Welcome Dr. Casey Nesbit, Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education

casey nesbitCasey Nesbit received her bachelor of science in physical therapy from Medical College of Virginia and a doctor of physical therapy in 2008 from Marymount University. She earned a master of science in 2005 and a doctor of science in 2011 in rehabilitation sciences from University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Nesbit also holds a certificate in epidemiology and biostatistical principles and methods from Drexel University (2005). She is an American Physical Therapy Association Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist.

Dr. Nesbit is from the Washington, DC area where she raised horses for 20 years. She enjoys running ultra distances on mountain trails, going to Off-Broadway shows in New York City, and anything adventurous with her family. For some time each year, she practices physical therapy in a rural hospital in Malawi, Africa.

Ryan Gates ’04: Using His Passion to Help His Patients

RyanGates[1]When someone is passionate about something, they carry a ray of light with them. It doesn’t take much investigating to learn about the difference they make in their community and to those close to them. The act of giving becomes natural for them just as it is for Ryan Gates ‘04.

Before coming to Pacific, Dr. Gates attended Bakersfield College where he was part of the wrestling team. He transferred to Humboldt State University where he received his bachelor of science in environmental biology with a minor in botany and completed a teaching credential. After graduation he went on to teach and coach wrestling at Chaparral High School in Colorado.

Following in the footsteps of his brother, Aaron Gates ‘03, he came to Pacific in 2001 and completed his doctor of pharmacy in 2004. “With my love for education and mentoring, I knew from the beginning I wanted to remain in academia/clinical pharmacy in some form or fashion,” said Dr. Gates.

Dr. Gates also completed a primary care pharmacy residency at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System with an emphasis in diabetes. In 2005, he landed his first job as a clinical pharmacist at Kern Medical Center (KMC) and within two years he was promoted to Senior Clinical Pharmacist and Residency Program Director.

His brother’s footsteps were not the only ones he followed. Dr. Gates says his parents’ “selfless giving and caring continues to impact me to this day.” He grew up in the farming community of McFarland where his parents were school teachers, and his dad was also a wrestling coach. They had nearly 80 acres of apricots and alfalfa. Despite their busy schedule, they were very involved with the disadvantaged youth of the McFarland community and often hosted students/athletes at their house for Christmas and Thanksgiving.

He channeled his parents’ ambitions and carried them with him to the birth of the second diabetes clinic at KMC. During his residency, he studied under Steven Edelman, MD, founder of Taking Care of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) so when he worked at KMC he sought out Victor Ettinger, MD, Chief of Endocrinology. When Dr. Gates accepted his position at KMC, he “soon came to learn that Dr. Ettinger’s clinic was severely overbooked. His first opening for a new patient was in nine months! And yet we were discharging patients from our hospital daily with newly diagnosed diabetes with instructions to follow-up in the diabetes clinic.” This became the foundation to Dr. Gates’ diabetes clinic which opened in 2009.

The conception of his diabetes clinic was the result of a partnership between a local MediCal managed care company and KMC coupled with the lack of services available to a large population of patients, especially MediCal patients, who needed care. The clinic is under the care of Dr. Gates and five additional residency-trained and board certified clinical pharmacists. They provide services to treat hyperglycemia, hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetic neuropathy.

Clinical pharmacists providing health services to treat health issues such as diabetes is the main reason for the push and support of Senate Bill 493. If the bill passes, it will recognize pharmacists and optometrists as health care providers, “more importantly, get pharmacists recognized as providers under MediCal.”

“Depending on the source you look at, over 60 percent of California’s primary care physicians currently do not accept MediCal patients and over 40 percent of California’s primary care physicians are 50 years of age or older and will be retiring soon. The fear is these newly enrolled patients will be provided MediCal insurance, and yet have nowhere to go to receive quality care,” said Dr. Gates.

According to Michael J. Mishak (2013), Los Angeles Times, “Doctors say giving non-physicians more authority and autonomy could jeopardize patient safety. It could also drive up costs, because those workers, who have less medical education and training, tend to order more tests and prescribe more antibiotics.” Dr. Gates says he agrees but that the key lies in “providing the proper training, oversight and mentorship of these providers.” Read the full article here http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/09/local/la-me-doctors-20130210/2.

If the bill does not pass, it could jeopardize clinics similar to Dr. Gates’ diabetes clinic. “Safety net facilities that currently employ clinical pharmacists to see patients will no longer be able to justify their employment as a provider because they will not be able to bill for their services,” commented Dr. Gates.

Despite the challenges, Dr. Gates says it’s his patients who inspire him to work hard every day. “I love seeing these patients come back to me empowered to care for themselves, understanding their disease state, their medications, implementing life-style choices, feeling better and excited about life,” commented Dr. Gates.

Outside of the clinic, Dr. Gates also works at Frontline Pharmacy Consulting, Inc which he founded with Matthew Dehner ‘05. Their business provides administrative and clinical pharmacy services to local managed care companies. This year, they hope to open a pharmacist-led diabetes clinic that will also offer anticoagulation services.

Dr. Gates is married to his childhood sweetheart, Heather Gates, and they have five children, Savannah Kaye (5), Charles Madison (4), Sophia Rose (2), Sarah Jane (18 mo) and James Ryan (1 mo).



Kimberly and Natalie Kwan: Better than Twins, They are Sisters

It is common to hear about sibling rivalry and how it can lead to disputes and challenges. For Kimberly ‘12 and Natalie ‘12 Kwan, attending Pacific together couldn’t be any better. Kimberly received her bachelor of science in integrative biology from University of California, Berkeley and Natalie was at Pacific in the three-three pre-pharmacy program. They were admitted into the doctor of pharmacy program in the Fall of 2009 and completed the program in May 2012.

Natalie Kwan '12
Natalie Kwan ’12

“Many people thought we were twins or even the same person!” commented Natalie.

At Pacific, the Kwan sisters shared many similarities. They were recipients of multiple scholarships including the Joseph and Vera Long Foundation Scholarship, the Pharmacy Golf Scholarship, and the Donald Barker Scholarship. All were highlights of their leadership roles within the School and dedication to the pharmacy profession.

“I feel that the scholarships I received contributed to my academic success because they encouraged me to continue to work hard in school while staying actively involved in the pharmacy profession and in the community,” said Kimberly.

Kimberly and Natalie both served as executive board members for the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). In 2011, they created and organized the inaugural ASCP Senior Prom which welcomed nearly 100 senior citizens to campus for a night of dancing and fun. ASCP’s goal is to encourage the senior community to be active, happy, and healthy.

“This event was a step outside of the box, recognizing that socializing, dancing, and happiness contribute to good health,” said Kimberly.

The sisters said they couldn’t have accomplished their goal without Dr. Joseph Woelfel ‘70, ‘72, ‘78, ASCP faculty advisor. “In addition to being my professor, Dr. Woelfel was a wonderful mentor to me”, said Kimberly. “I admire his compassion for his patients,” added Natalie.

Kimberly Kwan '12
Kimberly Kwan ’12

They also attribute their success to the education they received here at Pacific and the faculty who served as mentors to them. Kimberly says Dr. Nancy DeGuire ‘89 “is the greatest cheerleader for all Pacific students, and her never-ending enthusiasm and support inspired me to be the best pharmacist I could be to my patients and to the profession of pharmacy.” Natalie found inspiration in Dr. Rajul Patel ‘01, ‘06 through the Medicare Part D class and outreach events, saying “I admire Dr. Patel’s dedication to his students and his passion for the profession, he continues to motivate me to be a great pharmacist.”

Since graduation, they continue to follow in each others footsteps; participating in residency programs. Kimberly is a resident at the Veterans Affairs Loma Linda Healthcare System and Natalie is a resident in a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency Program at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. In addition, they are both involved with the American Pharmacist Association (APhA), California Pharmacists Association (CPhA), American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP), and California Society of Health System Pharmacists (CSHP). In the next five years, they both also hope to work in the ambulatory care setting. It’s no wonder why some cannot tell them apart!

Today as licensed pharmacists, they now refer to themselves as “pharmacisters.” With all their similarities, there are a few differences. Kimberly has a minor in linguistics and is known for her jokes while Natalie was a child actress playing roles as extras in movies and music videos. She also says she loves watching musicals.