Caring & Innovation Behind 2015 Pharmacist of the Year
Western Australian Pharmacist Swarup Afsar from Pharmacy 777 was named Australia’s Astra Zeneca Innovative Pharmacist of the Year in 2015 by the University of Technology Sydney, recognised for his innovative mental health services and his prioritisation of community health.
Sam, as his patients know him, took the reigns at Pharmacy 777 in Nollamara in 2008, with a clear mission to provide the best in service for the local area.
The focus from the outset was clear; an offering of good patient care, mental health services and building rapport with his community. These were the foundation principles that have led to his success and being recognised as the Innovative Pharmacist of the Year.
Behind it all was the mission to drive a health culture. He became a diabetes educator to meet the needs of the clientele local to his Pharmacy, and he introduced his on-site counselling services in response to an increasing number of anti-depressant scripts coming through the pharmacy.
“Monitoring scripts has been critical to me developing an understanding of what my local community needs. It is what inspired my diabetes care offering and it is has led to our mental health services, which has had a huge uptake,” Mr Afsar said.
“Ultimately I wanted to change the relationship between the community and the Pharmacist, I wanted to step out from behind the counter, understand our patient’s needs and then build the services that they couldn’t easily get elsewhere.”
The counselling services offered at the pharmacy are solution focused psycho-dynamic therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy.
“These innovative services continue to improve the mental health experiences of a whole spectrum of patients – from newly diagnosed diabetics, sleep apnoea sufferer’s to FIFO workers and their partners, and of course people with prescriptions for anti-depressants,” Mr Afsar said.
“All Pharmacy 777 Pharmacists are passionate about helping people with their mental health and answering any questions regarding their medication. No question is insignificant if it can lead to a better health outcome for our patients,” Pharmacy 777 Group Managing Director Kim Brotherson said.
Innovation has been key to driving his pharmacy business, and Mr Afsar has followed an old adage to keep the change coming. “I was told if you keep doing the same thing you will only get the same result.”
Click here to find out more about our Pharmacy 777 Counselling services.