Inspirational pharmacy graduate wins top award

Monday 27 Mar 2017

Charles Sturt University (CSU) graduate Ms Seema Khiani has been named NSW/ACT Intern Pharmacist of the Year for 2017 by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

Ms Khiani said she was inspired by her mentor and now employer, Ms Samantha Kourtis - Managing Partner of Capital Chemist in Charnwood in Canberra and an awarding winning CSU pharmacy graduate.

Ms Khiani. "Without the education I received through the Charles Sturt University pharmacy program and all the lecturers and the guest speakers we had, I wouldn't have known how much the industry has to offer.

"My now boss Samantha came to speak to final year Bachelor of Pharmacy students at Charles Sturt University and she inspired me to do more with my degree, to find my passion and to embrace everything about pharmacy."

Ms Kourtis said she was very proud of her employee.

"Seema is very passionate, determined and attentive and I knew from the first day that she worked with us she was focused on patient outcomes," said Ms Kourtis, who was the national winner of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia's 2014 Pharmacy of the Year Award.

"I am really pleased Seema has been recognised in this way and I really think that as a community pharmacist she will take our profession forward in the future."

The Intern Pharmacists of the Year Award recognises interns who demonstrate outstanding performance in their development as professional pharmacists, acting as role models amongst early career pharmacists.

Ms Khiani championed and led a number of professional service initiatives during her intern year at the Canberra pharmacy and was responsible for driving the success of a smoking cessation pilot program.

"I am still in shock that I have won this award and I am very humbled as it recognises all the hard work that I have done," Ms Khiani said.

"I love everything about community pharmacy, especially the difference we make by looking after the primary health care needs of our customers every day."

Currently Ms Khiani is running a program on Sleep Apnoea as well as streamlining the Smoking Cessation program for pregnant women.

As part of her Award, Ms Khiani will now attend PSA17 conference in Sydney in late July. At PSA17, the CSU graduate will compete with other state and territory winners for the coveted PSA MIMS National Intern Pharmacist of the Year Award.

The judges described Ms Khiani as displaying exceptional leadership and initiative in health promotion activities that involved partnering with a number of organisations including the Cancer Council of ACT, Heart Foundation and Lung Foundation.

"Ms Khiani has demonstrated a patient-centric approach to driving the best possible patient outcomes while adding to the viability of the community pharmacy and contributing to professional satisfaction," the judges concluded.

The Bachelor of Pharmacy degree is offered through the University's School of Biomedical Sciences in Orange. The program is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017.


Media contact: Fiona Halloran , (02) 69332207

Media Note:

It is the first year the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has offered the Intern Pharmacist of the Year Award jointly between NSW and the ACT. It was presented to Ms Seema Khiani on Friday, 3 March.

MIMS Australia is the leading sponsor of the Award and contributes the major prize of $2 000 to each state and territory winner to be used to help advance their pharmacy career.

Photo:  2017 PSA NSW/ACT Intern Pharmacist of the Year Award (from left), Ms Seema Khiani, with Ms Dinah Graham from MIMS Australia and Ms Samantha Kourtis, Managing Partner of Capital Chemist in Charnwood.