A slew of PSNZ awards bestowed on stars of pharmacy


A slew of PSNZ awards bestowed on stars of pharmacy

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Vicky Chan
Vicky Chan was presented with her certificate as Pharmacist of the Year by PSNZ vice-president Michael Hammond yesterday

Yesterday, the first PSNZ awards ceremony since August 2019 was held, with much to catch up on in the presentation of medals and certificates.

Ten fellowship, gold medal and other awards were presented yesterday at a PSNZ lunch in Auckland. Most of them were announced previously, but the COVID-19 pandemic helped prevent any formal ceremonies before now.

Sponsored by Green Cross Health, the awards lunch was held at Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre, with about 36 attendees. President Professor Rhiannon Braund was unable to come due to illness and proceedings were led by vice-president Michael Hammond.

Gold medals 

Southland pharmacist Bernie McKone accepted one of two gold medals bestowed yesterday. The gold medals are the highest honour of the PSNZ, with only 35 awarded in total so far.

The semi-retired owner of Waikiwi Pharmacy in Gore said he didn’t feel worthy of the award in terms of the people who had gone before. Like many of the awardees he acknowledged Professor John Shaw who supported him in completing his master’s thesis in the late 1980s. “In doing a master’s degree, you won’t think the same way ever again. It gave me the opportunity to open up dialogues around the world,” he said.

Mentors acknowledged 

Pharmacist prescriber Leanne Te Karu (Ngāti Rangi and Muaūpoko), was the other gold medal recipient. She was unable to attend, and the award was accepted on her behalf by fellow member of Ngā Kaitiaki o te Puna Rongoā (MPA) Arthur Bauld.

Mr Bauld read out her acceptance speech where she recalled many years earlier when the late Sir Graeme Douglas (himself a gold medal recipient) told her gold medals were given only to pharmacists who were dead or nearly dead.

“When reflecting on this award my over-riding feeling is one of embarrassment and the need to apologise to those who came before,” she added acknowledging past president Eleanor Hawthorne, Professor Shaw, John Dunlop and Linda Bryant. In particular, Dr Bryant encouraged her to continue her postgraduate studies and supervised her PhD.

“My sincere gratitude to so many valued people working in various ways but with similar values.”

She recalled receiving hate mail when MPA was first set up in 2003. It was “deep, venomous racism” from other pharmacists, but as well there was “wonderful, authentic support”.

“I’d like to think that [hate mail] would not happen today.”

Arthur Bauld accepts the gold medal and certificate on behalf of Leanne Te Karu
Pharmacist of the Year 

Vicky Chan was announced Pharmacist of the Year for 2021, and in accepting her certificate, she said she was grateful for the faith her team, including business partner Peter Guthrie, put in her “for my vision and crazy ideas”.

“One silver lining of the pandemic was that we were given the opportunity to step up,” she says. “We have shifted the dynamic – we were given that wonderful chance to prove our value more than ever before.

“Regardless of the setting, we have seen the evolution of pharmacy becoming an essential part of healthcare and it’s gaining momentum.”

2020 Pharmacist of the Year 

Jo Hikaka (Ngāruahine), who is currently in the US on a Fulbright scholarship, had her certificate presented yesterday for being named Pharmacist of the Year for 2019.

As one of only two pharmacists to win a Fulbright New Zealand Science and Innovation Graduate Award, Dr Hikaka was acknowledged for her strong advocacy of clinical pharmacy practice and promoting the need for, and ability of, pharmacists to provide clinically and culturally safe services.

She has recently completed a PhD which aimed to develop a medicines optimisation service for community-dwelling Māori older adults by applying a kaupapa Māori theoretical framework and engaging with stakeholders to develop the pro-equity model to support the ability for long-term implementation, her citation reads.

Fellowship awards  

Fellowship awards for 2019, 2020 and 2021 were given to five pharmacists: Carolyn Hooper, former executive officer for the Pharmacy Defence Association, Arthur Bauld (currently chair of the Pharmacy Council), pharmacist prescribers Pauline McQuoid and Penny Clark, and a posthumous fellowship for Pam Duncan, who died in April 2021. Her award was accepted by her family who flew up from Wellington.

Carolyn Hooper, who retired in 2020 after a 47-year career, was thanked for her calm support and empathy for distressed pharmacists when facing disciplinary proceedings.

Ms Hooper said throughout her time on the pharmacy self-care programme and with the PDA, she had made contact with thousands of pharmacists – “and the majority are dedicated and caring people”.

It was an honour to have her work acknowledged by her peers, she said.

PSNZ vice-president Michael Hammond and Carolyn Hooper
‘I just do what I’m told’ 

Mr Bauld (Ngāti Wai/Ngāpuhi/Te Rarawa/Ngāti Toa/Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga) said when he first learned of the award, he had trouble believing it wasn’t the result of late-night tippling by the PSNZ committee.

Mr Bauld, who also chairs the Pharmacy Council, told the gathering he didn’t have any ambitions of his own: “I just do what I’m told. I can’t claim to be visionary.”

His citation reads, “Arthur thinks strategically and empathetically in everything he does and is a true leader in the pharmacy profession.”

Pauline McQuoid received a Fellowship award for her significant contribution to the advancement of pharmacist services through innovation and setting a high standard of work. Pauline’s extensive roles in pharmacy have demonstrated great strategic leadership, her citation reads.

Ms McQuoid, who co-founded Medwise in the Bay of Plenty, acknowledged pharmacy “pioneers” John Dunlop and Linda Bryant and many other role models, including Professor Shaw and Green Cross Health’s Alison van Wyk.

Fellow member of the Clinical Advisory Pharmacists Association, Penny Clark, was also awarded a Fellowship for her passion, dedication, and her tireless and supportive work. “In her career in pharmacy Penny has been a trailblazer and a shining light to others – a leader that many aspire to emulate,” reads the citation.

Ms Clark, who chairs CAPA, told the gathering there were now 140 general practices with clinical or prescribing pharmacists on their teams but the best reward was seeing the results in patients.

One of her most gratifying moments recently was when a patient came in to see her because the patient’s son had previously benefited greatly from Ms Clark’s care.

Pauline McQuoid with PSNZ vice-president Michael Hammond
Great opportunities from health reforms 

“We have great opportunities with the health reforms and Te Pae Tata. There’s the desire from primary care to have pharmacists as part of the interdisciplinary teams, to provide an exciting clinical pathway.

“A lot of the details are yet to be finalised and it’s helpful for this to be done well, and for pharmacists to be effective and safe clinicians,” she says.

“My hope for the future is for health providers to continue to support each other and work together with each having their own area of expertise.”

Penny Clark with PSNZ vice-president Michael Hammond
Past President’s Medal 

Hamilton pharmacy owner Ian McMichael received the Past President’s Medal after serving as president from 2018 to 2020. He was vice-president from 2016 to 2018, after serving on the national executive since 2011.

The citation reads, “During his two years as president, Ian continued as a pioneer, driver and always in relentless pursuit of his and the society’s vision for pharmacy. Ian’s top focus of community pharmacy being the go-to place for community vaccinations has now been realised.”

Ian McMichael accepts the Past President Medal
Going above and beyond

Most recently at the Pharmacy Council, Pam Duncan "routinely went above and beyond engaging with local and national clinical governance roles, training, and development of new services to contribute to the expanding role that community pharmacists play in supporting better heath outcomes for the public of New Zealand", her citation reads.

"Her dedication, passion and commitment to the profession, and her professional caring to ensure the wellbeing of the public as her first priority, meant her contribution was significant."

Other recipents of Fellowship awards for 2019, 2020 and 2021 were Jane Abel, Desiree Kunac, Deidre Magee, Helen Dunn and Amanda Stanfield.

The Duncan family accepted the Fellowship award for Pam Duncan, given posthumously

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