WA’s top pharmacists recognised by PSA

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA)

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) State Conference, the WA Annual Therapeutic Update (ATU), and WA Pharmacist Awards were held in Perth yesterday.

The WA ATU brings the pharmacy profession together to share the latest in clinical updates and pharmaceutical innovation.

The WA ATU coincides with the 2022 WA Pharmacy Awards, which are presented to outstanding pharmacists for their commitment and dedication to the health of their communities. PSA’s WA Branch President Keegan Wong congratulated the awardees for their ongoing dedication to the profession over a particularly turbulent year. “These pharmacists have gone above and beyond to demonstrate their leadership and commitment to the health and wellbeing of their communities,” Mr Wong said. The awards acknowledge and celebrate WA pharmacists through the Intern Pharmacist of the Year, Early Career Pharmacist of the Year, Pharmacist of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement awards.

The 2022 winners are:

  • Intern Pharmacist of the Year – Shaylee Mills
  • Early Career Pharmacist of the Year – Aaron Chan
  • Pharmacist of the Year – Phuong Nguyen
  • Lifetime Achievement – Chris Shenton

Background profiles on award winners below.

Intern Pharmacist of the Year – Shaylee Mills Shaylee began her pharmacy studies in 2018 at Curtin University and started her first pharmacy job at Corrigin Pharmacy; a local community pharmacy in the wheatbelt located near her hometown Quairading. Through the course of her studies, she also worked in a metropolitan pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, undertook a research scholarship and was one of the student representatives on the SHPA committee 2021. She is now completing her internship at Kimberley Pharmacy Services in Broome where amidst the current COVID outbreak, dove straight into running the vaccine clinic and producing a large range of medication education resources for Indigenous families having to isolate in remote areas of the region. After completion of her intern year, Shaylee intends to go into the Graduate Pharmacist program at Kimberley Pharmacy Services to complete a two-year diploma in rural generalism.

Early Career Pharmacist of the Year – Aaron Chan Aaron has dedicated countless hours to advocating for pharmacists, improving the profession, supporting the community, and ensuring the best health outcomes for his patients. He graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Master of Pharmacy degree in 2018 and worked full-time at Pharmacy 777 Applecross for approximately two years as a professional services pharmacist. Early this year, he joined the pharmacy team at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and has been working there since. He is still working weekend shifts at Pharmacy 777 Applecross, as he wants to continue providing a positive impact to his patient in the community.

He is passionate about education and has presented talks to several community groups on various health topics, including Parkinson’s disease, wound care, bone health, and immune health.

Aaron is also a member of the Antimicrobial Resistance Aware committee to provide a pharmacist’s perspective on how we can reduce the unnecessary use of antimicrobials and increase awareness around this growing health concern. He advocated this during last year’s Jacaranda Festival in Applecross, engaging with the community and highlighting the importance of reserving antibiotics for when they are genuinely required.

Pharmacist of the Year – Phuong Nguyen Phuong’s journey as a pharmacist started after graduating from Curtin University in 2005 and completing her internship – 2000 hours as it was known back then – at Pharmacy 777 Midland. After her registration, Phuong went on to be a community pharmacist with the Pharmacy 777, PPS and Pharmacy Alliance Groups, as a permanent and locum pharmacist as well training future pharmacists as a preceptor. It was during her 7-year tenure at Acacia Pharmacy Bentley that Phuong found her passion for aged care, community service and the business side of pharmacy. It was this that led Phuong to the pathway of pursuing a Master of Business Administration at the University of Western Australia. As part of her MBA, Phuong was granted the opportunity to study abroad at Harvard University, in the United States, and parts of Europe including Switzerland, Germany and France. After graduating with the MBA in 2020, Phuong transitioned into management consulting for PwC Australia within the Health & Wellbeing team. Phuong has been involved in projects such as a digital transformation program and COVID-19 preparedness within the WA Healthcare setting. Even though Phuong is a consultant during the week, she maintains her connection with community pharmacy by working every weekend at her local pharmacy. In her spare time, Phuong volunteers within her community and also mentors potential and future pharmacy students within the UWA mentorship program.

Lifetime Achievement – Chris Shenton Chris graduated as a pharmacist from Curtin University in 1986. He trained at Mount Hospital before beginning a community pharmacy career in Rockingham. Chris’ career has included a pharmacy at the Perth Royal Show, volunteering at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the medical team, community pharmacy, large scale aged care pharmacy, hospital pharmacy and home IV services. Chris is Director of PureIV, a TGA approved sterile injectable compounding manufacturer. PureIV compounds IV medicines for home hospital and hospital theatres using the latest techniques and equipment. Chris is Managing partner of Joondalup Hospital Pharmacy provides pharmaceutical services to Joondalup Health Campus, other hospitals and mental health. Joondalup is a 750-bed public/ private hospital. He is director of SouthWest Hospital Pharmacy which is located within the comprehensive cancer centre at St John of God Hospital Bunbury. This pharmacy opened in April 2013 and is a leader in regional oncology services. Chris is also a 40 under 40 business award winner from 2004.

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