Health leaders recognised

Dr Jeannette Young, Dr Lisa Nissen and Nicole Floyd

Pharmacist researcher, Queensland CHO and policy expert honoured with awards from Pharmacy Guild Qld branch at reception attended by Premier, Opposition leader

Leaders in the health field have been recognised during an annual reception held by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s Queensland Branch at Brisbane’s Parliament House on Wednesday.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young, leading pharmacist researcher Dr Lisa Nissen and Guild senior manager Nicole Floyd were each presented with the “prestigious” Queensland Branch President’s Award in recognition of their efforts over the past 12 months.

“All three of this year’s recipients were incredibly deserving of recognition,” said the Guild Queensland Branch President, Chris Owen.

He described Dr Young as a “national standout … providing critical advice on how Queensland should respond during the pandemic and local outbreaks”.

“Her selfless efforts have meant that we have weathered this storm better than many other states in Australia and almost certainly have put us out in front of the pack internationally. We owe a great deal of gratitude for Dr Young, and this Award is just a small step in formalising this,” said Mr Owen.

On receipt of the award, Dr Young said: “This means so much to be recognised by my health colleagues. I’ve worked with the Pharmacy Guild and with pharmacists since I started in the [CHO] role. I asked [Queensland] community pharmacy to be able to deliver COVID vaccines, and they’ve done it. They’ve really and truly done it.”

Dr Lisa Nissen, Professor and Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at the Queensland University of Technology, was recognised for her role contributing to the state’s urinary tract infection pharmacy pilot, the COVID-19 and vaccination space, as well as increasing scope of practice for pharmacy.

“Dr Nissen received the award for her efforts in successfully guiding the State Government’s UTIPP- Q initiative – the Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot – Queensland, to advance women’s healthcare,” said Mr Owen.

Dr Nissen told the AJP: “I was very surprised and humbled to have been acknowledged with the award. Particularly with others who have made such significant contributions, like the CHO and Nicole to initiatives like vaccination for QLD and Australia.

“Working with the Pharmacy Guild and the other professional groups in Queensland collaboratively to move the profession forward has been one of the true highlights of my personal and professional career.

“We have so much more we can contribute to the health system and have been fortunate to have support from people like the CHO and the government in Queensland to show how we can do that!

“I would like to thank the Guild for the honour and support for the profession.”

Award winner Nicole Floyd, Senior Manager in Business Support, Programs & Policy at the Pharmacy Guild’s Queensland branch, has over 22 years’ experience in community pharmacy, Mr Owen pointed out.

“Nicole is being recognised for regularly giving back to the profession by mentoring pharmacist interns, early career pharmacists and young Guild staff. Nicole has assisted extensively with graduate exams and pharmacist interns while fostering a supportive workplace culture,” he said.

“Nicole is also spearheading the Guild’s involvement in the Government commitment of a trial in Far North Queensland of pharmacists practising to full scope like in the UK, NZ and parts of Canada. Her important policy work is detailed, heavy and critical for the future of the profession.”

Ms Floyd told the AJP: “I’m very honoured to be recognised, especially alongside Dr Jeannette Young and Professor Lisa Nissen who are amazing and inspirational leaders.  It has been a privilege working for the Guild over the last 10 years and seeing firsthand how much it supports the industry to advance pharmacy practice.

“I consider myself fortunate to have worked on the Queensland Pharmacists Immunisation Pilot (QPIP) and the Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot Queensland (UTIPPQ) and look forward to working on a trial of pharmacists practising to their full scope.”

The Parliamentary Reception was attended by top politicians including Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk; Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Steven Miles; Minister of Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath; and Opposition Leader David Crisafulli.

Mr Owen said he was thrilled the Guild was able to bring everyone together for the evening.

“The Parliamentary Reception comes at a time of great opportunity for Queensland,” he said.

“We’ve all been through so much with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but thanks to the combined efforts of many, it feels like we’ve turned a corner and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“Here in Queensland, we were the first community pharmacies in Australia to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines. There are now over 800 community pharmacies involved in the COVID-19 vaccination program, and combined, they have administered more than 152,000 vaccines to Queenslanders in the rollout; what a phenomenal achievement!” said Mr Owen.

“Community pharmacy has demonstrated the critical part it plays in providing primary healthcare services in Queensland. We look forward to working with all sides of Parliament to ensure pharmacies in Queensland have the opportunity to deliver the full scope of practice from Texas to the Torres Strait.”

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