Dorothy Louise Smith

dorothy smith
Dorothy Louise Smith, 76, died on November 7, 2022, after leading an exceptional life in service to others. She was a dual citizen of Canada and the United States and had a brilliant career as a pharmacist and consumer health information expert.

Dorothy was born in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, on April 29, 1946, and, with her sister Darlene and parents Edna Libby Smith and Edward William Smith, lived in Saskatoon, Canada in her early years. She pursued her first degree in pharmacy at the University of Saskatchewan and then earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Cincinnati.

Dorothy began her illustrious career in Canada where she was involved in pioneering work in the field of clinical pharmacy at the schools of pharmacy at the University of Alberta, University of British Columbia and University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Medical Centre in Toronto. Dorothy had a passion for helping consumers understand information about their medications and health and this drove Dorothy’s entire career. Dorothy’s means to address this need began early in her career while in Toronto by authoring her first book, Medication Guide for Patient Counseling, to aid health professionals and patients to collaborate about medication use.

In 1980, Dorothy moved to the USA and joined the staff of the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) in Washington, DC, where she co-edited early editions of the Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. Upon leaving APhA, Dorothy established her company, the Consumer Health Information Corporation, and built it to become an authoritative contributor that empowered consumers with the information they needed to use medications safely to prevent and treat a wide range of health conditions. Through her dedicated work Dorothy gained an international reputation as an author, patient advocate, clinical educator and as an expert in health literacy, plain language, patient counseling and medication adherence. She passed on these skills to pharmacy students by maintaining agreements with over 40 colleges and schools of pharmacy and teaching their students on rotations at her company. She was asked by organizations around the world to present to a wide range of health professionals and consumers regarding health literacy and the most safe and effective management of prescription and nonprescription medications. Her work was widely recognized and won awards, including the APhA Foundation’s Pinnacle Award in 2010. She was named Honorary President of APhA and a fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

Dorothy had zest for life, hers and everyone she knew. She was adventurous, fun-loving and game to try anything new. She played golf and tennis, was an organist and played the piano. She hosted many gourmet dinners in her home. Dorothy cared more about others than herself, putting their needs ahead of hers. This was especially evident as she cared for her ageing mother.

Dorothy was predeceased by her parents. She is survived by her sister, Darlene Elliott and her children and other extended family members. Her service dog and faithful companion, Nipper, brought joy to her life and was with her at the end. Nipper has a new home and loving family thanks to Rose Ellen and her husband.

Throughout her life, Dorothy cultivated many special friendships in Canada and the USA, and these were especially important in her later years and throughout her experience with cancer.

A memorial service will be conducted via Zoom on Thursday, November 17th at 3 pm Eastern Time. Pastor Daniel Albrant will preside (see Zoom link below). A service will be held in Canada at a time to be determined. Dorothy will be interred with her mother in the Libby family plot in Regina, Canada.

Memorial contributions can be directed to the School of Pharmacy at the University of Saskatchewan or to a charity of your choice in her name. The School’s address is 2A20.01 Health Sciences, 107 Wiggins Rd, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5E5 or donate on line via this link (

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  1. Dorothy you were like a sister to me. Your mom took me under her wing.
    We had so much fun growing up and shared so many adventures in our time together. You will always be in my heart. God bless you.

  2. When I was Executive Director of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Association (1989-2013) I often met Dorothy in Canada or the US. She was proud of her Saskatchewan roots and was always an inspiration. Dorothy was always interested in developments in Canadian pharmacy and provided many useful insights that helped shape thinking on the development of an extended role for pharmacists. I’m sure she was delighted to see many of the roles aspired to by the pioneers of clinical pharmacy come to fruition. Her work on patient education made an important contribution to those developments.

  3. A good person has stopped beating, a good soul soared to heaven. We part with our beloved Dorothy in pain. – RIP
    Rest in peace, my friend.

    You were a blessing in our lives and will continue to bless us from above.
    May God’s hands find you with a gentle touch to guide you home.

    I will miss your late night calls and text.
    I LOVE YOU.!!!

    Nipper sending his love and misses you..

  4. When I was a pharmacy student at the University of Saskatchewan, patient counselling was a new and important skill to learn, and I heard about Dorothy Smith’s work in this area. As a resident at University Hospital in Saskatoon (76-77), I asked my preceptor (Betty Riddell) if I could go to Toronto and spend time with Dorothy Smith. A highlight of my residency was spending time at Sunnybrook Hospital with Dorothy and other staff to see and practice the incorporation of medication counselling into the dispensing routine for every patient. Dorothy’s leadership in medication and health information has made a huge impact in our profession and in patient care.
    My condolences to her family, Della Croteau BSP 76

  5. I am very deeply saddened by the unfortunate passing of Dr. Dorothy L. Smith. She had been a colleague and dear friend for over 48 years. I will always fondly remember the special times my family and I shared when working together on some of her manuscripts before they were published, especially Medication Guide for Patient Counselling, and subsequently celebrating many of her remarkable accomplishments! The Pharmaceutical and Medical Communities worldwide, along with many universities in Canada and the USA, as well as affiliated medical centres have truly lost an exceptionally devoted researcher and the amazing collective knowledge and wisdom of a person who was incredibly accomplished and very wise. Dorothy was a faith filled humanitarian who had taught thousands of students as a Full Professor as well as in her role as Professor Emeritus. She was an outstanding Canadian Centennial Scholar, accomplished author, and inspirational public speaker who supported many students through their residency rotations. Dr. Dorothy Louise Smith will be very greatly missed by all who knew her.

    My very deepest sympathy to her family, friends and colleagues.
    Diana Petre

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