Queensland’s top pharmacists recognised
23 September 2023
Five outstanding Queensland pharmacists have been recognised at the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Queensland Excellence Awards in Brisbane on Saturday evening.
Awards were presented to:
- Jacqueline Meyer MPS, Queensland Pharmacist of the Year
- Swapna Chaudhary MPS, Queensland Early Career Pharmacist of the Year
- Zain Langah, Queensland Intern Pharmacist of the Year
- Lynette Dupuy MPS-AACPA, Lifetime Achievement Awards
- George Kotzas MPS, Lifetime Achievement Awards.
In addition, James Oh from James Cook University was awarded the Professor James Dare Graduate of the Year award.
PSA Queensland President Shane MacDonald MPS congratulated the award winners.
“We are lucky to be home to many pharmacists who go above and beyond for their communities and patients,” Mr MacDonald said.
“Queensland has lead the way with many pharmacy programs, including UTI prescribing and vaccination, which is only possible with the skill and dedication of our pharmacists.
“Each of the award winners exemplify everything it means to be a pharmacist.
“On behalf of PSA and all Queensland pharmacists, congratulations to all the award winners on your achievements.”
Jacqueline Meyer MPS, Queensland Pharmacist of the Year
PSA Queensland Pharmacist of the Year and Live Life Pharmacy Cooroy owner, Jacqueline Meyer embodies what it means to be a pharmacist. She is the founder and host of the Hinterland Health Expo, now in its second year, uniting health providers, building positive relationships, and facilitating collaborations between practitioners. With free community access, consumers can speak to a wide range of health professionals in a relaxed environment, fostering community accessibility, improving consumer awareness and education, and demonstrating that exhibiting practitioners prioritise community healthcare.
Jacqueline personifies her commitment to medication safety, upholding quality standards, professionalism in the industry and growing the role of pharmacists in the safe, appropriate use of medicines from dosage to education and reviewing medications. Jacqueline sits on two local Medication Advisory Committees for a palliative care hospice and the Cooroy Hospital, working collaboratively with prescribers and nurses in both environments as an integral and embedded part of this community.
Jacqueline has developed profound relationships with key health services in the local region. She also provides nurse education, antibiotic stewardship, and patient education, reinforcing the support pharmacists provide and how they are making a difference in the community. Jacqueline has also trained as a lactation consultant to fill the gap in local services, enhancing support available to mothers and increase breastfeeding rates in the region.
Jacqueline lives and breathes the values of the pharmacy profession and has been passionate about mentoring young pharmacists for many years. More than 10 PSA interns have been trained and mentored, with Jacqueline heavily investing in their development along the way. As a female business owner and mother, Jacqueline is particularly dedicated to inspiring young pharmacists establishing their careers within the profession.
Swapna Chaudhary MPS, Queensland Early Career Pharmacist of the Year
PSA Queensland Early Career Pharmacist of the Year Swapna Chaudhary is a passionate advocate for pharmacists to address healthcare disparities experienced by transgender and gender diverse (TGD) communities. Based on her research she believes that education to create inclusive pharmacy environments, using culturally respectful language, and training pharmacists about gender-affirming therapies will improve health outcomes for TGD people.
During her internship in Townsville, Swapna recognised that there was a need for pharmacists to provide better healthcare for transgender patients, involving review of medicines, counselling on medicines and hormonal treatment, adverse effects and management, and preventative healthcare, to improve their overall health. She noticed that her community pharmacy was attracting significant numbers of the transgender patients in the town – meaning that it was already seen as safe and culturally appropriate for these vulnerable patients and a good place for her to kick-start her research career.
Following on exploring both the experiences of people who are transgender visiting pharmacies in Australia and the community pharmacists, she recognised a desire and a need for training on the part of the pharmacists and indeed a lack of availability of such training. This has allowed for her to pursue her passion to provide education on transgender care for pharmacists and to bring about change to ensure that such education is an integral part of pharmacy curricula in Australia.
Swapna has demonstrated outstanding capability in her research endeavours, engaging with health professionals involved in transgender healthcare. She has been embraced by professional organisations as well as support groups working to improve transgender health, with the impact of her work and commitment already recognised.
Zain Langah, Queensland Intern Pharmacist of the Year
When PSA Intern Pharmacist of the Year Zain Langah made the move to Yeppoon, he made a commitment to supporting patient care and safe use of medicines for his rural community. Zain has been instrumental in rolling out a forward dispense model, while still being an optimal care pharmacist and the primary vaccinator. Zain is focussed on investing his time to ensure his patients have been heard and provides thorough counselling that is tailored to his patients and their families.
Zain is consistently looking for opportunities to upskill and has been highly involved with the pharmacy’s Opioid Dependency Treatment program, medicinal cannabis dispensing and promoting the Take Home Naloxone Program. Zain recognised that his pharmacy’s glucose monitoring service had not been well utilised and organised a local Diabetes Awareness Day, where he was able to test patients’ blood glucose levels (BGLs) and educate patient’s, specifically those on anti-diabetes medication on the importance of monitoring their BGLs.
James Oh, Professor James Dare Graduate of the Year
As a final year pharmacy student at James Cook University, James Oh embodies an exceptional passion for pharmacy that resonates through his words, actions, and deeds. His commitment to the betterment of his patients, colleagues, and the entire profession is palpable. His dedication goes beyond the ordinary; he invests himself heartily to ensure that those around him thrive. This selflessness is a testament to his character and his genuine desire to contribute positively.
On top of his academic success, James has remarkable leadership qualities that extend well beyond his current student status. His natural ability to lead, inspire, and influence his peers is evident in the significant impact he has already made. He is poised to become a future leader in our profession, and his contributions will undoubtedly shape its trajectory.
James’s character shines brightly. He exemplifies humility, kindness, and a genuine concern for others. His focus is not on personal gain but rather on the collective success of his patients, his profession, and his peers. This dedication is unwavering, and it is a testament to his honesty, loyalty, and indefatigable commitment to his chosen path.
Lynette Dupuy MPS-AACPA, Queensland Lifetime Achievement Award
For a remarkable eight decades, Dupuy’s Pharmacy has stood as a pillar in Mackay’s healthcare landscape. Established in 1933 by Kenneth Dupuy and subsequently passed on to his daughter Lynette, it held the distinction of being Mackay’s longest-running family-owned pharmacy until very recently.
Lynette, a local icon, embarked on her pharmacy career at the age of 15, spearheading the adoption of innovative health services such as clinical nutrition, compounding medicines, and vaccination administration. She bore witness to the industry’s evolution and maintained a steadfast commitment to learning international best practices and translating them into action. Recently, Lynette made the decision to sell her pharmacy to free up time for family and to continue her pursuit of studying pharmacy practice.
Read more about Lynette Dupuy’s journey here.
George Kotzas MPS, Queensland Lifetime Achievement Award
Born and raised in Innisfail, of Greek heritage, George’s life has intertwined with the town’s history. George’s pharmacy journey began in 1957, and in 1978, he purchased Rothnies Pharmacy, a small community pharmacy operating since 1932.
Rothnies is the genuine embodiment of a “community pharmacy”. There is a familial bond between George, his wife Anna, his dedicated long serving team, and the loyal patients of Innisfail.
A steadfast pharmacy owner, George has weathered the industry’s transformations while remaining an integral part of the community’s healthcare fabric, bridging the past and present with unwavering dedication.
George’s story isn’t just about the pharmacy; it’s about a man with a passion for the arts. He acted, directed, collected artwork, and was deeply involved in various community organisations.
George has recently retired to spend time with his family and focus on his other passions.
Read more about George Kotzas’ journey here.
Media contact: Georgia Clarke M: 0480 099 798 E: email@example.com