New Fellows recognised at PSA23

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has announced its new Fellows in recognition of their outstanding and sustained contribution to PSA and the pharmacy profession.

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS congratulated PSA members who were recognised for their significant advancement and achievement in the practice of pharmacy over an extended period of time.

“Each of these pharmacists has made significant contributions to pharmacy, exemplifying the passion of our profession.

“Fellowships of PSA are a prominent acknowledgement of those who have provided an outstanding contribution to PSA or the profession for an extended period of time.

“On behalf of PSA, I thank them for their ongoing service and dedication to improving pharmacy practice and patient care,” she said.

The 2023 PSA Fellows are:

  • Brad Butt FPS (ACT)

Brad Butt established Men’s Health Down Under from his pharmacy in 2013 to address the growing need for men in the ACT to have access to professional expertise without any embarrassment or privacy concerns.  It is a highly innovative original service that supports people in a therapeutic area that is often shrouded in ignorance.

Men’s Health Downunder has grown to be the largest Men’s health pharmacy clinic in Australia, and now many patients are referred via GPs, urologists, and sexual health clinics as well as patients self-referring for additional service and advice.

Mr Butt has expanded the scope of pharmacist practice by establishing his own clinic in response to a gap in the support for men post-prostatectomy and has grown the clinic to support many men across Australia. The impact of the program includes reducing stigma around the topic, and reducing depression in patients.  Providing patients and their partners support with their urological health issues has an immeasurably positive impact on patients.

  • Arthur Chistopoulos FPS (VIC)

Arthur Christopoulos is the Professor of Analytical Pharmacology and the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences at Monash University. Prior to his appointment as Dean, he was a Senior Principal Research Fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. His research focuses on novel paradigms of drug action at G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), the largest drug target class for modern medicines, and incorporates computational and mathematical modelling, structural and chemical biology, molecular and cellular pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, and preclinical models of behaviour and disease. His work has been applied to studies encompassing neurological and psychiatric disorders, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, chronic pain and addiction, and he has received substantial, long-term support from international and nationally competitive, charitable and commercial sources.

In 2022, together with Profs. Robert J. Lefkowitz and Patrick Sexton, Prof. Christopoulos was an academic co-founder of Septerna Inc., a novel GPCR biotechnology company. Professor Christopoulos has over 360 publications, has served on the Editorial Board of 8 international journals and was a Councillor of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR).

  • Jeni Diekman FPS (NSW)

Jeni Diekman has championed professional pharmacy practice throughout her career across hospital pharmacy, academia, corporate healthcare and as a community pharmacy owner of 20 years. As a community pharmacist, Jeni has shown significant leadership to promote and advocate for pharmacists, including increased involvement in professional services and better remuneration.

Ms Diekman is a member of the leadership group of the PSA Contemporary Community Pharmacy Community of Specialty Interest, a group whose aim is to identify where further support is required for community pharmacists as the face massive organisational, economic and technological change.  Jeni works to implement the recommendations of the PSA-CSI Contemporary Community Pharmacy Practice White Paper.

Ms Diekman is passionate about self-care, and was involved in the creation of the PSA self-care program as a PSA employee, and currently advocates for an improved self-care program to assist pharmacists in delivering more effective healthcare.

  • Chelsea Felkai FPS (NSW)

Cheslea Felkai served as PSA NSW President from 2020 to 2023.  Throughout the pandemic, Chelsea led NSW pharmacists by advocating for regulatory change and expanded scope of practice, especially including pharmacists in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in 2021.

Ms Felkai has also advocated for improved access to medicines for patients in emergency situations, minor ailments services, embedded aged care pharmacists and advocating and highlighted medicines-related issues for those with disability.

The impact has been widespread across the profession, with the number of vaccines pharmacists can administer expanding across many jurisdictions, including in NSW.

Ms Felkai is still currently advocating through the Department of Health and State Government to improve medicines management for patients with disability.  She is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Newcastle around medicine safety for people with disability.

  • Sarah Gillespie FPS (ACT)

Over many years, Sarah Gillespie has been a mentor and advocate for the consultant pharmacy profession through both the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy (AACP) and PSA.

Despite her busy role and schedule, she has always made herself available to listen with empathy, humanity, and professionalism. Accredited pharmacists face a challenging and changing role and have benefited from her support and careful guidance in an apolitical way. Sarah has listened to and supported many accredited pharmacists over the years, particularly during significant changes to the accredited pharmacist role.

Ms Gillespie has served the profession by providing regular clinical updates in a newsletter, planning and executing consultant pharmacist conferences, and developing protocols and guidelines for accredited pharmacists. Her support through the transitions and uncertainty over the past year has been particularly valuable to accredited pharmacists.

  • Robyn Johns FPS (SA/NT)

Robyn Johns has been a dedicated member of the PSA SA/NT Branch for the vast majority of her community pharmacy career. Robyn’s contribution to the pharmacy profession has been truly outstanding, especially during her time when she served the profession as PSA SA/NT Branch President. During her time as Branch President, she demonstrated dedication, leadership, and excellence.

Ms Johns’ contribution has been instrumental in the SA community pharmacy sector’s COVID-19 response. Her collaboration on this matter with South Australia’s Department for Health and Wellbeing officials significantly and positively influenced community pharmacy processes’ development and subsequent smooth implementation, as well as an extension of vaccinations for pharmacists as part of the NIP access.

In addition, Ms Johns’ input was instrumental to the commencement of Real-Time Prescription Monitoring in South Australia, where she contributed significantly with her skills and time to the launch of this initiative.  She further served as a Controlled Substances Advisory Council member, where her expertise saw a significant contribution to the changes in the legislation.

  • Professor Faye McMillan AM FPS (NSW)

Professor Faye McMillan is Australia’s first registered Aboriginal pharmacist. Professor McMillan’s passion and continued effort have made significant contributions to improving people’s health and well-being. Her work has led to a paradigm shift in the way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people seek and access healthcare in Australia.

Professor McMillan is an inspiration to many, and a role model for all pharmacists, all women and the Indigenous people of Australia. She was instrumental in the Closing the Gap Steering Committee since 2013, which has led to a paradigm shift in the way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people seek and access healthcare. One of Prof. McMillan’s main passions involves the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into allied health professions.

  • Sandra Salter FPS (WA)

Sandra Salter is a highly successful allergy and anaphylaxis researcher, was the first pharmacist member of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy and has won international conference prizes for her pharmacy practice anaphylaxis research. She is equally a highly successful innovator and was awarded the flagship 2021 UTS Innovative Pharmacist of the Year Award for her world-leading innovation in active vaccine surveillance from pharmacies.

Ms Salter’s work on active vaccine surveillance has impacted every pharmacy and pharmacist that provides vaccinations. It has expanded the scope of practice within the types of vaccines pharmacists can deliver, proven pharmacist vaccinators are safe, and enabled consumers to have even greater confidence in obtaining a vaccine from a pharmacy.

  • Andrew Sluggett FPS (SA/NT)

Andrew Sluggett has contributed to the significant advancement of the pharmacy profession by seeing and progressing enhanced pharmacy care in transforming community pharmacy into a bespoke health hub, benefiting both pharmacists and patients in South Australia. He has also developed compounding dispensing software and patented and commercialised a new infusion device for use in hospital settings.

Through these innovations, Mr Sluggett has significantly contributed to more effective, collaborative, and safer pharmacy practice. His research contributions have demonstrated dedication and innovative thinking, which motivate many young and early career pharmacists in South Australia to take on the research path while working in community or hospital pharmacy settings.

Mr Sluggett has more than 17 years of service as an elected SA/NT Branch Committee member, including six years as co-vice president. He has served on the PSA National Board for more than three years, as well as on the Board of the Australian Medicines Handbook. During this time, he has championed the work of PSA and passionately advocated for our profession through contributions as Chair (Standards Review Group 2022-23, CPD Committee 2016) and member of national working groups (Membership 2010-14, ECPs 2009, CPD and Practice Committees 2006-16), all of which have led to tangible benefits for PSA members and the wider profession.

  • Dr Natalie Soulsby FPS (SA/NT)

Dr Natalie Soulsby has spent the last 8 years as Head of Clinical Development for a team of 40+ clinical pharmacists working in aged care. Through this, she has contributed to defining and expanding the role of pharmacists working in aged care facilities which has contributed to the announcement of Government funding for on-site aged care pharmacists.

Through her role as Clinical Manager at Ward MM Dr Soulsby has drawn on her previous research and hospital pharmacy experience to improve clinical governance in the aged care facilities that Ward MM provides services to. Dr Soulsby has developed cohesive relationships with aged care partners and as a consequence of this is a member of several National Clinical Governance Committees and National Medication Advisory Committees for large aged care provider groups. Further, Dr Soulsby set up the clinical governance framework at WardMM.

Since working in the aged care sector, Dr Soulsby has published a range of articles highlighting the role of pharmacists in ensuring medicine safety. These articles are practical and widely read by aged care pharmacists and also by a range of members of the interdisciplinary team around the older person.

  • Dr Andrew Stafford FPS (WA)

Dr Andrew Stafford has dedicated his career to expanding the role of pharmacist practice in aged care and dementia care, particularly in interdisciplinary teamwork. Of particular note is his work within Dementia Training Australia, where he was the first pharmacist to act in a Director role. In this position, Dr Stafford worked to expand other health professions’ understanding of the skills and capabilities of pharmacists in aged and dementia care settings and led the development and delivery of a program of work to promote pharmacists across the country.

Dr Stafford has contributed to several publications, including the Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary, and PSA’s Guidelines for Comprehensive Medication Management Reviews, Quality Use of Medicines and Digital Health. As the foundation for many areas of pharmacy practice, it is indisputable that Dr Stafford’s contribution has shaped practice across Australia.

The medication management resources Dr Stafford developed through his work at Dementia Training Australia are used nationwide, further demonstrating the impact of his work. These resources, which outline the appropriate use of psychotropic medications in aged care, assist pharmacists working in these areas to improve medicines safety for some of the most vulnerable and neglected Australians.

Text: PSA. 

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