Exceptional Pharmacists Recognised in Annual Tasmanian Pharmacist Awards

The recipients of the 2022 Tasmanian Pharmacist of the Year Awards have been announced, recognising the outstanding contributions made to the profession by three of Tasmanian’s finest pharmacists.

Michelle Paine (Tasmanian Pharmacist of the Year), Robert Beaumont (Lifetime Achievement Award) and Melissa Johnson (Early Career Pharmacist Award) were honoured for their outstanding contributions to the profession and the ongoing health and wellbeing of Tasmanians.

Tasmanian Chair of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia, Kelly Beswick, said that the 2022 Tasmanian Pharmacist of the Year, hospital pharmacist Michelle Paine, was recognised for her commitment to medicines safety and her service as the lead pharmacist in the implementation of the Medication Safety Smart Pump Project across Tasmania’s hospital system.

“Michelle has led major quality improvement and safety initiatives throughout her career, with this latest project resulting in significant advancement in minimising medication errors in the use of intravenous medications. Michelle led a team of pharmacists to develop protocols for the smart pumps which incorporate a library of drugs, doses and infusion rates. There are now over 840 live i.v. medication protocols within Tasmanian public hospitals utilising the smart pump technology. This means that Tasmanians receiving i.v. medicines at any public hospital in the state will benefit from significantly safer treatment as a result of Michelle’s work.”

Launceston community pharmacist Melissa Johnson was recognised as Early Career Pharmacist of the Year. Pharmacy Guild of Australia Branch President, Helen O’Byrne, said that Melissa is a vibrant young pharmacist with a focus on providing quality professional services that improve patient outcomes.

“Melissa has been recognised by her peers for her commitment to the profession, for delivering quality medication related services and for working to improve the wellbeing of the community. Since becoming a co-owner at TerryWhite Chemmart Mowbray in 2019 Melissa has championed medicine safety in her community, delivering thousands of vaccinations and investing in technology that has ensured continuity of care and improved levels of service for her patients” Ms O’Byrne said. “She has also acted as a mentor and preceptor to apprentices and intern pharmacists, investing her time into the future of our profession.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award saw long time pharmacist all-rounder Robert Beaumont recognised for his service to pharmacy. Tasmanian President of The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), David Peachey, said that Rob is a true quiet achiever and a role model for others.

“Rob is a genuine innovator and a ‘gold standard pharmacist’ who has worked across most sectors of pharmacy, including ownership of multiple pharmacies, public and private hospital practice, and for Medicare. He has quickly embraced opportunities in new professional pharmacy services as they arise, implementing and delivering them with enthusiasm and skill – wound care, MedsChecks, sleep apnoea services and vaccinations to name but a few.”

“Rob was one of the first Tasmanian pharmacists to become a certified immuniser, administering influenza and other vaccines for several years, and later becoming the first pharmacist to be employed within the State government’s Covid-19 vaccination clinics. He has now administered more than 10,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Tasmanians, including to many individuals with mental health issues and intellectual disabilities, along with needle-phobic adults and children. They could not have been in more skilled and compassionate hands.”

The 2022 Award recipients will be honoured later in the year at the 2022 Tasmanian Pharmacy Conference Dinner to be held in Hobart on 12 November 2022.

The Awards are jointly hosted by the Tasmanian branches of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA), the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA), and the University of Tasmania, and recognise outstanding achievement in supporting the quality and safe use of medicines.

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