10 Oct, 2014
NSW medical centre pharmacist Olly Zekry has won the 2014 PSA Award for QUM in Pain Management.
Ms Zekry advocates strongly for pharmacists to play a key role in pain management and in preventing the progression of acute pain to chronic pain by clinical interventions and patient education.
She believes pharmacists can identify red flags, and the yellow flags that play a pivotal role in the progression of acute pain to chronic pain. Increased understanding of the mechanisms of acute pain and risk factors for progression to chronicity has led to improvements in clinical management.
Jointly presenting the award – which is sponsored by Mundipharma – at PAC14, were PSA National President Grant Kardachi and Mundipharma’s External Affairs Manager, Tathra Chai.
Mr Kardachi said Ms Zekry had shown HMRs to be very cost-effective, preventing unnecessary hospitalisation due to medication misadventure by providing education and timely reviews.
“Ms Zekry is passionate about pain management and this prompted her to study for the Masters Degree in Pain Management through the Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney in 2011 and 2012,” Mr Kardachi said.
“Because of her passion for the area and her strong grasp of pharmacology and pain pharmacology, she was invited to join the Pain Management Research Institute (PMRI) with the Faculty of Medicine, Sydney University, as a tutor for the pharmacology units for the core subject PAIN 5003 Pain Treatment and Management Principles in 2013.
“In addition, she was invited this year to be course coordinator for the pharmacology units for the core subject PAIN 5003 Pain Treatment and Management Principles, and also course coordinator for the elective subject PAIN 5015 Pharmacology of Pain Medicine and in fact to rewrite and run the whole unit.
“Under her stewardship, the course is now an interactive online two-week revision, followed by six case-based pain topics over two weeks each, along with a short answer question and two longer case study questions.”
Mr Kardachi said Ms Zekry had identified well over 900 cases of undiagnosed neuropathic pain.
“She has always believed that the goal of all patients living with chronic pain, regardless of their medical history, is to improve function, reduce pain perception, enhance quality of life and minimise side effects,” Mr Kardachi said.
Ms Chai congratulated Ms Zekry saying “Mundipharma is proud to again sponsor the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Award for QUM in Pain Management because this award recognises those pharmacists who making outstanding contributions to the quality use of medicines through direct clinical care of consumers.”
“As the 2014 recipient of this award, Ms Zekry not only makes a significant contribution through her own clinical practice where she undertakes pain medication reviews and supports patients to achieve their goals to reduce pain and improve function, but further extends her contribution through her commitment to professional education.”
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