PSNZ Pharmacist of the year

Tanya du Plessis is the infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Stewardship pharmacist at Middlemore Hospital and an expert in her field having completed a Master in infectious diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with the Dean’s award in 2015.

Tanya is a dedicated pharmacist who demonstrates excellence and expert knowledge in the specialised field of infectious diseases.She is the only pharmacist in New Zealand with a Masters Degree in infectious diseases and has been pioneering pharmacist in New Zealand to demonstrate the value of pharmacists’ contribution to the management of infectious diseases and antimicrobial stewardship.

Tanya’s work and initiatives have been instrumental in creating the infectious diseases and antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist network in New Zealand where she is respected by her peers as an expert.

Tanya completed her Master in infectious diseases through the University of London over 5 years while working full time.

Tanya has been a pioneer, as Counties Manukau was the first DHB to pilot a full time dedicated infectious diseases / antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist position, providing significant clinical contribution and associated cost savings with this role.

It has led to a functioning antimicrobial stewardship service including pharmacist – led ward rounds, guideline management, education components, as well as maintaining the clinical infectious disease role within the infection service ( a ward based service.)

Tanya has many qualities that make her an exemplary pharmacist.She demonstrates all the key attributes of professionalism and clinical leadership from empathy, resilience, patient centeredness, and innovation to excellent clinical ability and knowledge.

Tanya is planning to use the money from her award to pay her registration to Idea Week, which is a multifacetedinternational conference held in the United States which focuses on paediatrics, microbiology and HIV.Tanya will present a poster and she understands she will be the first New Zealand pharmacist to present at the conference.Only 4 other New Zealand pharmacists will attend.

Tanya says that the award has changed her life by helping her to reflect on her journey as a pharmacist and take stock of her achievements.

“I am so grateful to all the people who have supported and mentored me and it is my wish to pay it forward and nurture and develop the young talented pharmacists who I meet,” Tanya says.