Members honour their own as Gala Dinner brings MM2022 to a stunning close

Members honour their own as Gala Dinner brings MM2022 to a stunning close

Members of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) voted in droves for the achievements of their peers as a glittering Gala Dinner closed the curtain on the blockbuster return of Australia’s largest scientific pharmacy conference in Brisbane on Saturday night. 

Rounding out the accolades bestowed at Medicines Management 2022, the 46th SHPA National Conference (MM2022) were the 2022 SHPA Members’ Awards, determined by national member vote across three categories of 2022 SHPA Branch Award recipients.  

The 2022 SHPA Early Career Pharmacist of the Year is Benita Suckling (Qld), honoured for being a driver of innovation and source of inspiration and mentorship for other early career pharmacists. An active SHPA Queensland member, Benita is currently completing her Master of Philosophy through the University of Sydney investigating persistent opioid use following hospital discharge, and has been the lead author and co-investigator across a range of publications and quality improvement initiatives.  

The 2022 SHPA Technician of the Year is Katie Ambrose (Tas), who was honoured for her tireless contributions as the first technician to work in the newly created role of Statewide Pharmacy Technician Manager, setting up and overseeing the implementation and rollout of the Bedside Medication Management (BMM) Project in Tasmania that will see 30 new FTE of technicians joining the Statewide Hospital Pharmacy team. 

The BMM Project also took out the 2022 SHPA Hospital Team Innovation of the Year honour, having secured unprecedented funding for ward-based Pharmacy Technicians, to being introduced to all acute public hospitals in the state. 

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels congratulated the recipients for the dedication and passion at the frontier of hospital pharmacist and technician practice. 

‘Benita’s leadership skills have been recognised through the Excellence Award for Quality and Safety and Patient Centred Care at the prestigious International Hospital Federation in 2018, which she received for the development and implementation of the Opioid Stewardship Service at Queensland’s Redcliffe Hospital. 

‘In Tasmania, Katie and the BMM team have worked tirelessly on getting the project up and running, which involves developing standard operating procedures for 30 BMM technicians that will be employed in the coming months, development of orientation and training tools, recruitment, development of a Pharmacy Technician General Level Framework.’

The colourful and lively Gala Dinner also saw the announcement of 2022 SHPA Resident of the Year, with the final won by Rhiannon Froude – Resident Pharmacist at Victoria’s Royal Melbourne Hospital, for her research project on ‘Hospital pharmacists’ understanding of and attitudes towards beta-lactam allergies and de-labelling’.

‘The residency was a wonderful opportunity to improve my skills and knowledge as a clinical pharmacist through structured rotations and assessments. The highlight for me was completing my research project on antibiotic allergies, a topic that I am very passionate about,’ Rhiannon said.

The conference award winners were:

  • Best overall oral presentationMarissa Sakiris 'Once Slow, Now On The Move: Reshaping Parkinson Disease Medication Management'
  • Best first time oral presentation: Kate Grogan 'Recharging Antimicrobial Stewardship: A multimodal multidisciplinary team model to improve optimal prescribing in rural hospitals' 
  • Best student or intern oral presentation: Joanne Wickens, 'Publishing the Inaugural Australian Pharmacy Students’ Journal (APSJ): An International Sensation'
  • Best overall poster: Cristen Fleming, 'Scaling up for safety: How Virtual Clinical Pharmacy Services helped rural hospitals meet national standards'
  • Best Friday poster: Belinda Chappell, 'Investigating variance in reporting times of vancomycin concentrations by availability of on-site therapeutic drug monitoring' 
  • Best Saturday poster: Ann Whitaker, 'Intravenous Iron Infusion Resource Toolboxes – Reinvigorating how support is provided for administering clinicians' 
  • Best Technician poster, Nicola Harper, 'Preventing high-risk medication incidents in rehabilitation wards - An advanced technician medication safety initiative' 
  • Best student or intern poster: Nadia Zamri, 'Scoping Review of Learning Health Systems and Health Systems Science in Health Professionals’ Education' 
  • Best First-time poster: Roya Roohizadegan, 'Investigating postoperative opioid prescribing in a private hospital to improve patient outcomes'
  • People’s choice award for best poster: Shelley Phillips, 'Spoons are for ice-cream, not measuring medicines - suitability of oral dispensers from hospital to home' 

Ms Michaels says the buzz from MM2022 has only just begun. 

‘The anticipation during the build-up has been palpable, and expectations were truly met, with 1,100 delegates, incredible keynotes and a truly electric atmosphere. 

‘Medicines Management is so much more than a conference. It is the heart and annual highlight of SHPA as an organisation, and central to the character of our professional community. 

‘We can’t wait to harness this energy and continue to lead pharmacy forward, fostering innovation at the frontiers of practice to the benefit of all practitioners and the patients in their care.’