Winners display excellence in practice

SHPA awarded its Medal of Merit and Resident of the Year honours to two special pharmacists over the weekend

Dr Michael Barras (pictured above) from Queensland was awarded the Medal of Merit 2017 over the weekend at SHPA’s Medicines Management Conference held in Darling Harbour, Sydney.

Dr Barras is an experienced clinical pharmacist with a lengthy research career focusing on patient care.

He is currently the Deputy Director of Clinical Pharmacy at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane and a research conjoint at the University of Queensland School of Pharmacy.

On accepting the award Dr Barras he spoke about two aspects of care that he said were most important to him: personalisation of therapy for each patient, and collaboration and teamwork.

“I’ve always found it extremely attractive that we’re able to directly influence patient outcomes. We should always aspire to be the best clinician we can be,” said Dr Barras.

“I believe it’s quite unethical to accept status quo.”

“Why individualised or personalised patient care? There’s enormous variability in drug response between individuals. Using your MIMS, AMH or hospital protocol is only a starting guide.

“However dosing without concrete evidence is very difficult for some pharmacists.

“We must get used to the fact that we can never be 100% certain of outcomes. Embrace the unknown, the experimental.

“We must develop authentic trusting relationships with patients and acknowledge they are the experts of their own drug therapy.”

SHPA President Michael Dooley and Medal of Merit winner Dr Michael Barras.
SHPA President Michael Dooley and Medal of Merit winner Dr Michael Barras.

Dr Barras also spoke about the need to pharmacists to develop their passion for research, emphasising that this area requires collaboration.

“Research is becoming a necessary skill and a core element of our daily lives.

“Collaboration enables us to learn from others. No single individual possesses the knowledge, skills and techniques required [for modern healthcare].”

SHPA’s Medal of Merit is awarded in recognition of an outstanding recent contribution and exemplary effort involving a particular activity or activities relating to hospital pharmacy practice.

Resident of the Year 2017

This year’s inaugural SHPA Resident of the Year 2017 was Amanda Horiniak from Alfred Health in Victoria, where she works as a clinical pharmacist.

Ms Horiniak (pictured, centre), who is currently in her second rotation working as a psychiatry pharmacist, was recognised for her excellence in practice and professional improvement through residency.

Through the award, which was sponsored by MIMS, she won travel, accommodation and registration to attend the Medicines Management conference and $1000 towards professional development.

“I am completely humbled and honoured to receive this award,” Ms Horiniak told AJP.

“The residency itself, as much as it’s about the structure, it’s the mentorship to develop my knowledge and skills that has given me the opportunity to further my pharmacy practice.”

Sarah Marsh from Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital, NSW was also recognised as a Highly Commended Practitioner, winning $1000 towards professional development.

SHPA’s Residency Program implemented this year is the first and only structured, formalised, supported and accredited national pharmacy residency program in Australia.

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