Dutch pharmacist lands dream job

Westmead Hospital’s Joint Chair clinical pharmacy Professor Jan-Willem Alffenaar.

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) welcomes Professor Jan-Willem Alffenaar who has been appointed to the position of joint Chair of Clinical Pharmacy at Westmead Hospital.

Travelling more than 16,500 kilometres from the Netherlands to Sydney, Jan-Willem touched down on Australian soil in December with his young family in Kellyville.

“As a pharmacist and clinical pharmacologist my aim to ensure patients are provided with the appropriate dose of the drug they need,” Professor Alffenaar said.

“This is achieved by taking into consideration the patient’s organ function, genetic factors body size and severity of their disease.

“Over the past decade I’ve developed a special interest in patients suffering from severe infections. Bad bugs, resistant to most antibiotics need a special approach.

“Drug selection and dose are critical to kill the resistance bacteria.

“I chose to work at Westmead Hospital as it’s the largest referral hospital which sees patients with severe infections linked to diseases like malignancies, organ transplantation and critical illness.

“I look forward to working with physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other staff to develop a personalised dosing and affordable plan based on the patients’ needs.

“This is the perfect combination and joint effort of patient care, research and education.

“It’s tough being such a long way from my family and friends but we’re really excited to be in Australia.”

Westmead Hospital’s director of pharmacy David Ng congratulated Professor Alffenaar for his appointment which is testimony to the relationships between the University of Sydney and Westmead Hospital.

“I look forward to working with Jan-Willem and the University of Sydney – School of Pharmacy in progressing a number of new initiatives in due course,” Mr Ng said.