‘Stronger together’ as SHPA reflects on 2020 success

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has reflected on a year of challenges, resilience and strong growth opportunities following its virtual Annual General Meeting last week.

Encapsulated in the 2020 SHPA Annual Report video, ‘Stronger together’, SHPA President Peter Fowler paid tribute to the extraordinary response of hospital pharmacists and technicians across the country when local transmissions of COVID-19 disrupted hospitals, lives and livelihoods in March.

‘When the threat of COVID-19 was the most urgent, we saw thousands of hospital pharmacists embrace SHPA’s Hospital Pharmacy Relief Register, Hospital Pharmacy Intro Training and ICU Upskilling Package.

‘At the same time our advocacy effort rose to the challenge posed by the pandemic, with our COVID-19 Hospital Pharmacy Capacity Snapshot Series prompting national and international media coverage and supporting the national COVID-19 response.’

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says amid the uncertainty, SHPA members renewed in strong numbers and embraced a new, flexible 2020 CPD Calendar. 

‘Our multi-modal approach to virtual, face-to-face, self-paced and webinar delivery has been hugely successful, with a 42% increase in attendance to SHPA CPD this year, while we set another record overall membership retention rate of nearly 94%.

‘With a hugely successful Medicines Management 2019 last November and strong launch of the Australian Injectable Drugs Handbook (8th Edition) in February, we were pleased to report an operating surplus to members last week, a sign of SHPA’s enduring strength.’

Other highlights for the year, also presented in the online 2020 Annual Report Summary, include 254 active Foundation Residents, more than two and a half times last year’s figure, while more than 60% of members are now enrolled in at least one stream across SHPA’s leading Specialty Practice program.

Ms Michaels says the greatest success of 2020 is the deep passion and commitment of SHPA members.

‘Whether isolated within our hospitals and homes, or within our states or territory borders, 2020 forced all healthcare professionals to reconsider how to ensure safe patient care while also looking out for one another amid stress and strain.

‘By flocking to virtual events, volunteering time to support peers and the profession and sending interstate messages of support during lockdowns, the passion and spirit of Australia’s hospital pharmacists and technicians has been on full display, and we look with optimism to the future.’

Following the AGM, SHPA’s current office bearers were re-elected, with Mr Fowler as President, Dr Jacinta Johnson as Vice President and David Brennan as Treasurer.

Download the media release.