Today marks World Pharmacists Day, providing an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the incredible work and dedication of our pharmacists, both nationally and abroad.
This year’s theme is Pharmacists: Always trusted for your health, and over the past week, PSA has been shining a spotlight on a variety of different practice areas and highlighting the many roles that pharmacists are trusted to fulfil.
PSA National Vice President, Renae Beardmore, reflected on the past year and praised the efforts of Australia’s most accessible healthcare workforce.
“Pharmacists across the country have done an incredible job continuing to put the health and welfare of their patients and communities first, amidst increasingly difficult circumstances. On behalf of the PSA, I thank you.
“Our profession is an essential cog in the Australian healthcare system, and as an essential service, has been called upon by governments and the public to protect society’s most vulnerable.
“In the face of adversity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the 2019/20 bushfires, our pharmacists have remained accessible, approachable and have gone above and beyond to ensure that patients have had the care that they need, when they need it.
“You have stepped up once again to help expedite the vaccine rollout, which is now starting to pay significant dividends across the country – helping the nation achieve its vaccination targets. Pharmacists have now administered over 600,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Australians through pharmacies, hospitals, general practice, and Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs). A remarkable achievement in such a short space of time.
“PSA has been with you every step of the way, by ensuring that you are equipped with the knowledge, skills and resources required to help your patients and the community at large. None of this would be possible without our members – we need you to stand behind the Society in achieving the outcomes we all want, and that our patients need and deserve.
“Pharmacists practising to full scope and being remunerated appropriately for not only the sacrifices made, but the expertise and attention to detail that the role requires, must be acknowledged and supported by governments and policy makers,” Ms Beardmore concluded.
PSA also marked World Pharmacists Day by holding the 2021 PSA Viatris Awards Ceremony last night, to recognise some of our outstanding pharmacists for their high standards, professionalism, and commitment to the profession.
Ms Beardmore proudly congratulated the 2021 award winners for their excellence in and devotion to Australian pharmacy.
“Year on year, it is becoming more challenging for our judges to decide on the winners of these prestigious awards – an indication of just how promising the future of pharmacy really is.
“These pharmacists are exemplars to the profession and maintained the highest standards of commitment and professionalism – and I congratulate them on their outstanding efforts over the past 12 months, particularly in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“You have all stepped up when your patients and communities have needed you the most. You have had to contend with public panic, anxiety, constantly changing regulations, medicine shortages and unfortunately in some cases, abusive behaviour. On behalf of the PSA and Australia, I thank you.”
The 2021 PSA Excellence Awards winners are:
- Viatris Pharmacy Student of the Year Award – Zoe Robinson, QLD
- MIMS Intern Pharmacist of the Year – Erin Cooper, ACT
- Symbion Early Career Pharmacist of the Year – Maria Berbecaru, TAS
- Symbion Pharmacist of the Year – Linda Badewitz-Dodd, NSW
- Symbion Lifetime Achievement Award – Valerie Constable, VIC
- Symbion Lifetime Achievement Award (Posthumous) – John Ware OAM, VIC
PSA CEO, Mark Kinsela, thanked the Award’s sponsors for their ongoing support.
“I would like to thank Viatris, Symbion and MIMS for once again sponsoring these awards in recognition of Australia’s exceptional pharmacists, and Viatris for helping the PSA to deliver such a wonderful virtual event in the face of COVID-19 restrictions.
“These longstanding partnerships demonstrate how critical the pharmacy profession is to our country’s healthcare system, acknowledging excellence across the entire spectrum of pharmacy practice,” Mr Kinsela said.
Symbion CEO, Brett Barons, said the PSA Excellence Awards are the pre-eminent individual awards in the industry.
“Being involved in these awards is one of the most enjoyable parts of my role, and this year will be Symbion’s 17th straight year as award sponsor – we are extremely proud of our long association.
“Our purpose at Symbion is to ‘connect communities to care’. This purpose is certainly consistent with what this year’s winners have always done. It is therefore wonderful to see that the rest of the community has recognised the incredible role Australian pharmacists are playing at the frontline,” Mr Barons said.
Viatris Australia Country Manager, Sylvain Vigneault, said: “We are proud to sponsor the PSA Excellence Awards and celebrate the brilliant work that pharmacists do to look after the health of Australians. The awards are timely with World Pharmacists Day, and the theme this year – ‘Pharmacy: Always trusted for your health’ represents the challenging but incredible work of pharmacists over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re delighted to also sponsor the Pharmacy Student of the Year award and would like to extend our congratulations to Zoe Robinson for winning this award.”
Congratulations to the 2021 PSA Excellence Award winners, and Happy World Pharmacists Day to all of Australia’s pharmacists.