Catherine Pham ’11 Receives CPTA’s Physical Therapy Student Scholarship

Catherine Pham ‘11, received a Northeast District of the California Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Physical Therapy Student Scholarship. She was officially recognized at the Northeast District Meeting in Sacramento on February 25.

This scholarship is awarded to one physical therapy students from the California State University, Sacramento, University of Pacific, and Sacramento City College which are in the Northeast District of the California Physical Therapy Association. Each recipient will receive a $500 scholarship to help with tuition, textbooks, lab fees, and student membership in professional associations.

“Receiving this recognition has made me thankful for all the people in my life who have supported me in my endeavors in this profession such as my family, friends, and professors,” said Pham.

Pham serves as a student leader for prospective physical therapy students during the Department of Physical Therapy Open House sessions. She hopes to develop her clinical experience in a hospital setting in the Bay Area. In the future, she plans to become an Orthopedic Certified Specialist and open her own physical therapy clinic.


Inaugural Leadership Dinner a Resounding Success

On February 25, 2011 the Academy of Student Pharmacists and the Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association Board hosted the Inaugural Leadership Evening. The event, sponsored by Target, was held in the DeRosa University Center Ballroom and hosted more than 90 pharmacists and students. Guests enjoyed a five course dinner catered by Bon Appetit while practicing basic dining etiquette following lessons from the Master of Ceremonies, Oska Lawrence.

Jill Henry ’12, Oska Lawrence ’12, and Liz Chang ’12 wait patiently for guests arrival

In addition to dining etiquette, the students were given an opportunity to network with pharmacists in their field of interest for a night of engaging and lively discussion. These fields included academia, hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy, nuclear pharmacy, independent pharmacy, managed care pharmacy, and pharmaceutical industry.

Several of the pharmacists in attendance were alumni and were excited to support the event and share their experiences with students. Among them were Drs. Amir Khan ’98, Neel Prasad ’96, Douglas Hillblom ’78, Nam Nguyen ’08, Edlen Wong ’07, Satinder Sandhu ’85, Ed Rogan ’97, Marisella Guerrero ’98, Bruce Toy ’77, ’81, William Przybyla ’74, Gary DeGuire ’89, and Gary Hamilton ’78. Special guests in attendance included Drs. Donald Floriddia ’71, Ed Sherman, Suzanne Galal, Norah Hamilton ’78, and Target Pharmacy Recruiter Ms. Onna Poeter.

Dr. Khan, Target, Group Pharmacy Leader; Dr. Prasad, Target, Pharmacy Business Partner; and Ms. Poeter delivered the evening’s keynote address on “Impressing the Recruiter.” Their innovative presentation highlighted key points on how professional students should conduct themselves prior, during, and following a job interview in the future. They also introduced students to the concept of developing a set of “Power Stories” to better handle interview opportunities in the future.

At the conclusion of the evening, Pacific Alumni and Donor Relations Coordinator Ms. Sherry McGee ’02 shared with students the role the Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association (PPAA) Board has played in improving their overall student experience. The PPAA continually supports students through monetary donations and other behind the scenes services that often go unnoticed by students. Her moving anecdotes which relayed the message of what it means to give back to your alma mater as alumni deeply resonated with everyone in attendance.

The feedback concerning the event was overwhelmingly positive. Second year pharmacy student Kimberly Kwan ’12 noted, “I was very impressed by the organization and classiness of the event. It had an element of formality and fun.” This sentiment was shared by one of Ms. Kwan’s colleagues, Emily Tong ’12, “The pharmacists invited to the dinner were definitely top-notch, with lots of great input, great ‘power stories,’ and provided me with a great deal of insight of the pharmacy profession.”

The Academy of Student Pharmacists and the PPAA Board wish to thank Target for the generous sponsorship of the event which made it possible to host the dinner free of charge for all in attendance. They would also like to thank all of the guests who were in attendance for making the event such a success and look forward to hosting the event again next year.

Students Receive True Experiential Learning at the State Capitol

The goal of the health care profession is to strive to deliver the highest quality of patient care. Our Pacific Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Students had this in mind when they participated in the Pacific Physical Therapy Student Legislative Day at the State Capitol in January.

In 2008, Pacific Physical Therapy Student Legislative Day was organized in an effort to offer the students true experiential learning of advocacy and diplomacy in government affairs. This opportunity was a result of collaboration between Dr. Daryl Stuart and Dr. James Syms, current president of the California Physical Therapy Association (CPTA), who saw that the students were unable to attend the state-wide CPTA Legislative Day due to academic calendar conflicts.

The 37 second-year student physical therapists took action at the State Capitol. They met with nearly 30 legislators, listening to a lecture by Dr. Syms on legislation, politics, and how a law becomes a law, witnessing new Attorney General Gavin Newsom being sworn into office, and pushing for consumer direct access. The students were separated into groups of five to six students, guided by a physical therapist mentor, as they visited the Capitol for an all day event.

It was obvious the passion these students had for their profession and the need for ease of access to physical therapy services. “Much conversation concerned the push for consumer direct access and how the University of the Pacific is extensively preparing its physical therapy students to be qualified professionals in rendering services independent of physician referral,” said Stephen Chan ’11.

Direct access to physical therapy is giving patients an opportunity to be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist without a physician referral. With direct access, physical therapists will be able to treat the patient beyond preventive care. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, 46 states and the District of Columbia have removed the provision requiring a physician referral.

DPT students receive a warm welcome at the Capitol.

While the students were prepared to voice their concerns about consumer direct access, they were surprised how little some legislators knew about the practice of physical therapy and the level of education required for licensure. “In some cases we found ourselves educating them about what physical therapists do: we are movement experts,” added Michelle Stephenson ’11. She continues to explain her knowledge of medical screenings and how she has learned to identify and work with a patient diagnosis within the scope of physical therapy practice.

No matter the issue at hand, the students fully enjoyed their day at the State Capitol for the Pacific Physical Therapy Student Legislative Day. “University of the Pacific Physical Therapy Student Legislative Day is a wonderful opportunity for our DPT students to experience advocacy in action. Our students develop their professional persona, communication skills and gain a deeper understanding of health policy and access. Because our Pacific studentsare eager to learn, responsive and caring, by the end of the day our students become inspiring educators to state legislators, and the health care community,” commented Dr. Katie Graves ’03, PT, DPT, OCS.

The CPTA Northeast District has continued to sponsor the Pacific’s Physical Therapy Student Legislative Day by funding over $500 each year.