Pharmacy Connect 2019 inspires the future of community pharmacy

Over 850 pharmacists, pharmacy students, pharmacy assistants and industry stakeholders gathered in Sydney last week for Pharmacy Connect 2019, where they were inspired by the future of community pharmacy.

The conference theme of innovation, transformation and collaboration was explored by a diverse line-up of over 50 expert speakers, providing many takeaway messages for pharmacists.

According to Pharmacy Connect Convenor Kos Sclavos, the program highlight was Professor Ross Tsuyuki’s presentation, which shared examples from Canada of how practising to the full scope will transform the Retail Pharmacy model into an integrated component of the healthcare system.

“This year, we were thrilled to host Professor Ross Tsuyuki from the University of Alberta in Canada as the keynote speaker. Ross highlighted the need to change the words and actions we use in pharmacy to ensure they are reflective of the high quality patient care we provide,” Kos said.

“As Ross said, we should not apologise for doing our job, and offering our professional opinions.”

In addition to welcoming the new Pharmacy Guild Executive Director, Suzanne Greenwood, the conference also played host to Secretary of the Department of Health, Glenys Beauchamp and New South Wales Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women, the Hon. Bronnie Taylor.

“It was fantastic to have so many influential political leaders attend Pharmacy Connect, especially as we progress the 7CPA negotiations,” Kos said.

Other inspirational speakers included CEO of Wisdom Learning’s Rod Hattch and the Women in Pharmacy breakfast panellists, who highlighted practical tools for innovation in pharmacy practice. FRED IT’s Danielle Bancroft also said that digital prescriptions are the biggest, innovative change to pharmacy in decades.

This year’s trade exhibition was the largest yet and along with Thursday evening’s Welcome Reception, it provided the ideal setting to collaborate and network with pharmacy colleagues, Guild Officials, speakers and industry representatives.

Taking on a new and exciting format, Friday night’s Cocktail Party recognised and celebrated excellence in the industry, announcing the New South Wales winner of the 2019 Pharmacy Guild of Australia/Maxigesic Pharmacy Assistant of the Year Award (PATY) and the winner of the National Student Business Plan Competition.

Congratulations to Brianne Lowe from HealthSAVE Pharmacy Charlestown who was chosen to represent New South Wales at the National PATY Award Finals and to the University of Auckland for taking out the National Student Business Plan Competition.

Pharmacy Connect 2020 will be held from Thursday 3 September to Saturday 5 September 2020 at the Hilton Sydney. Further information will be available closer to the event.