helen cant 2Introducing… HELEN CANT: Clinical Pharmacist in Primary Care, Tokoroa.

Helen has been a Clinical Pharmacist in Primary Care in Tokoroa for 3 years and says it’s the most personally plus professionally challenging and satisfying role she’s had. Developed with a multidisciplinary care vision, it’s a new higher-level Pharmacist role involving medical reconciliation on discharge, reviews with patients and their GPs, medicine education and practice improvement. Helen also does talks for community and student groups and is a liaison between the community pharmacy and the GP practices.

What she loves about the role is the ability to improve people’s everyday lives by listening to what’s concerning them most – often different to their most immediate health issue – and enabling people to have a sense of ownership of their health through education. Working in a rural community also allows for role expansion: other healthcare professionals are developing roles that have previously been done by doctors. She’ll see a patient for a full diabetic medication review then simply confirm her assessment with their GP. Her medication knowledge complements the assessment and diagnostic skills of doctors and nurses to facilitate a multidisciplinary approach to patient-centered care. Helen is also halfway through her Postgraduate Certificate in Pharmacist Prescribing, which will allow her to provide prescriptions as part of the GP practice team.

Helen discussed how there’s a lot of people living rurally that are really short of the support provided in cities, so being able to be a part of that provision is so rewarding. The people make the place and Tokoroa is great location not too far from Taupo, Tauranga and Hamilton. “It takes me 5 minutes to get to work and if it takes me 10 I’ve been in a traffic jam.” Lots of people cycle – Tokoroa is really close to lots of great cycle tracks.

Helen, you’re a true Human of Rural Health.