Amber Roberts awarded SHPA Medal of Merit

Amber Roberts' SHPA medal

The SHPA Medal of Merit for 2015 has been presented to Amber Roberts, during Medicines Management 2015, the SHPA National Conference.

The SHPA Medal of Merit is awarded by SHPA’s Federal Council to recognise outstanding recent contribution and exemplary effort relating to hospital pharmacy practice.

This award recognises Roberts’ substantial contributions that have changed the way pharmacy is practised in Tasmania’s hospitals, her advocacy for patient care and patient safety and her commitment to SHPA.

Roberts was an SHPA Federal Councillor from 2005 to 2013 during which time she served as Federal Vice-President and 4th Executive Councillor. She was co-convenor of Medicines Management 2011,  and was a member of the editorial committee for the fifth edition of the Australian Injectable Drugs Handbook.

Roberts has represented pharmacy in a range of national settings – as a member of the Highly Specialised Drugs Working Party, Medicare Australia Stakeholder Consultative Group and Clinical Advisory Committee of the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority.

Since 2008 and until May this year, Roberts was the Director Medication Strategy and Reform at the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services. In this role Roberts:

  • transformed clinical pharmacy practice in Tasmania’s hospitals through the implementation of electronic clinical pharmacy software tool;
  • commissioned the business case for pharmaceutical reform in Tasmanian hospitals which resulted in the largest ever increase in the clinical pharmacy workforce in Tasmania, with the addition of 27 FTE pharmacists;
  • introduced Australia’s first statewide hospital pharmacy model which has delivered significant benefits;
  • commissioned the development of statewide medication safety policies and processes;
  • raised the profile of and achieved significant recognition for hospital pharmacy;
  • coordinated funding for statewide roll out of the shpaclinCAT program;
  • oversaw implementation of a new dispensing system across Tasmania to enable the introduction of PBS into public hospitals; and
  • was a key contributor in Tasmania’s Statewide Electronic Formulary project.

Roberts champions hospital pharmacy and medication safety by building trust and rapport and demonstrating the evidence behind her case, says SHPA.

She is able to convince stakeholders who are dismissive of hospital pharmacy and medication safety that these important aspects of the health system should not be overlooked.

SHPA President Professor Michael Dooley presented Roberts’ award and said, “Amber is widely admired and respected in Tasmania and nationally for her efforts to improve the delivery of hospital pharmacy services in that state and as long-standing contributor as a senior member of the Tasmanian Department of Health.

“The skills and experience that Amber has contributed during her longstanding involvement in and commitment to SHPA has benefited the organisation and its members immensely.

“On behalf of SHPA, I congratulate Amber for her achievements and contribution to SHPA and to the pharmacy profession. She is a worthy recipient of the SHPA Medal of Merit.

Roberts said she was honoured to receive the award.

“The SHPA membership and especially my colleagues in Tasmania are a constant source of encouragement and inspiration. To be recognised by those for whom I have such great respect is very special indeed.”

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