Award-winning Queensland pharmacist Lucy Walker has won a prestigious Churchill Fellowship, worth $27,000, to travel overseas for seven weeks visiting pharmacies to learn about professional services on offer.
Ms Walker, of 2017 Pharmacy of the Year Lucy Walker Chemmart Pharmacy at Goondiwindi, is one of 19 Queensland recipients, and one of only two from a rural area of the state, of the Churchill Fellowship in 2018, worth some $3.1 million collectively.
Fellowships are awarded to everyday Australians who are passionate about challenging the status quo to create or make a positive impact on society.
Pitching the idea of bringing innovative global pharmacy practices to her rural community and improve services nationally, the pharmacist and local business owner says she is excited and honoured to be a recipient, [itals>Queensland Country Life<itals] reported.
“We do wonderful services out here in Goondiwindi and we’re very much part of the healthcare team, but pharmacists in other parts of the world actually provide more services to their community, so I really just wanted to see what other places do and see whether we could start doing those services here in Gundy as well,” she said.
“Recently pharmacists (in Australia) started doing vaccinations for the flu, but in Ireland this has been happening for 10 or 15 years and they do a whole spectrum of different vaccinations, so I wanted to explore how we could make those systems and processes happen here in Queensland and throughout Australia.
“It’s harder to get in and see our doctors and we don’t want to clog up our little hospital with non-emergencies, so anything we can do to take the pressure off our healthcare system so that it’s available for those people who need it, it will help really.”
Churchill Trust CEO Adam Davey said: “It is 53 years since the first Churchill Fellowships were awarded in honour of [British wartime leader and prime minister] Sir Winston [Churchill]; however the projects that will be aided by his legacy are still, as he intended, firmly focused on the future.
“Churchill Fellows are up for a challenge, they are people who can foresee an opportunity, know how to address it and will use this experience to work with and learn from their international peers and some outstanding thought leaders.”
Churchill Fellowship applications open again on February 1, 2019.