Pharmacist of the Year’s real reward is in helping her clients

LENNOX Head pharmacist academic Lindy Swain, from the University Centre for Rural Health North Coast, has been awarded the national honour of Pharmacist of the Year by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

The award is recognition of her leadership and advocacy in rural pharmacy and Aboriginal Health.

"I am one of the few clinical pharmacists in Australia who works in Aboriginal health and medication issues," said Ms Swain, a pharmacist of 30 years.

"There is no funding for clinical pharmacists in Aboriginal health settings."

Ms Swain's academic involvements have included supervising pharmacy students undertaking Aboriginal health and medication tutorials, pharmacy assistant placements for local Aboriginal students at TAFE, and co-ordinating multidisciplinary placements for pharmacy undergraduates.

She works one day a week at Bullinah Aboriginal Health Service in Ballina where she counsels patients about medicines and conducts medication reviews.

"Many Aboriginal people find pharmacies not necessarily welcoming," Ms Swain said. "They don't necessarily have a relationship with the pharmacist.

"I am very lucky as I love the work I do and am constantly inspired by the students, young pharmacists and Aboriginal patients I meet.

"I hope the receipt of this award will assist me to raise awareness of the need for clinical pharmacists in Aboriginal Health Services."



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