Dr Chris Freeman has been unanimously appointed by the board as National President of the PSA, the peak body for pharmacists.
His appointment follows the decision by Dr Shane Jackson to stand down from the presidency to focus on immediate family challenges that have recently emerged.
Dr Freeman has a PhD in Pharmacy Practice and a diverse pharmacy background, having worked in hospital, community-settings, academia and general practice during the past 15 years. He has served as PSA National Vice President since July 2016.
“It is a privilege to lead the PSA at a time when pharmacists are increasingly recognised as medicines experts and custodians of the Quality Use of Medicines agenda,” Dr Freeman said.
He paid tribute to Dr Jackson and “the energy and enthusiasm that Shane brought to the role of National President” whilst confirming that “the PSA will double-down on its efforts to increase the roles, recognition and remuneration of pharmacists across Australia.”
“Shane and I are cut from the same cloth. We both want to see pharmacists practising to full scope and this ambition will continue to drive the PSA forward.
“The PSA Board, branch committees and management team are resolute in our determination to unlock opportunities for pharmacists to realise their full potential.”
Dr Jackson will remain on the PSA Board as Vice President and Chair of the Policy & Advocacy Committee.
“Leading the PSA has been a great pleasure and honour,” he said. “However, for the immediate future I need to spend a little less time on planes and more time at home in Tasmania.
“I look forward to leading PSA’s approach to the 7th Community Pharmacy Agreement negotiations, alongside our Pharmacists in 2023 strategy in the year ahead.”
Pharmacy Guild of Australia National President George Tambassis offered outgoing national president Dr Shane Jackson all the best for the future, thanking him for his contribution to the profession during his time in the senior role.
“Shane is a committed pharmacist with a clear dedication to advancing the profession, and all at the Guild wish him and his family well”, he said.
“I congratulate Dr Chris Freeman on his elevation to the PSA national presidency, and look forward to working with him for the benefit of the members of our respective organisations and their patients.”
Dr Freeman is described as ‘an advocate for embedding pharmacists wherever medicines are used, empowering pharmacists to manage medicine use over the longterm, and equipping pharmacists to enhance community access to health services. He considers general practice and residential aged care as exciting career paths for pharmacists alongside community pharmacy and hospital pharmacy practice.’