Australia’s 5,900 community pharmacies have been recognised for their extraordinary work and dedication over the past year at the Guild Pharmacy of the Year presentation, held as part of the opening plenary session at APP2021 on the Gold Coast.
A feature of the presentation was the release of a special video highlighting some of the extraordinary work undertaken by community pharmacists over the past year.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the usual format for the Pharmacy Guild’s Pharmacy of the Year competition was amended this year to showcase the whole community pharmacy network and all that community pharmacies have done and continue to do during the challenging times that have defined 2020 and into 2021.
Speakers including the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, and the National President of the Guild, Professor Trent Twomey, praised the work of community pharmacies in the face of fires, floods and COVID-19.
At a time when community pharmacists and their staff across Australia have been facing unprecedented demand and pressures as frontline health professionals, the Guild Pharmacy of the Year event is a fitting reminder of the pivotal role pharmacies play in the lives of all Australians.
Professor Twomey said extending the Guild Pharmacy of the Year recognition to all pharmacies was an appropriate recognition of the work and sacrifices of the sector as a whole.
“It has been an incredible year and one in which pharmacies have risen to the challenge and gone above and beyond to help their patients and communities,” he said.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the whole sector.”
The awards are sponsored by Care Pharmaceuticals whose General Manager, Jonathan Biddle, said the way community pharmacies had responded to the challenges of the past year was remarkable.
“Given the restrictions and the need to change the format of the Pharmacy of the Year award this year it was only fitting that the whole community pharmacy sector be recognised,” he said.
“We are proud to be part of the pharmacy profession and to be able, through the Pharmacy of the Year competition, to give back to that sector which is so much a part of our everyday business.
“Care Pharmaceuticals is committed to improving the health of communities across Australia which is also a common theme so apparent by everything pharmacies have done over the past year. We clearly are closely aligned.”
Rebecca Young, proprietor of Capital Chemist Chisholm on the ACT– winner of the 2020 award – was also present.
“Because of the cancellation of APP last year this special event was not held so it is great to be here and to celebrate with our peers,” she said.
“Winning the award has been a highlight for me and also all of our staff.
“Our patients have also embraced it and love the fact that their pharmacy was voted the best in the nation.”