Who Are South Australia's Award-Winning Pharmacists of 2022?

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​On April 1, 2022, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) SA Pharmacy Award conference was held in Adelaide.

At this conference, five outstanding pharmacists were recognised. These pharmacists were acknowledged because of their contributions to the pharmacy industry.

There are five award categories for these outstanding pharmacists. These awards are:

  • Gold Medal – Mikah Peterson, MPS

  • Intern Pharmacist of the Year – Lauren Fraser, MPS

  • Early Career Pharmacist of the Year – Julian Soriano, MPS

  • Pharmacist of the Year – Kylie Van Rooijen, MPS

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Kingsley Coulthard, FPS

During the awarding ceremony, the PSA’s SA Branch President, Robyn Johns, commended the pharmacist award winners.

Young Pharmacy Professionals

Mikah Peterson was given the Gold Medal because of her research project about medication safety. Her research speaks about the nurses’ understanding of high-risk medications such as high-dose insulin. 

This project research was done while she was in her final year of study at the University of South Australia and she did it with the Medication Safety Committee at SALHN.

Moreover, Lauren Fraser, who got the Intern Pharmacist of the Year was recognised because of her commitment to patient care and initiative services, especially during the 2021 Covid-19 pandemic surge.

Although her internship was divided between the University of South Australia research and community pharmacy, she excelled in both fields and was able to develop professional partnerships to improve the pharmacy practice. Some of the successful partnerships include Sonder and Asthma Australia.

Fraser also supported a successful local Covid-19 immunisation event for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. According to Robyn Johns, Fraser dedicated much of her time designing progressive pharmacy tools and supporting patients and co-workers with their health.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic very much impacted her day-to-day life, 2021 was an ambitious but rewarding year for Fraser. Soon, she will be completing her PhD degree at the University of South Australia.

Pharmacists in Residential Aged Care Facilities

Furthermore, the Early Career Pharmacist of the Year award was given to Julian Soriano because of his commitment to aged care and palliative care pharmacy.

He aims to improve the end-of-life care of Australians so he initiated the pharmacist’s role in residential aged care facilities (RACFs). Because of this, he was able to help secure $345.7 million in Federal Government funding to make the pharmacists become an integral part of these facilities.

Soriano hopes that this recognition would encourage other pharmacists and communities to learn more about the role of aged care pharmacists. He looks forward to other pharmacists finding the best way to operate in RACFs.

Based on what Soriano believes, pharmacists are crucial in providing better medication and health management to patients, especially the elderly.

Veteran Pharmacists in the Community and Hospital Industry

The Pharmacist of the Year award was given to Kylie Van Rooijen. She is a community pharmacist and a trainee educator who provided outstanding service to SA pharmacy for over 30 years.

According to Robyn Johns, Rooijen provides a wide range of pharmacy services and she is committed to inspiring future generations of pharmacists.

Lastly, Kingsley Coulthard was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a hospital pharmacist and nationally-recognised advocate for equity of access for children to safe and effective medicines for more than 50 years.

Looking at these awards, it is safe to say that each of the winners is at a different stage in their career. However, they only have one goal and that is to be committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of South Australians.

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