Canberra pharmacist Brad Butt has been named the Australian Patients Association’s inaugural Most Outstanding Community Pharmacist of the Year at its annual awards night in Melbourne
Mr Butt, from Cooleman Court Pharmacy in Weston, ACT, was nominated by members of the public for the award, which was sponsored by the Pharmacy Guild.
The new award recognises the increasingly important contribution community pharmacists make in helping improve health outcomes for patients, and identifies leaders in the industry.
The Guild congratulated Mr Butt and Acting National President Trent Twomey said the work he does at his pharmacy is characteristic of the changing nature of community pharmacy.
“His commitment to the delivery of professional services and to making his pharmacy a community health hub show where the future of community pharmacy lies,” Mr Twomey said.
“He is a great example for all pharmacies and this award reflects just how much patients and consumers recognise the importance of these services.”
Victorian State President of the Guild Anthony Tassone presented the award and said it highlighted the critical role pharmacists play in the community.
“This award is important because it aligns so closely with the work community pharmacists across the whole country undertake every day,” Mr Tassone said.
“ Patients and consumers have great faith in their pharmacists, with the result being that we are consistently ranked along with nurses near the top of the most trusted profession lists.
“On top of that, public opinion surveys have consistently shown that 95% of patients are satisfied with their community pharmacy.”
Guild ACT Branch Director Margaret Beerworth said it is great to see an ACT pharmacist receive such national recognition.
“Brad Butt and the Cooleman Court Pharmacy team are leading the way in providing a range of services and demonstrating the great results that can be achieved when community pharmacists are given scope to better utilise their skills and knowledge,” Ms Beerworth said.
In a statement, Mr Butt said he was passionate about delivering high-quality, hands-on healthcare to the local Weston Creek community.
“We take the time to ensure our patients are best-equipped to not only manage their medication but their health more generally. Being a pharmacist is so much more than medication supply,” Mr Butt said.
“We take a holistic approach to healthcare as other issues like smoking cessation, weight loss, healthy eating, alcohol intake and exercise have a huge effect on health and wellbeing.
“We also work with a range of other health professionals to help bridge the gap that often exists between patients, doctors and allied healthcare practitioners.”
Mr Butt said the team at Cooleman Court Pharmacy was dedicated to supporting patients by providing access to a knowledgeable and passionate pharmacist.
“Often this happens beyond the four walls of the pharmacy. Pharmacists are often out and about at local sporting events, nursing homes, childcare centres and charity support groups to discuss health related issues,” he said.
One aspect driving the success of the Cooleman pharmacy beyond primary healthcare delivery was that pharmacists like Mr Butt got to know and show a genuine care and empathy for their patients; from a celebration of longevity, long marriage or a successful operation.
“We ride the highs and lows with the patient and their families,” he said.
Mr Butt is also passionate about assisting men and their partners deal with a range of urological and prostate issues and in 2013 he founded the Men’s Health Downunder service, a pharmacy-delivered clinic service based in Weston, to deal with this issue. The program, although based in Canberra, reaches patients in all metropolitan centres as well as regional and remote Australia.
He said with more 18,000 cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in Australia in just 2014 and affecting one in seven men before the age of 85, prostate cancer had to be a priority area within the Men’s Health space. It’s estimated erectile dysfunction affects over one million men across the country with ramifications which can be wide-reaching and disabling.
“We’re very grateful to the Australian Patients Association for this award and hope that by accepting this award we can inspire other community pharmacists to enhance services to their patients beyond medication supply.”