Awarded annually by the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA), and sponsored by major pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, the Medal of Merit is considered by hospital pharmacists as one of the most prestigious awards recognising outstanding contributions to the practice of hospital pharmacy.
Dr Kong, from Monash University’s Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, received the award for his significant contribution in the fields of antimicrobial stewardship and infectious diseases, where his work has impacted both hospital and pharmacy practice.
Antibiotic resistance is an urgent global medical challenge. Inappropriate use of antimicrobials contributes to the emergence of resistant bacteria and causes patient harm. Dr Kong has been integral in leading, establishing and supporting activities to ensure the appropriate antimicrobial use in hospitals and the community, to stop the development of superbugs, and optimise treatment outcomes and patient safety.
He has played a key role in defining the role of the pharmacist in the national guideline for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Australian Hospitals, produced by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC), and advising on Monash University’s accredited education module Infectious Disease Pharmacotherapy.
“This award recognises the collective work of a team of individuals and organisations in improving antimicrobial use in Australia over last few years, trying to make a difference for the community. At a personal level, it certainly was a nice recognition of my contributions to the field,” Dr Kong said.
Dr Kong’s award builds on a distinguished research career over more than two decades. His contribution to hospital pharmacy has spanned academia, research, pharmacy practice, leadership and advocacy, and his work is recognised internationally.
He has published more than 90 papers in leading peer-reviewed journals and, together with his collaborators has attracted more than $6.5 million in research grants.
Dr Kong chairs the SHPA’s Committee of Specialty Practice in Infectious Diseases, which, under his leadership, has delivered quality and highly popular education seminars; he represents pharmacists on the executive of the Australian Society for Antimicrobials (ASA) and was instrumental in introducing CPD for pharmacists at the ASA conference.
He also chairs the ACSQHC Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Jurisdictional Network, is a member of the ACSQHC’s AMS Advisory Committee and is co-leading the development of an advanced pharmacy practice tool for infectious diseases pharmacists.
Dr Kong is currently a lecturer at the Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, Monash University; Honorary Pharmacist, The Alfred; and Honorary Lecturer, Faculty of Pharmacy, Science University of Malaysia.