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More than 1,000 people tuned in to the APP Online livestream from Thursday 19 March to Saturday 21 March, supporting the new, digital format of the Australian Pharmacy Professional (APP) Conference. With a backdrop of the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic crisis, presentations understandably focused on support for pharmacists and the wider community at this time.
Pharmacy Guild Senior National Vice President, Trent Twomey opened the conference by recognising the immense pressure that pharmacists are currently facing.
“This pandemic is placing an extreme amount of pressure on everyone in pharmacy. On behalf of the Guild, I am here to reassure the entire community pharmacy workforce that the Guild is here to support you as you support the entire Australian community during this unprecedented event,” Trent said.
“We know that community pharmacy and pharmacists are fatigued, at the forefront of COVID-19 and are continually being asked to do more.”
Guild National Vice President (Finance) John Dowling also added that “the best thing the Government can do to provide certainty to pharmacists right now is to sign the 7CPA.”
With over 40 sessions and up to 28 hours of group 2 CPD credits available, the APP Online program provided practical steps to implement in their pharmacies and business to manage the COVID-19 crisis, as well as ongoing and important clinical updates. As Mark McCrindle said “Great pharmacists not only have a vision for their pharmacy but also for their community”.
Craig James reminded us that from an economic standpoint, the fundamentals are good, the positives outweigh negatives and if we continue to look after customers then they will look after you.
2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty highlighted that family violence will become more prevalent during the self-isolation phase of COVID-19 and pharmacists have a key role to play to contain additional societal issues from this pandemic.
“In Australia, family violence affects 1 in 3 women over 15 and 1 in 4 children. Family violence isn’t only a man perpetrating violence against a woman, it is a wider societal issue where the elderly, can also be very susceptible.”
“Particularly throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, I believe there is an opportunity for compassion and generosity of spirit to continue and to rise. Pharmacists and pharmacy workers have a unique opportunity to be mindful of what customers are going though. Are they more anxious or are there signs of depression? You might be the person who can reach out and support throughout this heightened crisis.”
All sessions at APP Online have been recorded and are available on-demand for APP delegates. To access visit www.appconference.com/apponline. In addition, COVID-19 resources are available for Guild members at https://www.guild.org.au/resources/business-operations/COVID-19-Information
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MEDIA RELEASEFriday 13 March 2020APP2020 Postponed Organisers of the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference (APP) today announced that the 2020 event, scheduled to commence on Wednesday 18 March, will be postponed. APP Chairman Kos Sclavos AM said the difficult decision was made based on a number of health and safety concerns. With over 6000 people due at APP, our number one priority is the health and safety of our community pharmacy workforce given they continue to be on the front line of the Nation’s response to Coronavirus. “The ongoing disruption caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in global company travel restriction policies which are impacting upon speakers and the trade exhibition. In addition, the recently announced cases of Coronavirus on the Gold Coast, and the need to preserve the health and wellbeing of our frontline pharmacy workforce has resulted in the postponement of APP2020. “The APP organising committee, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Gold Coast Convention Centre have relied on expert health advice and information from state and federal health Departments and public health warnings. As recently as yesterday, the Committee received briefings from both the State and Commonwealth Governments and are acting in accordance with their general advice. “APP has a large footprint, not only within the community pharmacy sector, but throughout the entire Gold Coast community. The health and safety of delegates, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, conference centre staff, suppliers and the general public is of the utmost importance for us. “We understand the impact this decision will have on the community pharmacy sector and the local Gold Coast economy. After hosting the event for the last 30 years, it saddens us deeply to take this action. “The encouragement and dedication of our sponsors and exhibitors has delivered a proud history of APP and we thank all our supporters for their vision, commitment and dedication to the community pharmacy sector,” Kos said.Kos added that a reduced program, called APP Online, is currently being developed for registered delegates to view streamed content and recorded sessions, online. “While we work to confirm new dates for APP, ‘APP Online’ will offer as many of the APP face-to-face sessions, in a digital format, as possible. “This means that delegates will still be able to hear the latest industry, business and clinical updates and record the CPD credits that they would have gained at APP. “I would like to take the opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience caused to delegates, speakers sponsors, conference staff and exhibitors and welcome everyone to participate in ‘APP Online’,” Kos said. A full program for ‘APP Online’ will be made available soon via www.appconference.com. Given the significant costs incurred in preparing the event and the costs incurred by delegates, sponsors and exhibitors a partial rebate will be put in place and communicated to delegates, sponsors and exhibitors as soon as possible. While no obligation exists, the partial rebates are a clear sign of good faith by The Guild in Queensland and the APP Committee. We value our relationships and ongoing support before financial considerations. Given that COVID-19 is a communicable disease, no insurance claim is possible for the event. Following public health notices and Governmental advice, conferences scheduled for later in the year are being actively reviewed. Once again, we thank all our supporters and apologises for the inconvenience.ENDSMedia enquiries: Caroline Wallace 0400 092 697
With the postponement of APP2020 due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are currently working on a revised program which will be livestreamed to delegates from Thursday to Saturday. Sessions will also be recorded and made available on the online session recordings for CPD purposes.The revised program will be made available at lunchtime on Wednesday, 18 March.