Congratulations to Renée Spriggs for winning the Future Pharmacist of the Year award at the Pharmacy Today awards. Renée is a 4th year pharmacy student studying at Otago School of Pharmacy and Tumuaki (President) of Te Puna Kaitaka, the Otago Māori Pharmacy Student Association. She is also a subcommittee member of the Māori Pharmacists’ Association.
The application for the award required Renée to submit an essay on what the pharmacist’s role will be in 2025. In her essay, Renée discussed the influence of technology to free up pharmacist time, ensure access to better information, and allow more seamless integration of the healthcare team. She discussed utilising the full range of clinical skills that pharmacists are trained in, and develop with experience, to deliver care that focus on the needs of patients. She also discussed the potential health quality and economic impacts of the new contract on service delivery. I think Renée’s vision of where the role of the pharmacist is going is founded in this quote from her essay:
Patients like to be able to be in control of their health and will be grateful to a pharmacist who shows they care.
We were lucky enough to hear from Renée about her whole experience at the Pharmacy Awards:
On Saturday 28th July I was lucky enough to attend the annual Pharmacy Awards as a finalist for Future Pharmacist of Year. I was so excited about the evening and had heard that it was a wonderful event to be a part of. The evening began with drinks and mingling before moving through to our tables. I was seated with some lovely people who were very interested in why I was there and had their own great stories to tell. It was nice to meet future colleagues and hear about the roles they play as pharmacists in their communities. As the awards began, I was incredibly nervous but thankfully my award was up first. When it was announced that I had won I was shocked but so honoured to have received such a prestigious award. Unfortunately, the photographer wasn’t prepared yet as I walked across the stage but our host, Rhys Mathewson, quickly pulled out his phone for a selfie. The rest of the awards continued, and I was so inspired to hear about all the amazing work being done in pharmacy all over New Zealand. I hope I can continue this great work in my future career and get the chance to attend the awards again. It was a fantastic experience and I encourage anyone who gets the opportunity to go to take it.
It will be interesting to hear back from Renée once she is out working in the profession and again in 2025 to get her take on the role of the pharmacist! Ka mau te wehi e Renée!