Class of 2013 Gifted School with Stained Glass

On May 18, the Doctor of Pharmacy Class of 2013’s degrees were conferred at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Commencement Ceremony. Before they left to embark on new beginnings, they didn’t forget to leave a mark; they gifted the School with a a piece of stained glass art.

“After speaking to many of my classmates, we wanted to provide a gift to the School that would be long-lasting and memorable. We hope the gift will enhance the beauty of our campus and remind future students of how lucky we are to be at Pacific,” said Han Duong ’13, class president.

The class of 2013 follows a long tradition of class gifts. Throughout the years, classes have contributed benches, a barbecue station, a bronze tiger, and more.

When asked to use one word to describe her class, Duong said “inspirational; the diversity of this class did not separate individuals, but instead, the diversity brought innovation and creativity.”

To name a few accomplishments, forty graduates from the class participated in the Medicare Part D outreach events which provide free health services to nearly 4,000 individuals. A total of 13 outreach events in 5 different cities were conducted.

Duong will be doing a Post-Graduate Year 1 (PGY-1) Residency at the NorthBay Healthcare Facility in Fairfield, CA and pursuing her interest in critical care.


Student Pharmacists Win National Competition

In May, the National Consumers League (NCL) and its partners announced the award winners for the Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge naming University of the Pacific, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences as one of the four recipients. Pacific took home the National Target Market Challenge Award.

This month-long competition engaged health profession students and faculty in developing creative ideas for raising awareness about medication adherence as a critical public health issue. The Medication Adherence Team Challenge is part of the Script Your Future public awareness campaign launched in 2011 by NCL. The campaign includes more than 130 public and private stakeholder organizations, including the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation, the American Medical Association (AMA), and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

The Pacific Team under the direction of Dr. Allen Shek, Vice Chair and Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Director of the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience Program, included Kristen Ward ’14 (student lead), Andy Pang ’14, Alexander Fung ’14, Robert Lee ’14 and Katherine Fong ’14.

Pacific's Script Your Future Team was formally recognized last week in Washington, DC.
Pacific’s Script Your Future Team was formally recognized last week in Washington, DC.

“The focus of our campaign was to address the issue of medication non-adherence to the diverse and underserved populations in the Stockton and Sacramento area,” said Dr. Shek.

To tackle the challenge, the students dedicated their campaign to translating material into other languages, participating in health events that target underserved populations, and creating a social media page and radio show in hopes of educating people about the importance of adhering to their medication regimen.

Furthermore, Pacific students established a partnership with UC Davis medical students to expand the campaign outreach through student-run clinics to foster inter-professional collaboration.

“This not only served as affirmation that we are making a difference in our community but also, gave us further encouragement to continue to push the profession of pharmacy forward,” said Fong who attended the Script Your Future Sacramento Coalition meeting and Healthcare Stakeholder Roundtable with Dr. Shek on June 11. Fong and her team attended the award ceremony in Washington, DC on July 10, 2013.

This year’s Script Your Future contest included 1,700 future health care professionals, 200 events in 35 states, 12,000 medication adherence consultations, and reached more than three million consumers nationwide. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) saw this as such a unique effort that it awarded the NCL a $200,000 grant over the next two years to further expand the campaign.

To learn more about Script Your Future, visit


Medicare Part D Celebrates with Roast and Toast

The Medicare Part D community outreach program at University of the Pacific is renowned for its dedication to the community through the time and efforts that students, faculty, preceptors, and staff invest. Year after year, each succeeding Medicare Part D class builds on the achievements of the classes before it to impact the community in a more meaningful way. This year’s accomplishments could not have been realized without the help of each and every member of the Medicare Part D family. As a token of appreciation, the Medicare Part D family celebrates its successes with the Medicare Roast and Toast.

During the 12 outreach events, they had nearly 1,600 attendees. Natalie Hajian ’14 said one of her favorite memories is “After a few hours of careful Part D explanation and MTM, I could see the tears in his eyes as the patient was thanking me and I felt such a rush of emotions – pride in a job well done, gratitude for his trust.”

Traditionally, the Roast and Toast takes place during graduation week so that the family can also take this time to congratulate the graduating third year students. The event took place in Rotunda 103 on May 16, 2013 and consisted of food, fun, and games followed by a roast and toast dedicated to Dr. Rajul Patel ’01, ’06. At this year’s event, with a 1980’s theme, the graduating Medicare class won against two other Medicare classes in an entertaining game of Family Feud. Regardless of who wins in the fun and games, the Roast and Toast is always an exciting and sentimental milestone as second and third-year students prepare for the professional world while first-year students embark on their academics and prepare for another eventful year. Cheers to all things Medicare!


Rho Pi Phi Continues to Foster Health Education with 2nd Annual Living Hope Health Fair

The Saturday morning of June 15th was a productive morning spent serving the Stockton community. For the second year Rho Pi Phi Professional Pharmacy Fraternity collaborated with the Bread of Life Program and the Medicare Part D program, under the leadership of Dr. Rajul Patel ‘01, ‘06, to host the 2nd Annual Living Hope Health Fair, held at LifeSong Church in Stockton.

Blood glucose screening was one of many services provided at the health fair.
Blood glucose screening was one of many services provided at the health fair.

The Bread of Life Program is a local non-profit organization that provides free groceries, toiletries and other resources to local families in need. Held alongside this program, student pharmacists, student optometrists, student dental hygienists and other local organizations came together and participated in a health fair to provide free health education, resources, and screenings to the under-served population.

The health fair was extremely successful, with a turnout of nearly 350 patients. Of this, the students provided 77 free blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol screenings, 42 bone mineral density screenings, 12 memory decline screenings, five anemia screenings and 15 asthma screenings. This health fair also featured free eye exams from student optometrists, medication therapy management, and free skin screenings. Major health interventions were made that day, and patients were able to leave with free goodie bags full of resources.

Rho Pi Phi would like to thank all the committees, organizations and fraternities for their participation. In addition, they would especially like to thank preceptors for their continued support.


Rho Pi Phi Hosts Annual Drug Take Back Day

Student pharmacist helps participant sort his medication disposal.
Student pharmacist helps participant sort his medication disposal.

On April 27, 2013, National Drug Take Back Day Initiative was observed throughout the San Joaquin County. The Pacific Rho Pi Phi Pharmacy Fraternity has been participating in this initiative for many years promoting and supporting the event hosted by the National Drug Enforcement Agency. The primary purpose is to raise awareness of proper drug disposal and put that into practice by providing a safe drug and needle disposal site in various regions in the county.

Elisa Moberly of San Joaquin Public Works organizes the Drug Take Back Initiative twice yearly. She believes the initiative is not only vital in promotion of proper disposal but also informs that, “While the Drug Enforcement Agency events primarily protect the public from the unintended use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, they also protect the environment. Medicines flushed into the sewer system contaminate our water and mutate marine life. Throwing them in the trash has the potential of harming groundwater.”

University of the Pacific’s Public Safety Department was one of the many locations around the county that offered the service. Others included police departments and public schools. Twelve Pacific students, consisting of pre-pharmacy students and first and second year pharmacy brothers of Rho Pi Phi, participated at five different sites and served more than 400 participants. Recently, San Joaquin County Public Works also added the collection of medical “sharps” (e.g., hypodermic needles) into the initiative.

According to California state law, it is illegal to dispose of sharps in normal trash that end up in the landfill due to potential health risks. A total of 515 pounds was collected to be properly disposed. “It’s ridiculous how I can have this many needles collected over the years that needed to be thrown away,” commented a participant. The sharp object collection was possible through the Household Hazardous Waste program, which is a state-wide program through CalRecycle. This program allows residents to bring their sharps directly to the facility anytime throughout the year.

Law enforcement officials and students coordinate efforts to properly dispose of sharps.

The brothers of Rho Pi Phi assisted in the collection of medication at the several sites and also educated and promoted the proper disposal of medications and sharps. As future health care professionals, we play an integral role in keeping the community aware of the proper method of medication and sharp disposal. Along with the initiative, work is being done, both at the local and federal level, to provide better options for medication disposal. With this in mind, Moberly believes funding allocated for expired/unused medication collection at local pharmacies would be ideal. Until this is possible, Drug Take Back Initiative planners hope to continue to serve the community and raise awareness of proper drug disposal over the years.