Tasmanians clean up in awards

award winner

Members, fellows, hospital pharmacists and technicians from across the country tuned in as the SHPA hosted a celebratory and all-virtual 2020 Virtual Congress (VCON) last weekend

SHPA President Peter Fowler’s welcome urged delegates to “follow your passions and explore something new” across the program.

Orations were delivered by 2020 Fred J Boyd Award recipient Professor Jeff Hughes, 2020 SHPA Medal of Merit recipient Vaughn Eaton and 2020 Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award recipient Dr Erica Tong.

Local VCON viewing sites were organised in Brisbane, Canberra and Perth, as numerous sessions reflected on the challenges of 2020, lessons learnt amid the coronavirus pandemic and how the profession can harness national focus on medication safety and aged care to improve patient care in all settings.

In the closing session, Branko Radojkovic, Courtney Munro, John Coutsouvelis and Tom Chynoweth were inducted as SHPA Fellows, while SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels revealed the winners of the 2020 SHPA Members’ Awards, determined by member vote, with all 2020 Branch Award recipients as nominees.

Phil Tibbits (Tas Branch) was announced as 2020 SHPA Early Career Pharmacist of the Year, recognised for outstanding leadership demonstrated in managing a clinical service leading up to, and during the COVID19 outbreak.

The nominees were Racha Dabliz (NSW), Adam Livori (Vic), Samantha Pringle (ACT) and Claire Kendrick (WA).

Fellow Tasmanian Liza D’Ettorre won 2020 SHPA Technician of the Year, with her work in the procurement, storage, distribution and reporting of medicines recognised as crucial in a year where medicines supply and distribution has been paramount. The nominees were Julia Tisdall (Qld) and Tara Clayson-Fisher (SA/NT).

The 2020 SHPA Hospital Team Innovation of the Year honour went to the Western Australia Country Health Service (WACHS) Telechemotherapy Cancer Team.

The team were recognised for overcoming significant – and often complex – barriers to delivering chemotherapy services to the Kimberley, Pilbara and Wheatbelt regions of WA this year.

These included a lack of appropriately trained staff, medical governance issues, medication supply challenges, as well as a range of COVID-19 related challenges, such as border closures.

The nominees were Canberra Health Service in the ACT, NSW Therapeutic Advisory Group, Royal Women’s Hospital PostMAN Clinic in Queensland, Tas Statewide Dispensary and Top End Health, in SA/NT.

Following last Friday night’s final, Mika Varitimos (Qld Branch) was announced as SHPA 2020 Resident of the Year.

Mika is a Medication Safety Pharmacist at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and her presentation was ‘The time is now: ensuring timely and appropriate medications for patients with Parkinson’s disease’.

Other finalists were Georgia Bish (Vic), Matthew Hollett (Vic), Bianca Jones (Tas), Negin Nasseh (Qld), Jennie Nguyen (Vic), Ella Raguz (Qld) and Georgia Walsh (Vic).

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