PSA Board elects first female National President

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) National Board met on 16 June and unanimously elected WA pharmacist Dr Fei Sim as PSA’s next National President.

Dr Sim will become the first female to lead PSA since its Federation in 1977.

Outgoing PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, congratulated Dr Sim on her election.

“PSA has worked incredibly hard to achieve greater diversity within the organisation over the last five years and to reflect the diversity of members we serve. I am proud to be handing the torch to PSA’s very first female National President,” A/Prof Freeman said.

“Fei has been a great asset to the Society, and we are very excited that she has been elected to lead the profession – continuing to support the important work of pharmacists around Australia.

“She has demonstrated her passion and talent over many years, as PSA WA President, and more recently as Chair of PSA’s Contemporary Community Pharmacy Practice Community of Speciality Interest.

“I wish Fei every success in the role and encourage all members to support her in her leadership at this critical time for the profession.”

Michelle Lynch has been returned as National Vice President and Dr Shane Jackson has also been elected as a National Vice President, creating an experienced and enthusiastic leadership team to take PSA into its next phase of leading the profession.

Renae Beardmore and Anne Todd will be departing the National Board after impactful tenures.

“I thank both Renae, who has served as PSA National Vice President, and Anne for their incredible service to the Society and the profession, and I am thankful we are able to retain their skills and experience on their respective Branch Committees,”  A/Prof Freeman said.

“Over the three and a half years as National President, I am incredibly proud of what PSA has achieved. But most of all I am so thankful to all of Australia’s pharmacists and the critical role we play in all sectors of practice.”

PSA Chief Executive Officer Mark Kinsela also highlighted A/Prof Freeman’s achievements since his appointment in 2018.

“Chris has been a fierce advocate for pharmacists around Australia. It was his advocacy that led to the Federal Government recognising medicine safety and quality use of medicines as a National Health Priority Area,” he said.

“Chris secured a $25 million Federal Government investment to improve medicine safety and quality use of medicine research through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), as well as a $345.7 million commitment to embed pharmacists in residential aged care facilities, improving medicine safety for older Australians.

“He was also instrumental in PSA’s inclusion as a signatory in the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement (7CPA) for the first time, ensuring positive outcomes for pharmacists, enabling them to practise to full scope and deliver better health outcomes for their patients.

“I thank Chris for his dedication to PSA’s mission to embed, equip, and enable pharmacists to be at the forefront of healthcare in Australia,” he said.

The new appointments will commence on 1 July 2022.

About Dr Fei Sim

Dr Fei Sim is a Senior Lecturer and the Coordinator of International Engagement in the Curtin Medical School at Curtin University, Western Australia (WA).

In 2020 she was also made a Fellow of the Society before being appointed as a Director on the PSA National Board in 2021.

Dr Sim has over 14 years of clinical practice experience and is currently a practising community pharmacist and a community pharmacy proprietor.

Dr Sim also served as PSA’s WA President from 2017 to 2021.

Dr Sim holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Pharmacy and a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree with First Class Honours and is a qualified pharmacist immuniser and an Accredited Mental Health First Aid Instructor.

She is a Fellow of the PSA and the Higher Education Academy, and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Dr Sim serves on a number of professional and academic committees.

Dr Sim was awarded the Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Award in 2014, the PSA WA Early Career Pharmacist Award in 2018 and the National Early Career Pharmacist of The Year Award in 2019, all of which are testament to her commitment to patient care, learning and teaching, leadership in pharmacy, innovation and initiative in pharmacy service delivery, as well as peer and professional engagement.

Dr Sim is an active pharmacy practice researcher and is also the recipient of a number of research grants and projects focusing on advancing the practice of pharmacy and the implementation of professional pharmacy services in community pharmacy, including the noteworthy JM O’Hara Research Fund grant from the Pharmaceutical Society of West Australia (PSWA) in 2018.

Through this grant, Dr Sim and her team conducted and published a feasibility study on point-of-care C-reactive protein testing in community pharmacy.

It is hoped that this project will contribute toward facilitating antimicrobial stewardship and advancing evidence-based community pharmacy practice to improve recognition of pharmacists’ roles and remuneration.

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