In Memoriam Tribute to Orest Buchko

The Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP), and the pharmacy world at large, has lost a long-time member, volunteer, and professional leader. Orest Buchko passed away suddenly at the age of 89 on April 9, 2019. He was committed and passionate in his work and made tremendous contributions to hospital pharmacy practice throughout his career.  

Orest received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan in 1955. He worked at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon and served as Director of Pharmacy from 1963—1990. It was under his direction that the first hospital-wide decentralized unit dose system was established and many other unique innovations were implemented during that period. He was also instrumental in establishing and leading the hospital pharmacy residency program as well as serving as Clinical Assistant Professor of Pharmacy at the College for over twenty years.

Orest was President of CSHP’s Saskatchewan Branch from 1963—1964 and was the National President of CSHP in 1967. In addition to receiving the CSHP Ortho Award (now Distinguished Service Award) in 1976, he is also an Honorary Member of CSHP. He served as Business Manager and as an associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy from 1961—1981. Orest served as the CSHP Saskatchewan Branch representative on the Council of the Saskatchewan Pharmaceutical Association for many years, and he is an Honorary Life Member of the Saskatchewan Pharmaceutical Association (now Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals). In 1991, the Saskatchewan Branch established the Orest Buchko Award in his honour. It is given to an outstanding graduating student of the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition who is pursuing a career in hospital pharmacy.

Orest was a remarkable individual with an incredible career. He was also an active member of his community, volunteering many hours to his church and was involved in its music ministry. He had a lifelong love of music and played guitar with many bands over the years including the Placebos, Rhythm Serenaders, Heavenly Hash, and more recently, the Saskatoon Jammers, a local seniors group that played for many senior citizen homes. He loved to travel and the outdoors and was an adoring grandfather. His devotion, kindness, and generosity will be missed by everyone whose life he touched.

The digital guestbook can be signed in Orest’s obituary at: