The Pharmaceutical Society of Western Australia, as custodians of the J M O’Hara Research Fund, continues to operate as an incorporated association with a vision to become a recognised major facilitator for pharmacy research and practice development in Western Australia by increasing the profile and scope of the J M O’Hara Research Fund.
- The J M O’Hara Research Fund was established in 1976 in recognition of John Michael O’Hara, a highly respected Western Australian pharmacist. John served as a councillor of the Pharmaceutical Council of Western Australia for 27 years, including two periods as President. John worked tirelessly to promote the practice of Pharmacy not only in the state, but also nationally and internationally.
- The J M O’Hara Research Fund (JMOHRF) provides assistance to PSWA members for WA based research in pharmaceutical sciences or pharmacy practice and encourages and promotes studies designed to improve the practice of pharmacy.
- All members of the profession gain from the outcomes of research which is aimed at expanding knowledge in any branch of pharmaceutical science or in any aspect of the practice of pharmacy.
- Previously the Fund awarded grants of approximately $10,000 to one or two projects each year.
- The JM O’Hara Research Fund has traditionally provided small amounts of seed or scope funding to WA pharmacy researchers for small scale projects. Our new vision is to establish an ongoing funding source, more substantial in nature, to provide much larger grants for larger scale, cutting edge research projects in WA which will have positive benefits for the pharmacy industry and community health.
- In 2016 and 2017 grants to the value up to $50,000 were awarded.
- The JMOHRF is seeking to establish a significant working capital base to drive future funding and attract further funding from outside the industry to ensure the JMORF becomes the most significant research fund in the area of pharmacy practice in WA.
- The goal is to establish the JMOHRF as a major player in health research in WA that will be recognised by Government and the wider health industry as making an important contribution to community health and future health delivery.
- The JMOHRF is a way of maintaining a relevant role for the PSWA going forward and will ensure the efforts of past generations of pharmacists in establishing the assets of PSWA are not wasted or left dormant.
- To achieve this, we are seeking to put together a core group of at least 100 pharmacists to commit to an annual, tax deductible donation to the JMORF, of $1000 for 5 successive years. This will provide the JMOHRF with the working capital base to ensure not only current funding but also drive future funding from both within and outside the profession.
- Your participation is a generous way of recognising your past and current association with the profession and ensuring the ongoing rewards are passed not only to the future members of our profession, but will also benefit the public of WA.
- All the Pharmacy 100 Club patrons will be recognised as benefactors of the JMOHRF through research communication, provided with updates on the research projects and their outcomes, and invited to any launch or fundraising functions.
- In deciding on research grants the committee of the JMOHRF provides a broad perspective on Pharmacy research that not only considers traditional research projects but also reflects a contemporary view of research that incorporates community pharmacy based aspects of pharmacy practice. The committee’s expertise covers community practice, hospital and academic based areas.
- This is your opportunity to not only repay the profession, but also make a positive impact on the health of all Western Australians.
- In terms of a life-time in the profession the financial commitment is relatively small, but the benefits in recognition of the profession, our Society and the positive health outcomes can be enormous.
The Next Step
- Make a commitment today and the PSWA will establish you as part of the JMORF Pharmacy 100 Club and ensure your recognition in the future of the profession.
Several key projects recently funded by the JM O’Hara Research Fund include:
Determination of the prevalence and factors influencing the provision of enhanced and extended professional services by pharmacists in Western Australia
As part of a J M O’Hara Research Grant, Petra Czarniak from Curtin University is researching the level of non-prescription related professional services provided in community pharmacies in Western Australia. The findings of this research will quantify the level and provide insights into the spread of enhanced and extended services provided in WA. Many of the services are currently unremunerated or poorly remunerated but make an important contribution to community health and save money for the government and the community. However, free provision of these professional services may no longer be able to be absorbed by community pharmacies. The results of this research will enable strategies to be developed to improve remuneration for these services and where appropriate develop strategies to increase uptake of these services
Enhancing primary care processes in community pharmacy – Liza Seubert from the University of Western Australia was the recipient of the 2015 J M O’Hara research grant for a project on Enhancing primary care processes in community pharmacy. The research looks at the interaction between customers and staff in the community pharmacy environment, in particular the recognition levels of consumers and their willingness to seek out and recognise the pharmacist as the key communicator in the pharmacy. The interim results already identified factors that can strongly influence customer behaviour including such simple strategies as wearing a specifically designed badge. With a renewed focus on developing new professional services through community pharmacy the interim research outcomes provided a tangible focus on positively changing customer behaviour and enhancing consumer trust within the community pharmacies environment.
Medications for mental health – Deena Ashoorian researched the new paradigms for the partnership management of medications for mental health consumers in the community. This important research, which involved the development, validation and trial of a novel side effect tool for psychotropic medications, will be of benefit to clinicians, pharmacists and mental health consumers. This research has already been recognised, having been accepted as papers at 9 conferences (local and international) in the last three years. As a result of these conferences and peer reviewed journal publications, the My Medicines and Me Questionnaire (M3Q) is currently being used in a range of clinical settings worldwide, including translated versions. In addition, the Health Department of WA has recognised its value in bridging the communication gap and have agreed to co-badge and distribute the M3Q in mental health clinics in the near future
Deprescribing of medications – Amy Page researched the concordance of de-prescribing recommendations made by pharmacists and medical practitioners for frail older people living in residential care. The conclusion of the study was that doctors and pharmacists had substantial agreement on the number of medications to deprescribe. This suggests that the identification of target medications for deprescribing is a new role for pharmacists. Specialised and ongoing training will be required for this new role for pharmacists.
Fentanyl patches used by Aboriginal patients – Professor Bruce Sunderland investigated inefficacious release of fentanyl patches used by Aboriginal patients in the remote Kimberley.
Pharmacy 100 Club Members
Greg Da Rui
Sun Chuan Tan