PSA Media Releases – 1. PSA members dominate “Women of Influence” Survey 2. Professor Maree Smith wins award 3. Pharmacists Share Journeys

PSA members dominate ‘Women of Influence’ survey
November 2, 2016

Nearly all of the 10 ‘Women of Influence’ pharmacists announced this week are committed and influential members or staff of the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

The popular online survey saw around 2,000 votes for almost 300 women working as pharmacists across Australia.
Seven of the top 10 pharmacists are PSA members and several of these women hold or have held senior leadership roles and elected positions for the organisation.

PSA CEO Dr Lance Emerson said the results were a testament to the outstanding leadership, commitment and innovation shown to the profession by these highly influential pharmacists.

“It’s fantastic to see these talented pharmacists playing such a vital leadership role in all aspects of pharmacy practice and healthcare,” Dr Emerson said.

“They are continuing to expand and strongly influence the important role that pharmacy – and PSA – plays in improving the health of the Australian community.  I am honoured to be working with them as they continue to contribute to the good of the profession and consumer health.”

PSA’s Executive Director of Policy, Advocacy and Innovation Dr Alison Roberts – ranked Number 4 in the survey – said she was delighted to be recognised among the list of influential women.

“The important work PSA is doing really drives me in my role and these outcomes will ultimately result in pharmacists being able to deliver better care to consumers, through innovation, improved funding, better support and smarter policy that makes use of pharmacists’ unique skills,” Dr Roberts said.

“All of these women have the same things in common: passion, purpose, drive and a willingness to take risks and accept leadership roles. I think the great thing is the spectrum of practice that the people on this list represent and their areas of influence.”

PSA Early Career Pharmacist (ECP) National Board member Taren Gill – ranked Number 8 – said it was an honour to be acknowledged in the survey.  “As an ECP, I am delighted to be on the list and, like the other women, I have a strong focus on serving our patients and our communities, which has extended to serving the profession,” Ms Gill said.

Professor Lisa Nissen, a member of PSA Queensland’s Branch Committee and a former PSA Queensland President – ranked Number 2 – said she was honoured to be included in such an inspiring group of women.  “It’s a great testament to the profession that this list is only the tip of an iceberg of outstanding women working towards the future of pharmacy,” Professor Nissen said.

Professor Maree Smith wins prestigious pharmacist Award

Leading researcher and Queensland pharmacist Professor Maree Smith has won the 2016 Bowl of Hygeia Award by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

PSA National Vice President Dr Chris Freeman presented the most prestigious pharmacy Award in Queensland on Friday, October 28.

Dr Freeman said Professor Smith received the Bowl of Hygeia for her outstanding leadership in novel drug discovery and design, particularly in the area of pain management and innovative education programs providing inspiration to future generations of researchers.

“On behalf of PSA, I warmly congratulate Professor Smith on her outstanding achievements,” Dr Freeman said.

“Professor Smith has been a vanguard through her research and the development of new drugs and innovation in education.  She has also supported the next generation of pharmacists and researchers in Queensland and around the world.”

Presented annually since 1980, the Bowl of Hygeia Award recognises exceptional service of a PSA member who has long demonstrated excellence, leadership or innovation in advancing the profession.

Professor Smith said she was delighted and honoured to receive the Bowl of Hygeia Award.

“Receiving this Award is such a wonderful honour and I sincerely thank PSA for its support,” Professor Smith said.

“As a long-time specialist and researcher in the pain field, it’s very satisfying and rewarding to be recognised for all your hard work and passion, especially by your colleagues.”

From The University of Queensland (UQ), Professor Smith is Executive Director of the Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development (CIPDD), which she built along with its commercial interface to be recognised as a unique, accredited drug development centre in Australia.

She is also a UQ Professor of Pharmacy and was included in the inaugural list of Australia’s top innovators in 2015.

As the inventor of the new EMA401 oral drug for chronic pain, Professor Smith’s work was the basis last year for Australia’s largest-ever biotech deal, which is likely to change the lives of millions of people worldwide who live with chronic pain.

Professor Smith also has considerable expertise in biomedical discovery and translation with specialist expertise in the pain field, encompassing a portfolio of 15 rodent pain models that mimic individual human pain conditions. This portfolio is unique in Australia and rare internationally.

Pharmacists share their ‘journeys’ to highlight career opportunities

 Progressing life-long learning and exploring new career opportunities are being highlighted as part of a new pharmacist-driven campaign by the peak national organisation for pharmacists the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

Leading pharmacists from around Australia, at all stages of their careers, are sharing their professional “journeys” and success stories, highlighting the value-adding education and support provided by PSA.

Regional-based Early Career Pharmacist (ECP) Ella Jude is a passionate community pharmacist working in Kirwan, Townsville and said PSA’s support has helped her career flourish.

“I was involved in PSA’s intern program in 2012 which was very rewarding and exciting.  As a pharmacist manager, I now rely on PSA for all of my CPD and education,” said Ms Jude, who enjoys working as a pharmacist in a regional centre to interact with and support local people.

“I really value PSA as I can keep in contact with other members – I’m part of the ECP Facebook group which I find useful for networking.  The networking opportunities that come with the membership are highly beneficial to further develop my career.

“If I could sum up the value of PSA membership in four words, I would say: up-to-date, engaging, informative and networking.”

WA-based Travis Bailey, who works as a hospital and community pharmacist in Bunbury, said being involved in a professional network was vital, especially working in a regional area.

“The greatest value I receive from PSA is the connections I make with other people that genuinely love what they do and have the best interests of the profession at heart,” Mr Bailey said.  “Helping people is my favourite and most rewarding thing about being a healthcare provider. That’s what we do as pharmacists – we try to help and impact the way someone else is living their life.”

PSA’s ECP National Director Taren Gill welcomed the new campaign as she believed it’s important to learn about the professional journeys of pharmacists from across Australia.

“As a regional-based pharmacist, it’s often hard to connect with other pharmacy professionals with varying scopes of practices and experiences, however being involved with PSA offers an opportunity to be better connected with your colleagues and the profession,” Ms Gill said.

“I would encourage all pharmacists looking to further their careers and engage with like-minded professionals to embrace this new campaign and become more involved with the peak national body for pharmacists. One thing that binds us is our commitment to improving consumers’ health and excellence in pharmacist care”.

Find out more about the new PSA MPS campaign here>>  

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