‘It’s been such a massive year for everyone.’


Pharmacy Guild national executive director Suzanne Greenwood, Member for Bean David Smith, Capital Chemist Chisholm managing partner Rebecca Young and ACT Guild branch president Simon Blacker.
Pharmacy Guild national executive director Suzanne Greenwood, Member for Bean David Smith, Capital Chemist Chisholm managing partner Rebecca Young and ACT Guild branch president Simon Blacker.

It’s been a long wait thanks to the pandemic, but Australia’s top pharmacy for 2020 has finally been presented with its award

Member for Bean David Smith formally presented Rebecca Young, managing partner of the Capital Chemist Chisholm, and her team with the Pharmacy of the Year trophy on Friday morning at the store, in front of an audience of industry members and excited patients.

Guild ACT Branch President Simon Blacker noted that the award is normally presented in March at the APP Conference on the Gold Coast, but that the presentation had been delayed this year due to COVID-19.

“There’s a nice touch to today in that it’s being conducted at Capital Chemist Chisholm, in front of people to whom it matters, those that are involved and those that actually use the pharmacy for their local health needs,” Mr Blacker said, highlighting the many challenges faced by all pharmacies this year.

“So it’s a really pleasing little change.”

He said that, “Pharmacies like Capital Chemist Chisholm, when the fires and the smoke rolled in in January and when COVID hit in March, Capital Chemist Chisholm, along with every pharmacy in Australia, was there ready to support the health of their local community and to provide services.

“Certainly, when there is a COVID vaccine, I’m sure that Capital Chemist Chisholm will be there along with a lot of other pharmacies to help when and how they can.”

Mr Smith told the audience that, “I have to own up and one of the reasons I didn’t get the flu last year was because I got jabbed here!

“I was fortunate to firsthand experience the amazing way this pharmacy operates,” he said.

“This year, so much has been thrown at community pharmacy, whether it be the bushfire season, the extraordinary challenges we had with smoke pollution here in Canberra and particularly in the Tuggeranong Valley; we then had to deal with a mad hailstorm and then of course with the pandemic hitting.

“The efforts of community pharmacies like Rebecca’s right across the Capital group of pharmacies and across community pharmacy in the ACT has been nothing short of extraordinary.

“The way pharmacies adapted so quickly to all the challenges, whether it was getting sufficient PPE in, and all the challenges between the bushfire season and the pandemic, the way that you could make customers feel safe here in such a difficult environment and the way you dealt with challenges in terms of stock as well.”

Of the pharmacy winning the award, Mr Smith said that, “It’s not a small thing”.

“You’re talking about thousands of pharmacies across Australia, and we’re talking about possibly the most challenging year for community health care… so to actually be the winner here is I think an amazing thing.”

Ms Young thanked the Guild, sponsor Care Pharmaceuticals, her “amazing” team who she said each contributed in their own way— and some of whom have been with the pharmacy for eight years or more— the Chisholm community, Capital Chemist head office and fellow owners, her family, and industry mentors and suppliers.

She said she had been at the pharmacy for eleven and a half years, and seen a number of significant changes over that time, including the recent big refit which saw the pharmacy put in consulting rooms and automation, and increase its floor space.

“Our commitment has always been to provide best health outcomes for our patients and we want to continue to be at the forefront of community pharmacy,” Ms Young said.

“Whilst we may have picked up a few trophies recently I am not one to relax and I can assure you that we will continue to make changes and be the best that we can be.

“We’ve got lots of gorgeous customers who we’ve had the opportunity to look after for many years, and some of them have been coming to the pharmacy since it opened over 30 years ago which I think is very special.

“It’s been such a massive year for everyone,” she said, after thanking her team.

“You’ve all worked tirelessly to help our patients and our community stay healthy and safe. We had the bushfires, we had a massive seven-week refit with expansion which we worked through, and then on the back of that we’ve had the COVID-19 pandemic, so it just really hasn’t stopped.

“I do hope that in 2021, we can actually just take a moment to enjoy it and continue to just look after our patients and our community but without the added pressure that we’ve had this year.

“I’ve said a lot of thank yous, but there’s been a lot of hard work that’s gone into getting here today, and I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.”

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