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Volume 2 Issue 1
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School of Pharmacy NEWS

Otago School of Pharmacy welcomes new Associate Dean Māori, Leanne Te Karu

Otago School of Pharmacy welcomes prescribing pharmacist, Leanne Te Karu, into a new Professional Practice Fellow role as Associate Dean Māori. Ms Te Karu is a well-known advocate for Māori pharmacists, clinical pharmacy and pharmacist prescribers in Aotearoa New Zealand with over 25 years of experience.


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Above: Pro-Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences at the University of Otago, Professor Peter Crampton speaks to the new students.
 

2017 White Coat Ceremony


Every year the School of Pharmacy celebrates the entrance of new students as they make the formal transition from Health Science First Year with the White Coat Ceremony. This year 133 new students and 13 International Medical University students gathered at the Hunter Centre (Saturday 25th February 2017) to be welcomed into their first professional year of the pharmacy programme as the next generation of Pharmacists.

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Mr Graeme Smith’s 36 Years of Pharmacy


Pharmacy owner, governance member, policy writer and rugby player, Mr Graeme Smith, has dedicated the last 36 years to the pharmacy profession. With an interest in governance and passion for people, Mr Smith has helped shape New Zealand’s pharmacy profession.

 

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Rongoā Māori introduced to curriculum


Rongoā practitioner and medical herbalist Donna Kerridge (Director of Ora New Zealand), commends the Otago School of Pharmacy and Lisa Kremer for taking the initiative to introduce Rongoā into the curriculum this year. All fourth year students spent a day at Dunedin’s Botanical Gardens learning about traditional Māori medicines.
 

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Curriculum UPDATE
 
The School recently appointed Megan Anakin as Educational Technology/ Instructional Designer to help enhance research-informed teaching and learning practices. “My role requires me to apply my knowledge of educational theory in creative ways.”
 
 
School representation on PRISM
 
PRISM lead the pharmacy sector, focusing on ways the pharmacy sector can contribute to the improvement of Māori health and achieve the vision of the Māori Health Strategy.
 
Honours student returns to undertake her PhD

The Bachelor of Pharmacy Honours (BPharm(Hons)) programme celebrates success in its prime objectives with the return of 2015 graduate, Isabelle Kuan. The Honours programme helped streamline Isabelle’s career in research seeing her back in Otago after her Intern year.

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School of Pharmacy NEWS 
Jointly organised by New Zealand’s Universities, the School of Pharmacy at the University of Otago and the School of Pharmacy at The University of Auckland present “Pharmacy Forward: Evidence to take Pharmacy Forward”. This one-day symposium aims to establish a multi-disciplinary forum to discuss current evidence of, and the process of, moving Pharmacy forward.

The profession of pharmacy has been slow to deliver clinically based services and move from a product based model to a patient focused model.  While the reasons for this lack of movement are complex, one of the impediments has been the lack of remuneration and the uncertainty about the value of evidence.  As such, the profession needs a coordinated effort to collect the right evidence that will propel pharmacy forward.

Professor Carlo Marra and Dr Jeff Harrison take the innovative lead in moving New Zealand’s pharmacy profession forward with this pharmacy symposium that will bring together leading minds across both pharmacy advocacy and pharmacy practice to discuss cost-effective solutions to improve patient care by pharmacists. 

The symposium presents an ideal opportunity to share and discover best pharmacy practice that is committed to the improvement of the health of New Zealand. Pharmacy Forward will question the pharmacy profession’s current position and discuss international and local evidence on how to move it forward to improve health outcomes at good value for money.

Throughout the day pharmacy stakeholders will present their evidence around our current pharmacy practice and discuss ways we can move pharmacy forward.

The symposium will finish with a facilitated session to form a research agenda around generating evidence to take pharmacy practice forward.

The symposium is free and open to all interested in the advancement of the health profession.

Register now at www.forwardpharmacy.com

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Otago School of Pharmacy welcomes Associate Dean Māori, Leanne Te Karu

Otago School of Pharmacy welcomes prescribing pharmacist, Leanne Te Karu, into a new Professional Practice Fellow role as Associate Dean Māori. Ms Te Karu is a well-known advocate for Māori pharmacists, clinical pharmacy and pharmacist prescribers in Aotearoa New Zealand with over 25 years of experience.

With extensive experience in hospital, community and primary care pharmacy, and a history of leadership in governance roles, Ms Te Karu is in the prime position to lead the Otago School of Pharmacy in Hauora Māori development.
Ms Te Karu integrates this new position with a diverse range of roles that together give her a broad understanding of pharmacy practice. Ms Te Karu works as a prescribing clinical pharmacist in two clinics in the North Island, is a council member of the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand, and clinical advisor to BPAC, PHARMAC and the Health Quality and Safety Commission.

Descendant of Muaūpoko and Whanganui iwi, Ms Te Karu has focused her career on improving health outcomes for all iwi. As a key contributor to the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand joint working party who developed a strategy for Māori health in 2003, Ms Te Karu went on to initiate the formation of Ngā Kaitiaki o te Puna Rongoā (The Māori Pharmacists Association).

It is largely through Ngā Kaitiaki o te Puna Rongoā that Ms Te Karu has shown her support to staff and students, already having formed a strong basis of relationships that will support her in her role as Associate Dean Māori.

The School are honoured to have Ms Te Karu as part of their team as they work to strengthen Hauora Māori development.

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Distinguished Pharmacists help welcome new students at the 2017 White Coat Ceremony

Every year the School of Pharmacy celebrates the entrance of new students as they make the formal transition from Health Science First Year with the White Coat Ceremony. This year 133 new students and 13 International Medical University students gathered at the Hunter Centre (Saturday 25th February 2017) to be welcomed into their first professional year of the pharmacy programme as the next generation of Pharmacists.
 
Otago School of Pharmacy staff, students and Alumni joined forces with external stakeholders to help inspire confidence in the students of the bright future available to them through the profession.

Research Manager Māori, Mark Brunton, opened the ceremony with a mihi whakatau followed by an official welcome from school Dean, Professor Carlo Marra.
Professor Marra stood at the podium at the White Coat Ceremony for the first time this year, first welcoming and acknowledging Pro-Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences at the University of Otago, Professor Peter Crampton and distinguished guest, our first recipient of our Honourary White Coat, Mr Graeme Smith.

“Pharmacists are health professionals with the knowledge, skills and attributes to take responsibility for the management and utilization of medicine, in order to optimise medicines related to health outcomes” quotes Professor Marra from the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand’s Code of Ethics, reinforcing the serious nature of entering the Pharmacy profession.

Professor Marra urged students to “Represent the profession of pharmacy as a compassionate, ethical, dedicated health care professional whose primary concern is patients’ well-being.”  

 
Community pharmacy owner (Rangiora) and Pharmacy Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) president, Mr Graeme Smith was donned the inaugural Honourary White Coat recipient.

Mr Smith is a distinguished member of the profession with a keen interest in the integration of pharmacy into the primary care health team. “He waka eke noa… we are in this together” says Mr Smith, as he encourages the new students to mix with other health science students. Mr Smith concluded his speech with a final piece of advice for our future pharmacists “Often the smallest pieces of Pharmacy care delivered with respect and compassion that makes the biggest difference.”
This year our students were formally welcomed with the ceremonious presentation of their dispensing jackets by ten influential pharmacists. Pharmacists donned students who went on to receive a certificate and Code of Ethics from the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand, and the School of Pharmacy’s Code of Conduct.
To finish the ceremony, School of Pharmacy’s Professional Practice Fellow, Anita Olivier, led the students in the reciting of the Code of Ethics Principles.

Thank you to the kind support of our coat donners who donned the students with their new dispensing jacket. Thank you to Dr. Carla Dillon (Memorial University of Newfoundland), Kirsten Simonsen (PSNZ), Graeme Smith (PSNZ ), Kim Brackley (NZHPA), Paul Larsen (Larsen’s Pharmacy), Debbie Wallace (EVOLVE), Angela Harwood (Wellsouth Clinical Pharmacists/School Affiliate), Leanne Te Karu (Associate Dean Māori/Pharmacy Council of NZ), and School of Pharmacy staff, Associate Professor Bruce Russell and Associate Professor Natalie Medlicott.
Photography by Alan Dove
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Mr Graeme Smith’s 36 Years of Pharmacy

Pharmacy owner, governance member, policy writer and rugby player, Mr Graeme Smith, has dedicated the last 36 years to the pharmacy profession. With an interest in governance and passion for people, Mr Smith has helped shape New Zealand’s pharmacy profession.

Currently managing his role as President of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) with co-owning two Pharmacies in his hometown of Picton and one in Rangiora, Mr Smith says “There is no such thing a typical day”. Through the course of a week, Mr Smith can have two or three days in the pharmacy and two or three days traveling and attending meetings.
During his days as a practicing pharmacist, Mr Smith’s roles and duties can vary. In the dispensary, Mr Smith works with the technicians to dispense, speaks with patients about their medicines and is liaison to prescribers. When primarily allocated to front of pharmacy, his role revolves around customer consultations for over-the-counter and Pharmacist only medicines, conducting INR (warfarin) tests, blood pressure monitoring and flu season vaccinations.  Mr Smith and other Pharmacists also take time throughout the day to talk to community groups or to conduct a Medicines Use Review in a patient’s home.

“Every day there are things that occur that take attention away the routine tasks. Yesterday a patient called to advise she had overdosed on diazepam - she had taken 55 mg instead of 5 mg” says Mr Smith.   

This resulted in an online search of the toxic level of diazepam, a consultation with the National Poisons Center and calls to St John Ambulance, the General Practitioner surgery and the Mental Health team, as well as a number of checks with the patient to make sure she was ok.
Mr Smith “loves his job” and has always enjoyed working with people, both patients and fellow members of the wider healthcare team.

There is huge amount of variety with dispensing, solving problems for patents, working with prescribers, nurses and community health teams and professional services. “
Mr Smith has always been involved in governance and pharmacy organisations throughout his career, and has worked to integrate pharmacists into the primary care health team in an effort to provide better health outcomes for patients.

Along with his role as President of PSNZ, Mr Smith is involved in the Community Pharmacy Services Governance Group (CPSGG), the Expert Advisory Group, and the Pharmacy Steering Group that wrote the current Ministry of Health Pharmacy Action Plan.

With a philosophy of being 100% involved in what he does, Mr Smith comments, “It’s why I've been on various pharmacy committees and working groups over the years, its why I’ve represented my community in local body politics, why I was Foundation President and First Life Member of the Taranaki Triathlon and Multi-sport Club and why I have ended up being President of PSNZ.”

The Otago School of Pharmacy recognises Mr Smith’s achievements, dedication and commitment to the pharmacy profession at this year’s White Coat Ceremony with the presentation of the Honourary White Coat.

Photography by Alan Dove
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Rongoā Māori introduced to curriculum

From left: Sandra Clair, Donna Kerridge, Lisa Kremer and Tom Myers.
Rongoā practitioner and medical herbalist Donna Kerridge (Director of Ora New Zealand), commends the Otago School of Pharmacy and Lisa Kremer for taking the initiative to introduce Rongoā into the curriculum this year. All fourth year students spent a day at Dunedin’s Botanical Gardens learning about traditional Māori medicines.
 
In order to introduce Rongoā Māori philosophies and principles to the students, Mrs Kerridge explains the way Māori view health and wellness to give it the context it needs. “Māori healing comes from a completely different paradigm,” says Mrs Kerridge. With a better understanding of this paradigm, the school hopes to enhance the cultural competency of our future pharmacists.

“It doesn’t matter whether they practice or believe in it (rongoā)… it’s just presenting them with another opportunity that they didn’t have without doing the program. Let them see the potential of the work that they do in Pharmacy in combination with traditional medicines,” says Mrs Kerridge.
 
Mrs Kerridge suggests a collaboration with the pharmacy profession and Rongoā practitioners can help provide patient-centred care, for the benefit of the community and whānau.
 
I really enjoyed the day,” says Te Puna Kaitaka (Māori Students’ Pharmacy Association Otago) President, Ashley Howell. “It opened my eyes to how a lot of things are done and how important rongoā is to people”.
 
Thank you to the Dunedin Botanical Gardens staff, Tom Myers and Kate Caldwell for helping the school enjoy a beautiful day amongst the native section of the gardens.

Photography by Rewa Pene
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New curriculum to reflect the developing roles of a Pharmacist

“The new curriculum is more clinically orientated to help increase graduates practice readiness, which is in line with Pharmacists developing roles worldwide,” says Associate Professor Natalie Medlicott.
Opportunities for pharmacists are constantly growing as the healthcare sector changes to meet the needs of our communities. The school reflects these changes in a complete curriculum review of the Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) degree.

Both the Curriculum Review Working Party and the External Advisory Board have been working together to create a new curriculum that will ensure the delivery of excellence in pharmacy education.

“The new curriculum is more clinically orientated to help increase graduates practise readiness, which is in line with Pharmacists developing roles worldwide,” says Associate Professor Natalie Medlicott.

The School recently appointed Megan Anakin as Educational Technology/ Instructional Designer to help enhance research-informed teaching and learning practices. “My role requires me to apply my knowledge of educational theory in creative ways.” With over 25 years of experience as a teacher in primary, secondary, and tertiary classroom, Megan has a host of practical teaching and learning techniques to share that will help shape the new curriculum.

“We are working to renew our pharmacy curriculum so it will feature an active learning approach that is student-centred and workplace-informed,” says Megan.

Megan will graduate in May with a PhD in Education. This role also allows her to apply her training to support pharmacy education research at the School.

New students will see the inclusion of integrated module-based papers where the focus is person-centred care in a clinical settings and patients in the community. The integrated studies teach you how to apply what you learn at university to the practice of pharmacy. During these studies, students will have the opportunity to learn in different types of pharmacy environments alongside practicing pharmacists.

Read more about the curriculum in the May edition of PharmacyToday.

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School representation on PRISM

Following the announcement of the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand’s cultural competence recertification (October, 2016) the School continues to collaborate with the Pharmacy Reference Group for the Implementation of the Strategy for Māori Health (PRISM) to implement the He Korowai Oranga (Māori Health Strategy) for the pharmacy profession.

PRISM lead the pharmacy sector, focusing on ways the pharmacy sector can contribute to the improvement of Māori health and achieve the vision of He Korowai Oranga.

PRISM have recently discussed research initiatives such as gout, high rates of clozapine prescribing and rheumatic fever. 

The Otago School of Pharmacy continues to be active as a PRISM member.

Related article: 'Collaborations lead to new cultural competency requirements.' 10 October 2016.

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Honours student retuns to undertake PhD

Profile photo of Isabelle Kuan The Bachelor of Pharmacy Honours (BPharm(Hons)) programme celebrates success in its prime objectives with the return of 2015 graduate, Isabelle Kuan. The Honours programme helped streamline Isabelle’s career in research seeing her back in Otago after her Intern year. Isabelle received the University of Otago Special Health Research Scholarship this year and will undertake her PhD under the direction of Honours programme supervisors Dr Dan Wright and Professor Stephen Duffull at the Otago Pharmacometrics Group.

Honours programme Coordinator, Dr Shyamal Das, says “I’m so excited to see Isabelle is coming back to do her PhD because that is the principle objective of the Honours programme.”
Isabelle was among the first group of students to join the programme when it was re-established in 2015. The programme gave Isabelle the opportunity to explore her interest in research and facilitate access into the University of Otago PhD programme.

Having always dreamt of being part of the medical field, Isabelle had a particular interest in paediatrics. However, after enrolling in the Honours programme in her fourth year of study, Isabelle’s career plans changed. “It was through the Honours Programme that my interest in pursuing a PhD began”, says Isabelle.

Studying under the direction of Dr Dan Wright and Professor Stephen Duffull in the Otago Pharmacometrics Group, Isabelle was able to explore her love for problem solving, working with numbers and discovering the unknown.

Focusing her research on estimating kidney function, Isabelle used a computer modelling technique to assist with drug dosing. Guided by her supervisors, Isabelle’s Honours dissertation became her first publication, titled “A Population Pharmacokinetic Model for 51Cr EDTA to Estimate Renal Function”, published in Clinical Pharmacokinetics in 2016.

Isabelle presented her research at the 2015 Queenstown Research Week in the Student Oral Communications Session. “This further stimulated my interest in Pharmacometrics motivating me to continue in this field,” says Isabelle.

Isabelle was awarded ‘Best oral presentation runner up 2015’ (Otago School of Pharmacy Symposium) and graduated with a ‘Top Certificate’ for paper PHCY482 (Professional Pharmacy Practice C for Honours).

 “There is much to learn in the evolving field of pharmacy,” says Isabelle, after completing her internship at Life Pharmacy, Takapuna. “Pharmacy is an ever developing field, from working in the dispensary to conversing with patients on a daily basis. The field of pharmacy has numerous opportunities to help those in a never ending need”.

Isabelle is delighted to be working under Dan and Steve again. She gives full credit to her supervisors for her enjoyable research experience in the Honours Programme. They are “outstanding and supportive supervisors that have only made my research experience that much more enjoyable,” says Isabelle.

Isabelle is a recipient of the University of Otago Special Health Research Scholarship. The scholarship entails a three-year tuition fee waiver plus a scholarship stipend of $75,000 over a three-year period.

Photography by Rewa Pene
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Need to update your Alumni details?


You can update your details quickly and easily on the Otago Alumni website. Registered members can:
 
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For further information please contact 
alumni@otago.ac.nz or Tel 64 3 479 4516

 
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