Victoria Hospital Foundation joins forces with P.A. Pharmacy to offer memorial scholarship

Dr. Mohammad Hussain received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. (Victoria Hospital Foundation/Submitted)

The Victoria Hospital Foundation (VHF) has announced the owners of P.A. Pharmacy as its title sponsors for a new scholarship in honour of the late Dr. Mohammad Hussain.

The Dr. M.Z. Hussain Memorial Scholarship Program is divided into several grants that add up to $10,000, according to VHF CEO Sherry Buckler.

The scholarship contains grants for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and allied health professionals in the health care region. One grant, however, is dedicated to those in the mental health unit.

“If you look back at Dr. Hussain’s history in our health region and the impact that he made on so many young people who are struggling with mental health, it’s a legacy, really,” said Buckler.

“It was our way of honouring his memory in partnership with the Ali family from P.A. Pharmacy.”

Hussain was 79 years old when he passed away in October 2019 from a heart attack, leaving a gap in the city’s psychiatric services.

A VHF news release said Hussain and his family were strong believers in education, so it only felt fitting to award scholarship money to health care professionals looking to advance their skills.

“This is not something we’ve ever done before, but we felt it was time that our foundation moved forward in investing in our great, amazing staff just as much as we invest in equipment,” said Buckler.

P.A. Pharmacy owner Rizwan Ali agreed that while new and updated equipment is crucial, it’s also important that the people operating it are well-versed in new developments.

As a pharmacist himself, Ali said it can be difficult to pay education fees.

“As much as I can be able do for this community, I’m going to try my best. This opportunity came in front of me and he just recently passed away,” he said.

Ali said he worked next to Dr. Hussain’s clinic.

“Dr. Hussain had such a wonderful personality. When I was working beside his office…that created more respect in my heart for him.”

“We’re grateful to the Ali family for making this possible,” added Buckler.

She said there have been applicants already.

Anyone interested in applying can contact the VHF at (306) 765-6105 for more details. The deadline to apply is Mar. 31.