Trailblazing pharmacists recognised at awards ceremony
Innovative pharmacist Kirrily Chambers was honoured at the gala dinner for her pioneering work as the first credentialled diabetes educator pharmacist in Australia.
After campaigning for three years, Kirrily Chambers broke new ground when became Australia’s first pharmacist to become a Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE) in 2009. Since then, 220 pharmacists have followed in her footsteps, with hundreds more completing graduate courses in diabetes care and education.
She was recognised for this contribution to the profession last night at the UTS Innovative Pharmacist of the Year Awards in Sydney.
Now in its seventh year, the awards are sponsored by AstraZeneca, and recognise an individual or team that shares UTS Pharmacy’s passion for embracing innovation and implementing professional services. Chambers wins a medal, $5,000 towards further professional development and the opportunity to share her innovation with the rest of the profession.
“Like many chronic health conditions, diabetes is often misunderstood and there’s a lot of misinformation, so increasing the capacity of pharmacists to provide support and knowledge to people with diabetes is very powerful,” said Chambers.
Like many chronic health conditions, diabetes is often misunderstood and there’s a lot of misinformation, so increasing the capacity of pharmacists to provide support and knowledge to people with diabetes is very powerful
“As a CDE, I use my Medicare provider number to offer bulk-billed diabetes care and education services to people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. I have my own clinical rooms within a community pharmacy setting. This model of care makes it very accessible for people to get the information they need,” she says.
The award was presented during a gala dinner at the Great Hall where the Master of Ceremonies, John Bell, Specialist Practitioner Teacher at UTS Pharmacy and Corporate Relations Consultant and Pharmacy Self Care Advisor at the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, spoke highly of Chambers’ approach.
“With diabetes the fastest growing chronic disease worldwide, an initiative to enable pharmacists to provide better diabetes management has enormous benefits, not only for the person with diabetes, but also their family and the wider community. Kirrily Chambers has set up a dynamic service providing increased access to diabetes care in the pharmacy setting which is a great achievement,” he said.
Chambers was honoured to be recognised for her work. “I love my job and I’m very passionate about being able to help people better understand their condition. Being able to impart that knowledge in an easy-to-understand format, makes a huge difference to people.”
Acting Head of School, Professor Joanne Gray, also commented on the high quality of nominations and extended her huge congratulations to all the winners.
“Kirrily Chambers’ hard work, trailblazing approach and innovative practices have already helped hundreds of pharmacists and thousands of patients. The commitment our Pharmacy students demonstrate towards their work and future is also inspirational. Innovation is the cornerstone of pharmacy and the Graduate School of Health is proud to recognise the outstanding contributions of those in this critical profession,” she says.
In addition to the overall winner, 10 UTS Pharmacy students were selected to receive awards and scholarships for dedication to their studies including Pauline Ngo, Samuel Wells, Nabila Chowdhury, Laura Stutchbury, Karan Patel, Antonia Dadic, Hassan Karnib, Tamara Badavi and Grase Orihuela.
Second year Pharmacy student, Daniel Barnaby, walked away with two awards. “I was thrilled to be awarded this year's PSA (Pharmaceutical Society of Australia) and SHPA (the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia) prizes. Not only is the awards ceremony a great event to be part of, but it's a huge honour to be recognised among such an esteemed group of winners. It's a fantastic way to wrap up a busy semester,” he said.
Presenting the student awards was Head of Discipline for Pharmacy, Professor Kylie Williams, who said she was very proud of all the student winners and runners-up. “I congratulate all the winners and look forward to following their careers in the future,” she says.