Winning the 2017 Telstra Australian Young Business Woman’s Award, what does it mean for you?
It is an incredible opportunity to share with the nation the important role pharmacists, and the entire Australian health system, play. Every day nearly one million Australians visit a community pharmacy, and I am very passionate about making sure every interaction we have with our clients is optimised to benefit them.
How long have you been a member of ADEA?
I have been a member of ADEA for three years. I joined as a student diabetes educator and then became credentialled about 18 months ago.
What is your role within the diabetes education profession?
I am a Pharmacist CDE. I work in Canberra at Capital Chemist Wanniassa and am also one of the owners of that pharmacy. We employ three Pharmacist CDEs and enjoy delivering diabetes education with very short waiting times, due to being open 99 hours per week, in our two medical grade consultation rooms inside the pharmacy.
What sparked your interest in diabetes education?
I am extremely passionate about mental health awareness. When I was completing postgraduate studies in mental health, I was staggered to learn of the increased rates of mental illness in people living with diabetes, particularly around depression and quality of life measures. At that point in time, about four years ago, our pharmacy was specialising in mental health promotion, and it was a natural extension to assist people living with diabetes at the same time.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Pharmacists are the most accessible health professional. I love being able to provide access across our extended 99 hours of trade per week to pharmacists with a passion and training in speciality areas, including diabetes. Every day I am motivated by the people and the community I am privileged to serve. Our community has whole-heartedly embraced our diabetes education offering, and it is very professionally rewarding to provide another space where our community can access person-centred care.
What does a typical day look like?
My days are constantly varying! Sometimes I am performing the traditional role of a pharmacist in dispensing medicines, but more often than not there is a lot more variety to my work. There may be a few diabetes education sessions (either by appointment or walk-in consults as we offer a same day service), I could be counselling people on quality use of medicines in the pharmacy or delivering our mental health support program. I may be mentoring or training pharmacists interstate, or presenting about health issues at a local school. I could be in a governance role advising government or not-for-profit organisations. Since the Telstra awards, I have taken on a lot more public speaking engagements, at charity events and conferences. No two days are the same!
What is something new in diabetes education that is taking your interest at the moment?
The potential for community pharmacy to play a role in screening at-risk Australians for diabetes is of interest. Throughout 2017 community pharmacies across the country, including mine, participated in a Pharmacy Diabetes Screening Trial, and I look forward to seeing the results of the research. I have also started live HbA1c testing in our pharmacy, and I am excited to see how this improves screening for diabetes in our community, and further strengthens our referral pathways with other health professionals in our area.
Your favourite quote?
Be the change you want to see in the world!