‘It’s a win for the team.’

Josh Lee. Image: Pharmacy Guild/Supplied.

Josh Lee from Armidale wins this year’s Most Outstanding Community Pharmacist award

Josh Lee, Pharmacist in Charge at Mountview Pharmacy in Armidale, NSW, has been recognised with the Most Outstanding Community Pharmacist award by the Australian Patients Association (APA).

The award recognises the integral role that community pharmacists play in the delivery of primary care to Australians.

Mr Lee said the award came as a big surprise, and although some patients had said they had nominated him for something, he had no idea what it was.

“Are you kidding me? Don’t nominate me for an award. But they said they had already nominated me,” he said.

“It’s as much a win for the team as it is for myself since I mostly just take all the credit for all the hard work that the pharmacy assistants do.

“The award is great and all but what it really means is that the patients are happy which is what’s really important.

“I guess my approach to my patients is that I take my conversations to their level, and I talk with them, not at them. I try my best to foster understanding both ways,” said Mr Lee.

I became a pharmacist in 2016 and I remember well the times when I didn’t know anything about medicines and so I understand where my patients are coming from.

“My aim is to help people understand about their medications and if they know why they are taking certain medications, they are more likely to take them correctly and obtain better health outcomes.

“I try to simplify the message, talk things through and ensure compliance with their medicine regimens.”

APA Chief Executive Stephen Mason said the award was initiated after feedback from its members and supporters.

This led to the creation of the award to recognise the role community pharmacists play in educating patients about medication use, providing basic health checks and ensuring patient continuity of care, especially for the elderly and chronically ill.

The APA recognises that the broadening of services that community pharmacists provide not only suits many patients who are time poor, but also takes pressure off overworked GPs and potentially saves the health system millions of dollars a year, given many visits to GPs are for often basic health checks or repeat prescriptions for medications.

As a result, the APA decided it was important to highlight and recognise pharmacists who are providing a benchmark of care and service that patients and the community expect.

Criteria for the Most Outstanding Community Pharmacist award include that the pharmacist has excellent pharmacy and medication dispensation skills; is readily available and easy to contact; is caring, sincere and empathetic; has strong interpersonal skills; and is well respected with a good reputation.

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