AARP Meet the Pharmacist Event Held in Conjunction with Medicare Part D Outreach

On October 22, 2011, the Medicare Part D Health Fair was held in the Chan Family Health Sciences Learning Center and Clinics.

This event lasted from 9:00am until 2:00pm and helped clients find the best health plan that fit their needs for the lowest rate through Medicare Part D. In addition to signing attendees up for a health plan, other services were provided at the event including: medication review, immunizations, medication waste disposal, blood pressure screenings, cholesterol screenings, dermatology screenings, bone density/falls risk assessment, memory decline and asthma screenings. Each examination was held in separate rooms and facilitated by students who were supervised by preceptors assigned to that station.

Kenny Cheng ’13, one of the students who assisted with the health fair, said that being part of the Medicare Part D events “helped with my problem solving (skills) because we need to be able to think on the spot to accomplish the clients’ needs. We want to give them the cheapest plan but they have standards as well of what they want in their plan”. Stephanie Jeffcoach ’13 also helped with the event and said that she really enjoyed helping people save money through the plan, “we even helped a beneficiary save two hundred dollars!”

Christine Croskrey attended the health fair, she said she was very glad that Medicare Part D was holding the event and was “very interested in changing to Part D”. Overall, the Medicare Part D health fair showed care and concern for individuals by helping them find the best, low-priced health plan that fit their needs, as well as going the extra mile by providing numerous health services. The day may have been busy and required a lot of hard work but at the end of the day, everyone was well taken care of.

Dashing to feed the hungry

Dozens of children were seen running around campus with adults during the sixth annual Tiger Dash 5K Run held on October 15, 2011. The event was run by physical therapy students to promote physical therapy as a profession and to tie the School with the community. The event also served as a fundraiser for the Combined Sections Meeting from February 8 to February 11, 2012.

The PT Tiger Dash and Cub Run is the biggest event for the DPT students and brings in more than 100 runners each year.

“This event is our main fundraiser and is growing every year; this year’s committee focused on promoting our profession by providing and creating a strong association with our community internally within Pacific expanding to San Joaquin County,” said Genevieve Correa ’12. Tiger Dash helped them raise $5,500 through sponsorships.

Furthermore, Correa talked about the importance of helping the community and how they integrated an emergency food drive with the event. According to Correa, “Our guests helped provide 160 pounds of non-perishable food items for the Emergency Food Bank of Stockton that feeds approximately 200 people.” They also donated left over bagels/fruit to the Emergency Food Bank along with a $25 gift card.

Although the route was changed last minute, it did not interfere with the event. Of the 112 participants, 89 crossed the finish line. Greg Mandler came in first place, completing the race in 19 minutes and 50 seconds. He was followed by Tony Pacheco and Brian Butler.

Tiger Dash wasn’t just a race, however. University of the Pacific student Kelsey Reese ’14 said, “I signed up because I thought it would be fun.” It also helped her get back into the flow of things. “I haven’t run in a long time so my biggest hope was to finish.” Reese joined many others as they ran around campus helping physical therapy students achieve their goals.


NCPA Host Special Guest Speaker Joseph Shoneff

On November 8, 2011, Joseph Shoneff, Vice President of Sales Operations for Valley Wholesales Drugs Company Incorporated, came to speak to the pharmacy students of University of the Pacific. He expressed to the future pharmacists the importance of being able to calculate the true cost of generic versus brand medication. With the help of some assistants, Shoneff was able to provide each student with a handout explaining how to conduct the calculations themselves and even provided an example for clarity. Additionally, the handout also provided tips pharmacists should know before entering a contract. Shoneff advised these future pharmacists to “choose wisely who (your) distributer is going to be.” He shared benefits of investing in an independent pharmacy, such as having better service and one-on-one experiences. He also cautioned though that pharmacists who decide to have in an independent pharmacy should be ready to expand their business to stay up to date. Shoneff provided pros and cons for independent and chain pharmacies to give students a little food for thought.

Before the night ended, Shoneff encouraged students to ask questions on the topics discussed or about Valley Wholesales Drugs Company Incorporated. By having their questions answered by someone who has worked many years in this field, students were able to get a better idea of the experience working as an independent versus chain pharmacist. Alex Nguyen ’14 said that he “gained lots of insight on how community pharmacies can benefit the local community through excellent customer service.” Erika Lee ’14 shared that she too “learned a lot and hopes to apply what I’ve learned if I would have an independent pharmacy.” These students still have time to figure out which route they decide to take as a pharmacist but now they have more clarity on the idea of becoming an independent pharmacist and some important tools they need to equip themselves with.

Student pharmacists tours Omnicare in Lodi

Over 20 pharmacy students joined Assistant Clinical Professor Clifford A. Young on a tour of Omnicare in Lodi, CA. Omnicare is the nation’s leading provider of pharmaceutical care for seniors. They provide medication to institutions such as skilled nursing facilities. The pharmacy site in Lodi is the largest pharmacy of its kind west of the Mississippi River.

The tour offered the student body of Pacific’s chapter of American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) a chance to see another practice setting which is not introduced to most students as future career opportunities.

“They saw a career option that is not readily known or advertised,” said Professor Young. “This is one aspect where they can use their clinical knowledge in more specialized work like geriatrics.”

Furthermore, Professor Young hopes that a visit to Omnicare will provide opportunities for students’ Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE).

Professor Young is also thankful to Omnicare for offering students and himself the chance to see the inner workings of the pharmacy. The tour was also gave Professor Young a chance to revisit some old friends. “I worked for them as a consultant and I got to see some friends I haven’t seen in a long time,” he said.

Pacific’s CSHP Wins Quiz Bowl Competition

Pacific’s CSHP takes home first place at the California Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (CSHP) Seminar Quiz Bowl competition. As the champions, they will be able to display the trophy at the School for a year.  This is the first win since 2004.

The 36th Annual CSHP Seminar was held from November 3-6, 2011 at the Disneyland Hotel and Resort in Anaheim, California.  The annual Quiz Bowl competition is a jeopardy style competition between the eight schools of pharmacy.

During the competition, the students use an Audience Response System to answer questions and earn a pre-determined amount of points for each question they answer correctly.  Questions are based on a wide variety of topics relating to pharmacy practice such as oncology and anticoagulation.

Join us in congratulation our students on a job well done.

To learn more about CSHP, visit


Melissa Mantong, PharmD, MS, is Named a Fellow of CSHP

Melissa Mantong, PharmD, MS, Assistant Professor and Coordinator for Hospital Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE), Department of Pharmacy Practice, was recently named a Fellow of the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP).  She was formally recognized in November at the CSHP Seminar in Anaheim, California.

Fellows are recognized for their dedication to the pharmacy profession, their excellence in providing service to patients and the community, the promotion of wellness and best use of medication, and their commitment to education and professional development.

“It is a very special honor.  It is rewarding after many years of practicing, making contributions to legislative advocacy, volunteering for local chapter offices and activities, and being an active member of CSHP,” said Dr. Mantong.

Dr. Mantong joined the Pacific Pharmacy Practice family in December 2010, after spending 16 years in hospital pharmacy, and successfully developed and implemented the hospital IPPE program, which placed more than 60 students at IPPE sites, by Spring 2011.  Today, she continues to grow the program adding six additional IPPE sites to the initial 11 and placing nearly 75 students each semester through the program.

Her goal is to work with each site to identify how students can contribute to the organization, what students can learn from them, determine requirements for placing students, and primarily focus on a win-win situation that benefits both the site and the student.

Dr. Mantong is passionate about increasing the students’ opportunities to explore and broaden their exposure to pharmacy practice in a hospital setting.  Traditionally, hospital pharmacy scores lower on the list of practice areas a pharmacist would consider for a career.

“I think most pharmacists are not attracted to hospital pharmacy because of lack of exposure to hospital pharmacy practice and the varied work schedule.  I believe it is difficult for some because hospitals are on a 24-hour/7 day operation.  Sometimes this requires the pharmacist to be on-call or work late &night shifts and this type of schedule is not always desirable,” commented Dr. Mantong.

In the classrooms, Dr. Mantong hopes to increase the students’ awareness about medication safety to help increase the safe use of medications and decrease medication errors.

Rho Pi Phi Continues to Increase Outreach for National Drug Take Back Day

On October 29, professional pharmacy fraternity Rho Pi Phi hosted its annual Drug Take Back Day to promote the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The event is designed for people to dispose unwanted and unused prescription drugs.

Jessica Liang ’14 and Brian Pham ’14 shows a display of over-the-counter medications.

Although there were sites across the United States, Rho Pi Phi participated to help prevent substance abuse, promote environmental awareness, and offer over-the-counter consultations. The event, which was once poorly publicized in Stockton, is acquiring increasing attention. There are now four locations across the city to help people properly dispose of their old prescriptions.

Rho Pi Phi’s Professional Fraternity Council Representative Caitlin Mizoshiri ’13 discussed the importance of proper drug disposal and its direct effect on the community. “A lot of people think it’s okay to flush drugs down the toilet, but it contaminates the water system.” Meanwhile, throwing away medicine in the trash poses another problem. “People actually go through the trash to find prescription drugs. This event helps prevent substance abuse.”

Drug Take Back Day also helped Rho Pi Phi provide more for the community. “Previously, we only collected tablets. This year, we are involved more physically than before. We also offered over-the-counter consultations,” said Mizoshiri. The event saw a steady influx of people, reflecting Rho Pi Phi’s success of publicizing the event.

Giving Back Through Anecdotes

Lisa Riley has never spoken publicly about her cancer, but on October 27, she wanted to share her journey with pharmacy students for Breast Cancer Awareness, an event hosted by Pacific’s American Cancer Society Committee (ACSC) and co-hosted by Vietnames Cancer Awareness, Research, Education Society (VN CARES). The organizations partnered with Planned Parenthood Mar Monte to increase awareness of the disease that has become a reality for younger people.

Lisa Riley hopes to increase breast cancer awareness by telling her story and making sure that even young people are taking preventive measures.

Shortly after her 40th birthday and her routine checkup in June, Riley, Health Center Manager of Planned Parenthood’s Eastland Plaza office, found a lump in her breast which forced her to seek medical attention. Months later, she was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. By December her tumor had grown 3.5 centimeters.

When Riley thought about cancer patients, she never envisioned herself—a healthy mother of two—to be one. “I never thought cancer could hit me,” she said. Much to her dismay, triple-negative cancer is hitting more and more younger women.

“I always thought cancer was for old people, but hearing Lisa’s story opened my eyes,” said student Erika Lee ’14.

Riley was surprised to see so much support in her battle with cancer. “I want to give back to those people who gave to me,” she said. One way Riley is giving back is through her anecdotes and by educating people around her about cancer. She warned the room full of young students, “Cancer does not discriminate. All you can do right now is to do whatever it takes to prevent it.”

ACSC co-chair Jessica Leong ’13 believes that it is important to educate students about cancer as early as possible. “Cancer is something you don’t think about often, but it should not go without attention,” she said. “It’s good to figure out what really happens. This event was created to inform students.”

Michael Liberato, Quality Management Clinician of Planned Parenthood’s Eastland Plaza office, supplemented Riley’s story by informing the audience about Planned Parenthood’s preventive services which include free clinical breast exams, mammograms, and more.

Before leaving the podium, Riley offered advice to the audience. “You need to remember that one out of eight women will get breast cancer,” she said. “It is important to take care of yourself, go to your physicals, do self-breast exams, and protect yourself.”


IPSF Presents Breaking Language Barriers Series: Noche de Español

On October 26, Pacific’s International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF) hosted Noche de Español at the Chan Family Health Sciences Learning Center and Clinics to teach students Spanish. Over 70 students attended the workshop to learn pharmacy terms and enjoy an evening of food catered by Beto’s Tacos.

Drs. Ed Rogan and Marisella Guerrero ’98 pose for a picture with IPSF co-chairs.

Dr. Ed Rogan of Green Brothers Pharmacy and Pacific alum Dr. Marisella Guerrero ’98 presented dozens of frequently used terms in pharmacy and taught students the Spanish translations and pronunciations.

IPSF member Marlyn Nicolas ’13 explained the importance of bringing students together to teach them pharmacy terms in multiple languages. “Most patients struggle with understanding their medications because of language barriers. We want to focus on common languages to help students in Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) communicate with their patients and solve that problem,” Nicolas said.

Nicholas Bravo ’14 found Noche de Español to be useful. “I learned Spanish terms that will be helpful when I am doing outreach and volunteer programs in the community.”

Noche de Español is just the first step in learning Spanish for these pharmacy students. Dr. Rogan encouraged students to become as fluent as possible. “You will be working with people who speak Spanish—use them as your mentor.”

Students also got to go home with a little present. “We made laminated pocket translation guides for students to bring to health fairs and such,” said Susan Deng ’14.

The Breaking Language Barrier Series is an event that occurs each semester to teach students to communicate in different languages. Next semester, join IPSF as they host Tagalog Night.

Student Pharmacists Gain Exposure to Pharmacy Careers with 2011 Pharmacy Showcase

University of the Pacific offers an amazing pharmacy program in which students work hard to pursue their dream. As undergraduates, pre-pharmacy students have the option of choosing an accelerated program that works best for them. After being accepted to pharmacy school, students further their education in what will be soon their career.  To show students the various employment opportunities after graduation, the School of Pharmacy held the 2011 Pharmacy Showcase.

The Pharmacy Showcase is held every year on campus to help students discover career paths and establish networks in preparation for their academic and professional success. The US Airforce was one of 20 pharmacy exhibitors present.

On September 26, 2011, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences held the 2011 Pharmacy Showcase in the De Rosa University Center from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. At the event, many companies came to recruit future potential employees, including: Albertsons Sav-on, AmerisourceBergen/Good Neighbor Pharmacy, California Pharmacists Association, CVS Caremark, Kaiser Permanente, Kmart Pharmacy, Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association, Raley’s, Rite Aid, Rx Labels of California, Safeway Inc., SaveMart Supermarkets, St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Sutter Health, Target, US Airforce, Walgreens and Walmart. With such a wide variety of exhibitors, the Pharmacy Showcase gave the students the opportunity to explore the different career paths they may pursue, as well as network with diverse companies.

The pharmacy students came to the event circulating from exhibitor to exhibitor, getting to know each company. Vittoria Ledsema ‘14, said “It was great to meet the different companies we might work for. There was a lot of variety.”

Students were highly encouraged to visit all of the exhibitors, even if they felt they had already an idea of where they wanted to work. This allowed students to meet companies they may be interested in, as well as explore the option of other employers they may not have considered. Kimberly Greene ‘14, said that there was a lot of information from each company and was really glad the chain companies came as well. She further elaborated saying, “I didn’t think I would want to work for a chain pharmacy, but after talking to Target, they explained the concepts so well I might want to work for them now.”

These pharmacy students may or may not know for sure where they want to work after they graduate, but hopefully the Pharmacy Showcase helped give students a better perspective as to what career path they may want to take after graduation. They may still have a year or two before finishing pharmacy school, but they are one step closer to achieving their dream of becoming a pharmacist.

Student Pharmacists Attend IPSF World Congress in Hat Yai, Thailand

Nineteen students of Pacific’s International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) had an amazing opportunity this past August to fly halfway around the world to Hat Yai, Thailand. On September 30, 2011, the students who attended this adventurous trip gave a presentation of their experience.

Van Duong ’13 and Marlyn Nicolas ’13 enjoying the conference in Thai cultural outfits.

The student candidates visited Hat Yai, Thailand from August 3 through August 14, 2011 to attend the IPSF World Congress. Throughout their adventure abroad, these students met many student candidates from around the world and also enjoyed the logistics of the event. One of the first orders of business was the election of new members in the executive board and the second was to discuss of legislation within IPSF. Voting was done by members who were present, as well as those who were unable to make it but voted via Skype. Aside from World Congress election and logistics, students also attended workshops and social events.

The students conducted one workshop on the topic of diabetes. They presented information to their audience to help them become more aware of diabetes and treatments that can be done to help their patients. Another health awareness event that the IPSF students were involved in was the Live Campaign. This was an anti-tobacco campaign where the students marched the streets of Hat Yai saying anti-smoking chants in Thai. In addition, some people who participated in the campaign also were involved in a freeze mob. This activity had people with anti-smoking props and every three minutes they would freeze in a new position showing the consequences of smoking or the refusal of smoking. Later in their trip, students attended a workshop which taught them how to make traditional Thai medicine including: Herbal balls, Plai balm, an herbal inhalant and mosquito repellant.

Students continued to participate in more workshop related activities throughout the week to get to know the different countries that attended as well. Each country gave presentations on how pharmacy is conducted in their country. Van Duong ’13,former co-chair of IPSF, said it was “interesting to see how pharmacy is different in different countries”. A friendly competition was held where the students were divided in teams by their country to see how quickly and effectively each team was able to inform their patients. Michelle Kim ’13 informed the audience that University of the Pacific was one of the top teams from the competition.

The students of IPSF definitely had scheduled time to work and learn but also had time for fun while getting to know Thai culture. Local students of the Thai community came to meet with the student candidates to teach them traditional Thai dances and play games. One of the students said that they even tried a thirteen legged race, “but it didn’t turn out so well”. Other fun activities they participated in was river rafting (which turned out to be kayaking with three people and one paddle), going to a popular Thai club called RIX, eating amazing Thai food and drinking tea every two hours. The students of IPSF expressed genuine fervor about their trip and some even prolonged their stay to see the main attractions of Thailand.

Next year World Congress will be held in Egypt and the students are highly encouraged students to attend. IPSF member Marlyn Nicolas ’13, former co-chair, said that the “experience is definitely worth it and everyone should have the opportunity to go”. The students of World Congress Thailand couldn’t help but show enthusiasm about their trip abroad. They had an amazing experience learning about pharmacy in foreign countries, Thai culture and networking with other student candidates. World Congress Hat Yai, Thailand was an experience of a lifetime and the IPSF students encourage others to embark on a World Congress adventure too.

Pacific’s NCPA chapter selected as a top ten finalist in the 2011 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan competition

In July the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) announced that Pacific’s National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) student chapter was selected as one of the top ten finalists of the Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition. The Competition was established by NCPA and the NCPA Foundation in an effort to promote interest in independent community pharmacy ownership.

The goal of the Competition is to motivate pharmacy students to create the blueprint necessary for buying an existing independent community pharmacy or to develop a new pharmacy. The Competition is the first national competition of its kind in the pharmacy profession.

There are several qualifications that make a team eligible. One is that a team must consist of current NCPA student members. That team must also have an advisor that is either a pharmacist member of NCPA or a full-time faculty member at a school having an active NCPA student chapter. The team must have up to four members, including the sponsor, and must be availble to attend the NCPA Convention if selected as a finalist.

From Pacific, Julie Na ’12, Amy Thomas ’12, and Michael Markham ’12, under the leadership of Dr. Ed Sherman, Adjunct Faculty, Department of Pharmacy Practice, represented our students in the competition. Although the students were not chosen as one of the top three finalists, they will be presenting their business plan at the NCPA Convention in February. The competition served as a great learning experience that will help prepare them for their careers as future independent pharmacy owners.

“All of us are interested in potentially pursuing careers in independent pharmacy in the future and this competition was a great way to gain some insight and experience into the field of independent pharmacy,” commented Na.

To learn more about the competition visit