Karalyn Huxhagen takes out QUM pain management award


Karalyn Huxhagen, head and shoulders shot

Group Facilitator of the Mackay Pain Support Group, Karalyn Huxhagen, has been announced as the winner of the 2015 PSA Award for Quality Use of Medicines in Pain Management.

Huxhagen was 2010 Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Pharmacist of the Year and is a regular contributor to ajp.com.au.

Announcing the Mundipharma-sponsored award, PSA National President and one of the judges of the award, Grant Kardachi, said Ms Huxhagen stood out for her work of integrating care across the health team and targeting patient self management.

“Having this leadership role in the Mackay Pain Support Group is also great recognition for her respect and skill broadly,” Kardachi says.

“Ms Huxhagen’s approach and the work she is undertaking are models for the future of pain management and further utilising the skills of pharmacists in ensuring consumers are using their medicines optimally.

“She is innovative and her approach shows the impact that pharmacists can have in this crucial area.”

Kardachi says Huxhagen’s support group meets once a month and currently has 355 members.

“Ms Huxhagen arranges a variety of speakers each month to present to the group on various ways to assist them to live with pain,” Kardachi says.

“For example, she organises sessions on mindfulness, tai chi, water aerobics, as well as medications and pain.

“In addition she has developed a network of practitioners who refer patients to the support group as they have identified that these patients need to interact with other patients to enable them to adjust to living with pain.

“She also works with consumers in the pharmacy and through HMRs to empower them to manage their pain more effectively. Her interaction with carers helps guide them about ways to provide non pharmacological support as well as introduce the concept of using services such as psychologists to assist with pain management.”

Jane Orr from Mundipharma said: “The judges were impressed by the quality of entries this year which is fantastic news.

“Commitment and dedication to pain management is something that we, as an industry, need to support and encourage. This award is one way of doing so, and we congratulate Karalyn Huxhagen on her win.”

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