Huddersfield pharmacist wins top award for outstanding community work
A dose of brilliance
A professor of Pharmacy from the University of Huddersfield has been recognised for his dedication and commitment to the profession after receiving a prestigious award.
The Charter Award from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) was awarded to Dr Mahendra Patel for his outstanding contribution to the profession.
The award is made annually by the Society on the recommendation of its President.
Dr Patel said: “I’m delighted to receive this award. I believe passionately in the very real benefits that pharmacists can deliver to the local community, and I’m proud that I’ve been able to help influence and shape the experience of patients and pharmacists.”
He continued: “Helping and supporting young people and students to fulfil their potential as health professionals is especially important as they discover their path in life and benefit communities of the future.”
Dr Patel - a fellow of the RPS and member of the RPS English Pharmacy Board - became a pharmacist in 1981.
He is Principal Enterprise Fellow in Pharmacy at the University of Huddersfield and Visiting Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Sheffield.
The chemistry whizz was also one of the first Fellows to be appointed to NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) and pioneered the development of the NICE Student Champions Scheme, which develops the health professionals of the future to be ambassadors for NICE - a project which has spread to nearly 40 universities.
His voluntary and fundraising work spans almost most two decades locally, regionally and nationally, and includes being a governor at Wakefield Grammar School Foundation as well as helping to establish the fundraising branch of the British Heart Foundation in Wakefield and district.
Only recently, he was awarded the British Heart Foundation’s Regional Community Volunteer of the Year Award.
He has long championed the work of the South Asian Health Foundation, a charity which promotes improvements in healthcare in the UK’s South Asian communities.
President of RPS, Martin Astbury, said: “It gives me enormous pleasure to give the Charter Award to Mahendra Patel in recognition of all he has achieved for pharmacy through his enormous drive, energy and enthusiasm.
“His dedication and commitment are second to none and he has been an outstanding advocate for pharmacists and the RPS. Through his fundraising and charity work, he’s supported a host of good causes and he’s made an important contribution to improving the health of the South Asian population.”
The award winning pharmacist has also established an annual student exchange programme with the University of Huddersfield and Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, USA, in his role as Visiting Professor at the Wilkes College of Pharmacy.
The exchange provides opportunities for Huddersfield students to widen their horizons and develop experience of different types of pharmacy practice.
Dr Patel is also a founding member of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, a charity providing information, advice and support to those with mouth, throat and other head and neck cancers to cope with their illness and to encourage early detection of these diseases.