June 21, 2021
South Africa has recognized the important work performed by an alumna of the antibiotic stewardship educational program Train the Trainer by nominating her for a national award.
Sonya Kolman, MSPharm, a clinical pharmacist at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and part-time lecturer at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa, has been nominated for Sponsors of Brave, a national award that honors and expresses gratitude for frontline pharmacists who have gone the extra mile for their patients and colleagues. Dr. Kolman completed the Ohio State Train the Trainer Antibiotic Stewardship program for South African pharmacists in 2012.
Train the Trainer is a two-week program offered by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital that teaches antibiotic stewardship and empowers pharmacists to understand that they are more than dispensers of medication; they are experts in drug therapy and can be advocates for their profession and improve their patients’ health.
Created by Debra Goff, PharmD, FIDSA, FCCP, professor of pharmacy practice at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and an infectious diseases specialist at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, the program allows pharmacists to take what they learn and build antibiotic stewardship programs in their own countries to teach their colleagues about best antibiotic practices.
Dr. Kolman took the knowledge she learned from the program and implemented it at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, where she continues to inspire colleagues and mentor new pharmacists. Her desire to give back as a clinical pharmacist and mentor to young pharmacy professionals led her to be nominated for the Sponsors of Brave award.
“This is why we do what we do,” Dr. Goff said about Dr. Kolman’s nomination. “You never know the impact you have when you train someone. It’s fun to see [the program’s] pharmacists realize they will be the voice of change when they return to their country; they have a much bigger role than just becoming pharmacists.”
All nominees have a chance to win one of eight R5,000 (about $365) cash prizes. Two winners will be selected by a public vote and one by a panel of judges to win R25,000 (about $1,800) for a community service passion project of their choice. Public voting for the award ends July 30.
“I hope that [the students I mentor and my colleagues] will pursue clinical pharmacy as a passion because it is relatively new in South Africa,” Dr. Kolman said. “[I hope] the hospital we’ve worked so hard to set up, that one day when I am gone the foundation we built is sustained and that we continue to provide such amazing work to the children that are here.”