concerns and issues
c? The purpose of the Feb 7th letter sent by the ACP complaint department
d. Involvement of Leslie Ainslie in the communication between the ACP president and myself, and my complaint against Mr. Eberhart
e. Information the Registrar has about my official complaint against him for oppression and power abuse.
8- Minutes of all the council meetings that led to the renomination of Mr. Eberhart as ACP registrar.
9- Steps are taken by the ACP complaint department to ensure that they handled the complaint in a neutral manner since the complaint is the ACP registrar.
The before-mentioned information is important to be able to present me in front of the hearing turbinal.
Feb 29th, 2020
I sent the following email to the Ombudsman office, Margret Morely (Hearing director at Alberta College of Pharmacy), James Krempien (Director of Complaint department at the ACP) and David Jardine (legal counsel of ACP)
Dear all, my legal counsel asked me to request all the communication between Mr. Stanwoich and the ACP complaint department regarding me personally and both complaints, the subject of the hearings. I would also like to make the following communication available to the ACP. It is an email between one of my staff at Albany Cosmetic and laser center and Dr. Rao’s staff. This is proof that Dr. Rao is selling cosmetic fillers and Botox directly from his clinic, which is illegal (as far as I know). This shows the difference between my organized practice, in which I have a legal account for Albany with all pharmaceutical distributors, such as Allergan and Galderma, and other health practitioners (pharmacists, nurses and physicians) as they buy their materials from other clinics. Famous dermatologists have been selling cosmetics injectors and working as virtual prescribers (for fees) for years (I mentioned that to Jennifer Mosher). Yet ACP chose the leave all these issues behind, that concern public safety, such as unlicensed online Pharmacy, and keep investigating me for having reputable and organized cosmetic practice as a pharmacist.
Mar 2nd, 2020
Mr. Jardine’s office gave me a folder. It included Ms. Mosher’s report from her visit to the Albany Cosmetic and Laser Center. When I saw the report, I was extremely disappointed. I was almost certain that her report would bring the investigation to a close and provide an accurate picture of my practice. I was open and cooperative during her visit, and I answered all of her questions honestly. She, on the other hand, decided to focus on my personality rather than my practice! Ms. Mosher appeared to understand my position when I discussed all of the issues with her during her visit. She stated that her visit is to direct me on what I can do and what I must refrain from doing! Any question or concern I express about the ACP staff and practice appears to be regarded as imprudent and impolite.
Mar 4th, 2020
I do believe that as an almost 10-year-staff and being a current subcontractor with ACP through her company, State of Control INC, Jennifer Mosher has a conflict of interest and would not be able to write a fair report even if she wanted to.