The patient safety community is mourning
the loss of Steve Long of Calgary, Alberta, who passed away on July 24, 2019
from complications of lung cancer.
Steve graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy with
the University of Alberta class of 1981. He went on to receive his MBA from the
University of Calgary in 1990 and became the Director of Pharmacy at the
Rockyview Hospital in 1995; he then worked in leadership roles with the Calgary
District Hospital Group and the Calgary Health Region. In 2008, he joined
Alberta Health as an Executive Director with responsibility for the Alberta
Drug Benefit Program. For the past six years, Steve has worked as a consultant,
providing thought leadership and public policy recommendations to his clients across the country. In June 2019, Steve received an Honorary Life
Membership from the Alberta College of Pharmacy for his commitment and
contribution to pharmacy throughout his career. He was a proud pharmacist and a
champion for improved drug therapy for patients and advancement of pharmacist
and technician practice.
Steve is also credited for promoting a culture of safety and
increased awareness of risks and medication incidents. He became an
advocate for secondary victims of harmful events after a pharmacy at
Calgary's Foothills Hospital mistakenly prepared dialysis solutions with
potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride. Long was the director in charge
of that pharmacy at the time. He then joined forces with another victim of that
tragedy, Deborah Prowse, a member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada, and
the two have appeared together regularly, speaking with great candour so that
others could learn from their shared painful experience. Steve’s resolve for
transparency and openness has helped secondary victims go from harm to healing.
A copy of their video is available.
Our sincere condolences are extended to Steve’s wife, Dale,
son Fraser and daughter Kirsten. Steve will be missed by his community and by
all those whose life he touched.