Provincial Pharmacist's Assistant of the Year Awarded | Western Cape Government


Provincial Pharmacist's Assistant of the Year Awarded

6 September 2012

Pharmacist's Assistant of the Year 2012 Awards, from left: Juanita April (2nd runner-up), Dr Krish Vallabhjee (Chief Director: Strategy and Health Support), Katrina Philander (Pharmacist's Assistant of the Year), Dr Keith Cloete (Chief Director: Metro District Health Services), Ta-Mari Myburgh (1st Runner-up), Prof Craig Househam (Western Cape Head of Health), Genevieve Adams (finalist in the Pharmacist of the Year Awards) and Denise Frieslaar (Project Manager: Pharmacist's Assistant of the Year Awards).

    Western Cape Head of Health, Professor Craig Househam, handed over the Pharmacist's Assistant of the Year 2012 Award on 7 September 2012 at a gala dinner held at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

    Katrina Philander, a pharmacist's assistant at Worcester Community Health Centre (CHC), received the prestigious award which provincially recognises excellence in the field and showcases the outstanding achievements of pharmacist's assistants across the Western Cape.

    Prof Craig Househam, Western Cape Head of Health, delivered the keynote address at the gala dinner and emphasised the important and unique role that pharmacist's assistants play as part of a professional dispensary team. He said: "The role of pharmacist's assistant is one of providing support to the pharmacist and is often a very thankless job, yet the award nominees are such inspiring people. The awards are a reflection of the dedication and passion that the finalists have for their jobs and the industry. I would like to congratulate all nominees, especially our winners, with this great achievement and wish them the best for the national awards. The finalists have all demonstrated that they are leaders who aspire to develop not only themselves but all those around them."

    Similar to the Provincial Pharmacist of the Year Awards, the award nominees for the Provincial Pharmacist's Assistant of the Year were evaluated by a panel of judges, representing Medi-Clinic Southern Africa, the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC), the University of the Western Cape (UWC), the National Department of Health and the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS), according to very specific criteria.

    The criteria, which is in line with the criteria for the National Department of Health's "Excellence in Healthcare Awards", included the following:

    • Motivation (comprehensive and measurable) - explaining how the nominee has made a quality difference in the pharmacy sector and how it impacted on patients.
    • Contribution to the management of burden of disease in South Africa.
    • Contribution towards effective team work.
    • Contribution towards the community.
    • Involvement in the following aspects of professional practice: caregiver, communicator, decision-maker, teacher, lifelong learner, leader, manager and researcher.
    • No previous history of disciplinary complaints lodged or disciplinary cases pending against the nominee.

    Philander came out tops as a result of her contribution to the pharmacy sector, as well as to the community she serves. She implemented a chronic disease management plan in the Breede Valley sub-district, which was rolled out to Non-Government Organisations (NGO's) and old age homes, leading to the management of non-communicable diseases of patients over 65 years of age contributing to decreasing the burden of disease in the area.

    She illustrates good leadership and managerial skills and recently assisted the Pharmacy Manager at Worcester CHC during her maternity leave by managing the duty roster and the pharmacy's expenditure. She also attended pharmacy management meetings under supervision of a locum and mentored new pharmacist's assistant learners.

    She annually participates in the CANSA Relay for Life, an overnight team event which is part of an international movement. Relay teams commit to having at least one member walking around the track at all times for 18 to 24 hours.

    Philander and the runners-up, Ta-Mari Myburgh (from Robertson Hospital) and Juanita April (from Bridgeton Community Health Centre, Oudtshoorn), will be nominated for the 2012 South African Pharmacy Council National Pharmacist's Assistant of the Year Awards which will take place in November this year.

    Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, intends to personally congratulate the winner. He said: "I wish our winner all the best for the national competition. In the Western Cape, we aim to expand the number of pharmacy assistant learnerships. This is a new qualification that differs from those of pharmacists, and is an effort to expand our pharmacy service. In the current financial year we have 110 pharmacy assistants in training."

    The gala dinner of the provincial pharmacist's assistant conference recognises the value pharmacist's assistants contribute to healthcare in the province and formed part of the department's second annual provincial pharmacist's assistant conference.

    The purpose of the conference is to inform and enlighten all pharmacist's assistants within the Provincial Department of Health of new developments taking place within the pharmacy sector, both nationally and internationally, and to promote teamwork and the benefits thereof through various information and activity sessions. This incorporates the province's "Better Together" slogan by motivating the implementation of better service delivery across the province.

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