Alchemy - Issue 28 - Page 6

Wound-care clinics more than a bandage for primary health care Australia’s ageing population and the growing burden of diabetes have created new challenges for primary health care in the area of wound management. Melbourne’s Quality Pharmacy Group is working to address the challenge by establishing dedicated wound care clinics in six of its pharmacies. Monash’s Associate Professor Geoff Sussman OAM has been central to the development of the clinics and training of the pharmacists involved. With more than 100 publications and 30 years of clinical research, practice and teaching to his name, he is an internationally renowned expert in wound management. This interest, he says, evolved from his background as a pharmacist. And he sees wound care as central to the pharmacist’s role. “I originally trained as a pharmacist,” Associate Professor Sussman says. “Working in hospitals gave me the opportunity to do clinical research, and the area I was most interested in was wound management. The number of chronic wounds we see today is skyrocketing. Someone in Australia loses a limb to diabetes every three hours. It’s very alarming and it’s only going to get worse.” While Associate Professor Sussman has taught wound management at Monash for many years, he says the challenge of wound care is compounded by a general lack of appropriate health care training in the area. “Monash approached me 20 years ago to join the staff and start a wound centre. Today it remains the only university in the southern hemisphere providing a substantial level of woundcare teaching to pharmacy and medical students, and the only one offe ɥ