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Volume 1 Issue 2
 
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Kia Ora Koutou Katoa,
 
Welcome to the second edition of the School of Pharmacy newsletter which we hope you will find both informative and enjoyable as we endeavour to keep you all up-to-date with the various events taking place within the School.
 
The School of Pharmacy welcomes Professor Carlo Marra as the new Dean.
 
Our Pharmacy community of students, staff and alumni continue to grow and make changes within the Pharmacy profession. In this edition we draw attention to graduates Rajeshni Nadu and Brian Wong as well as faculty member, Professor Pauline Norris.
 
The School continues to develop its new curriculum and is already including Te Ao Māori in the current course. School Kairāhi, Lisa Kremer along with Aynsley Peterson are leading the way, encouraging both staff and students to improve their knowledge of Te Ao Māori.
 
I hope you enjoy this newsletter.  Please contact us with any feedback you have about our newsletter or if there is anything in particular you would like to know. We look forward to hearing from you.
 
   Ngā mihi,

   Joel Tyndall
   Associate Dean, Marketing, Communication and Engagement

 
School of Pharmacy NEWS

Otago School of Pharmacy welcomes new Dean, Professor Carlo Marra.


It is an exciting time in the healthcare profession, with the role of a pharmacist rapidly changing and evolving. The need to be at the forefront of Pharmacy education programmes is recognised by Otago School of Pharmacy’s new Dean, Professor Carlo Marra. Professor Marra commenced his role as Dean on 1st August 2016 ...

Read More

Cultural Competence

The role of pharmacists is moving further and further away from the traditional role of supplying medicines and has evolved into more patient-specific services such as Long Term Conditions (LTC) and Medicines Therapy Assessment (MTA). Professional competences move in parallel with these changes, constantly being revised and expanding. For example, the introduction of cultural competency in 2010.

 
Otago School of Pharmacy Pharmacist pushes for free prescriptions

Professor Norris’ recent studies show that some New Zealanders are endangering their health because they cannot afford their prescriptions. Even though prescription costs are low, these costs can quickly add up for low income individuals and families with multiple health problems.


Read More
Under the direction of Professor Pauline Norris and Professional Practice Fellow, Aynsley Peterson, six students work together to raise awareness about a prescription subsidy card as part of their research elective paper.

Read more about their campaign on their facebook page, 20 is Plenty.
School of Pharmacy ALUMNI
Rajeshni NAIDU

Qualifications: BPharm (Otago 2002), Postgaduate Certificate in Medicines Management (Otago 2005), Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy (Otago 2010), Masters in Clinical Pharmacy (Otago 2014 – ongoing

Position Now: Specialist Pediatric Pharmacist
A passion for people drives Otago graduates career

Pharmacists provide advice and guidance on medicines and illness and can provide information to help explain these further. But how well this information is understood can vary. Some patients in New Zealand do not have English as their first language, creating a barrier to their understanding of complex medical information.

Under the direction of Professor June Tordoff, Rajeshni Naidu focuses on her Masters in Clinical Pharmacy from her base in Auckland through the University of Otago's Postgraduate Professional Programme. Rajeshni aims to identify how well parents and caregivers understand their children’s medication and how they can access and safely manage these medicines.


Read More
BRIAN WONG 

Qualifications: BPharm (Otago 2015)

Position Now: Intern Pharmacist, Queentsown, Chairperson of the International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation Asia-Pacific Regional Office

Otago graduate, Brian Wong joins the 69th World Health Assembly in Switzerland.

 
Brian Wong (BPharm, 2015) recently attended the 69th World Health Assembly (23rd-28th May) annual governance meeting as one of 20 International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) delegates.

Read More
 
New Alumni PROFILES
Jo Hikaka 
2002 Graduate

Current Position: Clinical Pharmacist, Resident Aged Care, Waitemata District Health Board. 


Graduate Profile

 
Rajeshni Naidu
2002 Graduate

Current Position: Specialist Pediatric Pharmacist, Kidz First Hospital in Middlemore Hospital, Auckland.

Graduate Profile
 
Katie Owens
2008 Graduate

Current Position: Research Scientist, School of Pharmacy, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

Graduate Profile

 
School of Pharmacy NEWS 
Otago School of Pharmacy welcomes new Dean, Professor Carlo Marra

“There is a real opportunity within New Zealand right now as pharmacy evolves here and there’s an opportunity to get involved with that evolution and help shape the future of where Pharmacy will go”.

It is an exciting time in the healthcare profession, with the role of a pharmacist rapidly changing and evolving. The need to be at the forefront of Pharmacy education programmes is recognised by Otago School of Pharmacy’s new Dean, Professor Carlo Marra. Professor Marra commenced his role as Dean on 1st August 2016 coming from Newfoundland, Canada and he aims to help the School lead the way in Pharmacy practice.

Recent changes in legislation now allow pharmacists to prescribe medications meaning pharmacist are “assuming more direct care for patients” says Professor Marra. Some of the research actually shows that pharmacists can manage diseases like hypertension and diabetes better than any other health care practitioner, we just need to do more to integrate that into healthcare systems where pharmacists practice.”

The University of Otago has been acutely aware of these changes and have had Professor Marra on their radar for some time. With a strong academic background and over 200 peer-reviewed publications Professor Marra reputation is well known in the Pharmacy sector.

Professor Marra holds a Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy), a Doctor of Pharmacy, and a Doctor of Philosophy in health care and epidemiology from the University of British Columbia. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada in Arthritis Epidemiology and Pharmacoepidemiology.

Professor Marra’s research has mainly focused on health economics, quality of life research and pharmacoepidemiology, including evaluations in musculoskeletal and respiratory diseases.

Coming to a School with the diverse research background, excellent staff, faculty and students was a “good professional move” says Professor Marra, “there is a real opportunity within New Zealand right now as pharmacy evolves here and there’s an opportunity to get involved with that evolution and help shape the future of where Pharmacy will go”.

Professor Marra plans to continue working together with the broader profession and key stakeholders to help implement new scopes of practice and to help keep the School of Pharmacy’s education programmes at the forefront of pharmacy practice.


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Otago School of Pharmacy Pharmacist pushes for free prescriptions

Professor Pauline Norris recently received a $150,000 grant from the Health Research Council of New Zealand to lead a feasibility study titled “Randomised controlled trial of prescription charges”.

Professor Pauline Norris’ recent studies show that some New Zealanders are endangering their health because they cannot afford their prescriptions. Even though prescription costs are low, these costs can quickly add up for low income individuals and families with multiple health problems.

How much difference would it make to health if prescriptions were free?  Would we be more inclined to visit the doctor if we knew we could then receive the medications prescribed?

Professor Norris recently received a $150,000 grant from the Health Research Council of New Zealand to help find the answers to these questions. Pauline will lead a feasibility study titled “Randomised controlled trial of prescription charges”.

This study will determine which groups of people to involve, how many people will need to be included to be sure results are correct, how to find these people, which outcomes to look at, how best to provide free prescriptions and to find organisations to contribute funding to the study.

Professor Norris plans to recruit a group of people who rely on prescription medicines to manage their health problems. Free prescriptions will be offered to half of the group for the duration of the experiment to evaluate the impact this has on their health. Data will then be compared to people who do not have free prescriptions.

The co-investigators in this grant are Alesha Smith from the School of Pharmacy, Simon Horsburgh from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, and PhD student Shirley Keown from Turanga Health in Gisborne.

Professor Norris's research is one example of how pharmacists are serving our community. The long-term results of this project could make a significant difference for many New Zealanders.


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Cultural Competence within New Zealand’s Culturally Diverse Environment

The role of pharmacists is moving further and further away from the traditional role of supplying medicines and has evolved into more patient-specific services.

The role of pharmacists is moving further and further away from the traditional role of supplying medicines and has evolved into more patient-specific services such as Long Term Conditions (LTC) and Medicines Therapy Assessment (MTA). Professional competencies move in parallel with these changes, constantly being revised and expanding, for example, the introduction of cultural competency in 2010 by the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand.

“Cultural competence is the ability to interact respectfully and effectively with persons from a background different from one’s own. It goes beyond an awareness of or sensitivity to another culture, to include the ability to use that knowledge in cross-cultural situations.” (Statement on cultural competence,
Pharmacy Council of New Zealand.)

New Zealand's cultural diversity requires our pharmacists to acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes that equip them for life in a multicultural world, especially when working with indigenous people.  There are many health gains to be made in the arena of Hauora Māori, and our future pharmacists require culturally appropriate communication skills to be able to make a meaningful contribution to improve the health of Māori.

School Kaiārahi (Māori leader and mentor) and Professional Practice Fellow,
Lisa Kremer, works together with Professional Practice Fellow Aynsley Peterson under the group name, Horoeka, to help ensure a broader focus of cultural competency is in the current and future undergraduate curriculum. This year, Horoeka has introduced opportunities for students and staff to learn about Te Ao Māori (Māori world view) in a number of settings, one being at local marae.

Mihimihi (introduction) is another skill which the tauira (students) are being taught.  In Te Ao Māori (the Māori world), when meeting someone for the first time, it is important to share a bit about yourself, including for example, what your connections are to the whenua (land) who your ancestors are and your name. Being able to share who you are creates a space in which a relationship can be established.  A hongi may also be an essential part of the greeting process and tauira are being encouraged to become comfortable with this common form of greeting.

Other teachings involve learning about te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) and how this is incorporated into the role of a pharmacist, with an emphasis on health equity.  Pulling all of the teachings together, and applying Māori models of health to case-based scenarios is the final step in the students learning.

Horoeka is privileged to be supported by a number of people within the University and the community, and has extensive support from Otago University Associate Dean Māori, Health Sciences Division, Joanne Baxter and her team at Kōhatu, Centre of Māori Health.
 
The School of Pharmacy has introduced a new ‘
Communities in Pharmacy' website to help encourage understanding and respect for diverse viewpoints, values, customs and languages, to help close the gap between pharmacists and the people they help.
 
Ms Kremer provides support for Māori students at the School of Pharmacy, keeping them in contact with
Ngā Kaitiaki o te Puna Rongoā (The Māori Pharmacist Association).  This year Ms Kremer and six students attended Ngā Kaitiaki o te Puna Rongoā hui-ā-tau (annual meeting) at Owhata Marae in Rotorua, the home of New Zealand’s first Māori pharmacist, Hiwinui Heke.  This is an exciting opportunity for the students to get to know and network with other Māori pharmacists from around the country.    

 
School of Pharmacy ALUMNI
A passion for people drives
Otago graduates career

“A passion for the pharmacy profession, and working with people have been the driving force in my pharmacy career”
says Otago graduate
Rajeshni Naidu.

For a pharmacist, communication is a key skill to master. Whether advising patients, cooperating with physicians or having discussions with associates, pharmacists communicate on a regular basis. Pharmacists provide advice and guidance on medicines and illness and can provide information to help explain these further. But how well this information is understood can vary. Some patients in New Zealand do not have English as their first language, creating a barrier to their understanding of complex medical information.

For Otago School of Pharmacy graduate, Rajeshni Naidu, this will be the focus of her Masters in Clinical Pharmacy research. Under the direction of Professor June Tordoff, Rajeshni aims to identify how well parents and caregivers understand their children’s medication and how they can access and safely manage these medicines. Using a questionnaire, Rajeshni will conduct face-to-face interviews with 20 parents/caregivers, before and after their child’s discharge from hospital to find out if they have any issues with managing their children’s medicines.

Rajeshni utilises the Otago School of Pharmacy
Postgraduate Professional Programmes offered to professionals to help them advance in the professional practice.  Rajeshni will complete her studies from her base in Manukau, Auckland where she works as a Specialist Pediatric Pharmacist at Kidz First Hospital in Middlemore Hospital (Counties Manukau District Health Board). The Kidz First Children’s Hospital focuses on family centered health care and serves a culturally diverse community.

Her experience also involves a research publication with a multidisciplinary team at Kidz First Hospital in reducing pain associated with benzathine penicillin injections for children with Rheumatic Fever and coordinated pharmaceutical stability study of lignocaine and benzathine penicillin injections. (See publication here.)

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A passion for people drives
Otago graduates career

“I really enjoyed my 3 years at the School of Pharmacy especially the curriculum and the supportive staff” says Brian.

Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) host the World Health Assembly at their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO with over 3500 world-wide delegates. School of Pharmacy graduate, Brian Wong (BPharm, 2015) recently attended the 69th World Health Assembly (23rd-28th May) annual governance meeting as one of 20 International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) delegates.

Delegates discussed decisions relating to WHO’s response to health emergencies, International Health Regulations, HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, mycetoma, access to medicines and vaccines, child nutrition, air pollution, tobacco control, road safety, research and development as well as integrated health services.

The IPSF delegation held a workshop at the conference on counterfeit medicines, presenting what they, as pharmacy students, think needs to be addressed. Brain says he was glad to have his experience from Medsafe Border Control Summer Pharmacy Student programme to assist this workshop.

IPSF is one of the world’s oldest international student volunteer organisations with over 350,000 pharmacy students and young graduates from 84 countries worldwide.

The School of Pharmacy supported and encouraged Brian when he first become a part of IPSF as an undergraduate at the School of Pharmacy. “I really enjoyed my 3 years at the School of Pharmacy especially the curriculum and the supportive staff” says Brian.

Brian is currently working as an intern at a community pharmacy in Queenstown. Brian is enjoying his year and “working hard to gain his white coat”, a tradition of the pharmacy that symbolises his preceptors trust and confidence in his ability as a pharmacist.

It is exciting to see such drive and passion from our young graduate.  We wish Brian the best of luck with his internship and the future.


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Brian Wong is mid-way though his internship year, working at a community pharmacy in Queenstown, NZ.



Would you be willing to help pharmacy students with their learning?


Our students are keen to learn from you! We need you to join our database of volunteers to talk with small groups of pharmacy students throughout the year. We are looking for people of the community to share with our students what their illnesses are and how these are being managed.
 
For further information please contact Aynsley Peterson
at the School of Pharmacy.

Phone 479 7149 or 021 172 3746
Email aynsley.peterson@otago.ac.nz
 
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@otago.ac.nz 
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