Queen's Birthday honours for Sydney pharmacy alumni

12 June 2013

Two University of Sydney Pharmacy alumni were among those recognised in Monday's Queen's Birthday Honour List announcement.

Mr Gerard Stevens and Dr Lynn Weekes were both named as Members (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for their significant service to community health.

Mr Stevens, founder of Webstercare and owner of several pharmacies in Sydney, was recognised for his valuable commitment to the pharmacy industry, including his roles as member of the University of Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy Foundation and technical advisor to the Department of Health and Ageing.

Mr Stevens is also Chair of the Dean's Community Pharmacy Reference Group for the Faculty, a role he has held since 2009.

His contributions to the Faculty in his capacity as a Foundation member and committee chair were praised by the Faculty of Pharmacy Dean, Professor Iqbal Ramzan, who congratulated Mr Stevens' Queen's Birthday award.

"Gerard is well-known throughout the pharmacy industry as an inspirational pharmacist and tireless innovator - always seeking new ways to improve the health outcomes for patients and the way pharmacists undertake their professional roles. He is a thoroughly deserving recipient of this honour", said Professor Ramzan.

"His presence on the Foundation and the knowledge he brings the Faculty is invaluable, we congratulate him on this special achievement," he said. "Gerard's work has had a major impact on allowing people to maintain their independence and safely manage their medicines using Websterpak. This has enabled individuals to remain at home and avoid the need for formal residential care. His pioneering working in providing innovative systems to safely manage medicines in remote indigenous committees such as the Tiwi Islands is remarkable. The medicines kiosks that he and his team have designed and trialled allow for the safe supply of medicines to vulnerable Australians."

Dr Lynn Weekes, the inaugural CEO of NPS MedicineWise, was honoured for her service to community health through the promotion of quality use of the medicines (QUM).

Dr Weekes' remarkable career began as a hospital pharmacist and her leadership of NPS MedicineWise for the last 15 years has meant that she has been consistently called upon for various national boards and committees from government, pharmacy and academic sectors.

"Lynn is internationally recognised for her work in the quality use of medicines. Her leadership of NPS MedicineWise has made QUM a household word and resulted in a major improvement in the safe and judicious use of medicines in the community and the health benefits that result," said Professor Andrew McLachlan from the Faculty of Pharmacy.

Meanwhile, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia National President, Mr Grant Kardachi praised both pharmacists on their award.

"Both Dr Weekes and Mr Stevens are most deserving of the award and both epitomise the high standards, dedication and commitment that is a feature of the profession in Australia," Mr Kardachi told Pharmacy Daily.

Contact: Chris Beaumont

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