Leading the way

Leader of Health Destination Pharmacy wins 2016 Innovative Pharmacist of the Year

Dr Alison Roberts has been named as the AstraZeneca 2016 UTS Innovative Pharmacist of the Year for her role in heading up PSAs Health Destination Pharmacy program.

Dr Roberts, the Executive Director – Policy, Advocacy & Innovation of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, was announced as the winner at an awards dinner hosted by the UTS Graduate School of Health.

She was recognised for her work leading the new Health Destination Pharmacy initiative, an evidence-based change and implementation program that supports pharmacies to better engage with consumers.

“We have a sector that is heavily reliant on PBS and volume-based remuneration, which we know is declining. What we want to see is a much more viable community pharmacy network that is tapping into a more diverse range of funding and is focused on meeting consumer needs,” Dr Roberts says.

Speaking at the event she said “leading an initiative like Health Destination pharmacy has been incredibly rewarding. I am truly fortunate to be part of an organisation like the PSA that cares for people and its members.”

The Health Destination team helps participating pharmacies develop more targeted professional services that respond to the health needs of the local community.

“Once a pharmacy is enrolled in the program, they are provided with a workflow efficiency and pharmacist engagement assessment, and a local area and gap analysis that looks at who’s in the local community and what services the pharmacy is delivering to meet those needs,” Dr Roberts says.

Health Destination business coaches then work with pharmacists and their teams to deliver a more comprehensive, client-focused approach to service provision, which has been proven to translate into improved profitability.

The Health Destination program is now in a scale-up phase and is already in 25 pharmacies across Australia, with plans for future expansion.

Warwick Plunkett, Chair of UTS Pharmacy Industry Advisory Board, said: “We see this as a very significant innovation for community pharmacy. This is the first time we have seen the development of a program which includes facilitation, training, in-store support and the individualisation of what each pharmacy does in terms of the services they provide – and importantly, how the pharmacy changes their staffing models to enable new practices,” he says.

“That stood out for us in terms of the selection of Alison as the winner.”

Applications for the 2016 award received more than double the number received last year, indicating a growing recognition of its prestige across the pharmacy sector.

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