Emeritus Professor Paul Williams ’74 Passes

Paul Williams ‘74, PharmD, MS, emeritus professor of pharmacy practice, passed away on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at his residence in Stockton. He was 65. A memorial service was held at Zion Reformed Church on January 5, 2015.

Williams retired this year from University of the Pacific after having served as a faculty member for 31 years. He received his doctor of pharmacy from University of the Pacific in 1974 and his master of science from the University of North Carolina in 1984. He joined the Pacific faculty in 1982. During his tenure, Williams achieved a stature of excellence in his discipline and demonstrated the degree of teaching excellence that warranted him being honored twice in the balloting of Teacher of the Year; he was chosen by the Class of 1991 as Runner-Up Teacher of the Year and by the Class of 1993 as Teacher of the Year.

Williams was a highly accomplished researcher, teacher and thought leader in the area of population pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics model development, validation and application. His significant body of work has been extensively cited—including a paper cited by the Food and Drug Administration – and forms the foundation for much of the current knowledge, education and research in the area of population pharmacokinetics. He received the University Faculty Research Lecture Award in 2006. Williams was also a noted reviewer and editorial board member for journals such as The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Pharmacotherapy and Clinical Pharmacokinetics and has been active in professional organizations, including the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. He was a Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years Deborah Williams, his mother Margaret, sons Seth and Nathan, daughter-in-law, Sara, grandsons Noah, Isaiah, James and Ethan.

VN CARES Offers Free Health Screenings to Sacramento Community

vn cares group photo_resizedVietnamese Cancer Awareness, Research & Education Society (VN CARES) is delighted and honored to announce that the 7th Annual Sacramento Pacific Outreach Health Fair held on November 16, 2014 at the Vietnamese Martyrs Church in Sacramento was an overwhelming success. It was an incredible turnout where roughly 300 members of the local community and underserved population came out to partake in free health focused activities. Because of the collaborative and superb efforts from the sponsors, vendors, preceptors and volunteers, VN CARES was able to provide a total of 634 health screenings and services including blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C), bone mineral density, memory decline, anemia, body mass index, immunizations and smoking cessation counseling. Consistently trying to improve the fair each year, VN CARES added a new screening to the list—Hepatitis B. The service was kindly provided by the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training (AANCART) housed within the University of California, Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Striving to give back to the community, VN CARES was able to touch the lives of various ethnicities including Vietnamese, Chinese, Caucasian, Hispanic and African American. Furthermore, due to the diverse team of pharmacy and undergraduate student volunteers from the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, California Northstate University, Sacramento State University and University of California, Davis, the health fair provided translators to better assist patients of different ethnic backgrounds.

When asked to provide overall feedback on the health fair, many patients were emotional as they expressed their sincere gratitude. One patient, communicating through a translator said, “I am so grateful that [VN CARES] hosted this health fair and invited Vietnamese doctors and pharmacists to provide consultations and answer health-related questions for patients with limited English proficiency like me.” Another patient proclaimed, “I have not visited the doctor’s office for a long time because I don’t have health insurance and can’t afford it. That is why I came to this health fair today. I am so impressed and thankful for everyone’s efforts in setting up this health fair and offering our community so many health screenings and services. I will definitely come again next year.”cholestrol testing_resized

Many volunteers voiced positive responses as well. Quynh Nhu Nguyen ’16, a second-time VN CARES Sacramento Pacific Outreach Health Fair volunteer expressed, “I thought VN CARES did a better job with the screening line this time around and it was a great turn out.” In an interview with KCRA Sacramento News station, Dr. Tuan Tran, event organizer and sponsor, stated, “This [health fair] is a unique opportunity where we can work toward a new mentality of preventative health services.” Naomi Le ’17, first year VN CARES co-chair, commented, “This is my first health fair with VN CARES and it’s been rewarding to work with such compassionate students who share my hopes to improve health care access to the local community.”

Continuing their community involvement next semester, VN CARES will host a speaker event on January 8, 2015 to promote cervical cancer awareness. They will also hold the Pacific Family Health Fair in March 2015 in Stockton, Calif. It marks their second health fair of the academic school year and is expected to be one of the largest health fairs organized by student pharmacists. As the year comes to a close, VN CARES is excited to ring in the New Year with new events that will carry on the committee’s objective to make a positive impact on the health of the community.


Student Pharmacists Provide Immunizations to City Hall Staff

On October 21, 2014, Pacific’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) collaborated with the Operation Immunization Committee (OIC) to celebrate American Pharmacists Month by hosting an immunization clinic at Stockton City Hall. This initiative was one of the many events organized during Legislative Week where student pharmacists promoted the profession of pharmacy to local lawmakers.proclamation

At this event student pharmacists advocated and communicated with members of City Hall including Mayor Anthony Silva and Councilmember Moses Zapien where they discussed pharmacy and its impact on the Stockton community. The coordinator of the event, April Nguyen ’16, APhA-ASP Vice President of Legislative Affairs, continued the initiative by collecting patient testimonials regarding the pharmacists’ role in the healthcare team and why legislation regarding pharmacy is important. She emphasized that “we are excited as future pharmacists to continue to serve the community in Stockton through our annual, free flu clinic to celebrate the first Legislative Week at Pacific! We are honored to receive a City Proclamation, issued by the Office of the Mayor, recognizing October as American Pharmacists’ Month and look forward to working with our community as student pharmacists.” During the event, 21 members of the Mayor’s staff were immunized against the flu and learned more about immunizations, vaccine preventable diseases, pharmacy and the role of pharmacists as health care providers.


Student Pharmacists Give Back with Canned Goods and Holiday Cards

In the spirit of the holiday season, student pharmacists dedicated their time to help the homeless by collecting canned food and hand-writing Christmas cards. During the week of November 17 to 21, card stock was made available in the Chan Family Health Sciences Learning Center and Clinics and boxes were placed around campus for canned food donations. The students are part of an organization known as the Gleason project which volunteers at the Gospel Center Rescue Mission and Gleason House Medical Center. In the past, the Gleason Project has presented educational materials on health topics such as smoking, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and diabetes. They’ve also hosted a health fair.Gleason House Holiday Card resized

Despite their busy schedules and upcoming finals, the students wanted to give back to the community. Heidi Chung ’17, event organizer, said, “As students, it’s easy to get lost in the frenzy of studying for finals and distance ourselves from the Stockton community. By hosting an outreach event for a local shelter, we hoped to provide an opportunity for students to take a break from studying and make a difference in the community.”

Opportunities to give back do not end with this effort. You can join the students in making a difference by volunteering your time at the center or making a donation. They are always in need of support.

The Gospel Center Rescue Mission aims to provide recovery programs, shelter and other resources to homeless individuals and families in Stockton. The Gleason House Medical Center provides health services to people in the programs, as well as homeless individuals in Stockton. Learn more by visiting http://www.gcrms.org/.


Parkinson’s Wellness Camp Benefits Community Members

wii fitDuring the Parkinson’s Wellness Camp participants rotated through different sessions including a Wii Fit station. The Wii challenged the patients’ balance. A home exercise station helped educate patients about what they can do at home to help improve their condition. The camp was an opportunity to go beyond the classroom and help improve the lives of those who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease. The course was taught by Dr. Preeti Oza, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy. Dr. Oza joined the Pacific Family in August 2013 and has been involved with the Stockton-San Joaquin Parkinson’s Disease Support Group ever since.

Under Dr. Oza’s supervision, the Parkinson’s Disease Wellness Camp was organized and led by Jared Descoteaux ’15, Renee Fini ’15, Allen Herinckx ’15, Kelly Perryman ’15 and Michael Whipple ’15 providing services to six individuals who were recruited through the support group.

Each student contributed to making the event a success. Fini gathered information about local organizations and resources for patients. “I found many resources from the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) and the Parkinson’s Foundation websites that encouraged movement-based activities,” she said. “It is very beneficial for patients with Parkinson’s to have an active lifestyle.” The severity of Parkinson’s can range from mild to advanced and can progress differently in different people. The patients at the camp were no different and had different levels of functional independence and cognitive awareness.one leg test

Perryman shared the most important lesson she learned. “Being able to make last-minute decisions to adapt and accommodate the patients’ individual needs was a learning experience,” she said. Fini added “It’s important to realize that even though individuals are diagnosed with the same stage of the disease, they do not always present the same symptoms. We need to treat each individual as their own person with their own challenges.”

Experiential learning is a key component of the Pacific experience and helps foster student professional development. “The Parkinson’s Wellness camp allows our students to interact, examine and evaluate mobility issues of individuals with neurologic disorders,” Dr. Oza said. “In addition to taking ownership of the event, the students get to experience the intricacies and details required to arrange such an event.”

The camp was instrumental in helping students develop leadership and critical and creative thinking skills. “From this experience, I feel more confident about my ability to adapt to changes when things don’t go as planned,” Whipple said. Last summer the students also assisted Dr. Oza with the Balance Clinic. “I have noticed their professionalism and caring attitudes towards the clients,” she said. “These students make us – the Physical Therapy faculty – proud and I am confident they will represent University of the Pacific well.”


Student Spotlight: Kayla Villalpando ’13, ’14

Kayla at the 2013 Commencement Ceremony.
Kayla at the 2013 Commencement Ceremony.

Kayla Villalpando ’13, ’14 graduated in December from the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences with a master’s in speech-language pathology (SLP). Villalpando originally came to University of the Pacific as a Division I soccer player where she also received her bachelor of science in speech-language pathology. She loved Pacific so much that she decided to apply to the 15-month SLP master’s program.

“The professors really made my experience at Pacific extra special.” Villalpando said “I also enjoyed the family feel of the speech-language pathology department.”

Villalpando was inspired to study SLP because of experiences with her niece’s speech therapists. Born with a rare chromosome disorder, she received care from a variety of therapists. Villalpando marveled at the therapists’ positive impact on her family’s life. She witnessed firsthand the difference speech therapists can make on their patients’ lives. Villalpando strives to have the same impact in the community as she begins her career. She recently accepted a position in Stockton where she will be working in early intervention in a hospital setting.

“SLP is the most rewarding decision I’ve ever made,” she said. “I’d recommend studying SLP at Pacific because of the professors and the clinical experience the program provides.”

Villalpando has exciting plans for the near future. Her professional goals include earning her Certificate of Clinical Competence, transitioning into acute impatient SLP care and continuing to learn and grow as a speech-language pathologist. She also hopes to get married, start a family and run a marathon. Originally from San Jose, Calif., Villalpando comes from a large and boisterous family with five nieces and nephews. She can often be seen walking her dog Coco, as she takes her everywhere.


Alumni Spotlight: Camille Camargo ‘13

Camille Camargo ’13 recently returned from a trip to the Philippines. She was a Practicum Facilitator for the School and completed her residency at St. Joseph’s Medical Center. The residency included researching falls prevention in collaboration with Dr. William Kehoe ’95, Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Psychology and Director for the Office of Academic Success and Instructional Support. Camargo is currently working at St. Joseph’s Medical Center as a clinical pharmacist. Her trip abroad was an exciting experience as it was her first time traveling alone in a foreign country. Fortunately Camargo speaks Tagalog and was able to communicate with the locals. She was graced with a warm welcome from her hosts.

Dr. Camargo at the University of Phillipines.
Dr. Camargo at the University of Phillipines.

During her residency Camargo talked with Dr. Kehoe about her dream to experience pharmacy education abroad. Thanks to Dr. Kehoe’s contacts with the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), Camargo planned her trip in addition to talking about it. Dr. Kehoe’s resources proved invaluable. He put Camargo in contact with Dr. Yolanda Robles, former chair of the Asian Conference on Clinical Pharmacy and former president of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy in Asia. Dr. Robles planned the itinerary for Camargo’s trip. This included visiting pharmacy schools in Manila and meetings with pharmacists in a variety of hospitals. She is grateful to have received funding from the School thanks to the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Program and Dr. Kate O’Dell, Associate Professor and Regional Coordinator for the Stockton Area. The funds covered airfare expenses to and from the Philippines.

“Dr. Robles and I wanted to share my experiences as a past pharmacy resident to the clinical pharmacists in different hospitals,” Camargo said.

In addition Camargo shared her experiences as a pharmacy doctoral student at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences with Centro Escolar University (CEU). She hoped to make an impact on pharmacy education in a country where most programs only provide bachelor’s degrees in pharmacy. CEU is the only institution that offers a doctor of pharmacy in the Philippines. She met with University of the Philippines students and discussed creating a Rho Pi Phi International Pharmaceutical Fraternity chapter. Camargo also visited many hospitals including Makati Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Medical City Hospital and Philippine General Hospital. Her presentations to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians at the hospitals included “Skills required for a Clinical Pharmacist,” “Attitudes and Skills Required for a Clinical Preceptor: Improving Student Preceptorship” and “Evaluation of Fall Risk Factors and Predictive Ability of Falls in Patients at a Behavioral Health Center.”

“One of the most important things I learned from this trip is that sharing information is very important. I was able to share with them the clinical practices of St. Joseph’s Medical Center and they talked about adopting the same policies. In the same way, they shared information with me about ideas and practices that I think we can benefit from as well.”

Since the beginning of her pharmacy studies Camargo has been fascinated by international pharmacy. She used her experience in the Philippines to learn about the role pharmacists play in developing countries. Camargo hopes to take this newfound knowledge into a career with the Center for Disease Control or the World Health Organization. She hopes to eventually work with an international organization to improve the lives of poverty stricken individuals. She is thankful for the School’s support in her endeavors to research international pharmacy practices.


Alumni Spotlight: Tracey Tong ’14

Tracey Tong_resizedInspired by her speech-language pathology experience at University of the Pacific Tracey Tong ’14 is furthering her education at University of Washington. There she’ll obtain her master’s in medical speech-language pathology (SLP). She credits the clinical experience she received at Pacific to her successful transition to graduate school, where she is already far ahead of her peers. Tong hopes to use her master’s as a foundation for pursuing her passion: a career working in hospitals where she will be a force of love and hope in patients’ lives.

Tong graduated from University of the Pacific in May 2014. She misses her Pacific professors, whom she feels cared about her like family. In particular, she is grateful for her faculty advisor Dr. Jeannene Ward-Lonergan, Professor of Speech-Language Pathology. She remembers how Dr. Ward-Lonergan was always willing to talk and answer her questions.

Tong received the Florence Scott van Gilder “Tolley” Endowed Award. The scholarship inspired her to become an outstanding clinician because she knew the faculty at Pacific believed in her. Tong recommends the SLP field of study to prospective students.

“It’s rewarding to see the improvements in patients’ lives,” she said. “The work is worth it.”

Tong was raised in Fremont, Calif. In her spare time she enjoys crocheting, baking, hiking and playing volleyball. In addition she loves being involved in her local church. In the future Tong hopes to serve the less fortunate through medical missions abroad. She feels it is her duty to help others who did not have access to the same benefits. Tong looks forward to keeping in touch with other Pacific SLP alumni as she continues her career. She expects to be amazed by what her fellow Pacific graduates achieve.


Student Spotlight: Chris Wolfinger ’15

Chris Wolfinger_resizedIf there is one word to describe Chris Wolfinger ’15 it would be determined. Wolfinger’s focus on his career in physical therapy and athletic training helped him discover Pacific’s student development leave; an opportunity that allowed him to spend a week with the San Jose Sharks at their prospect camp last summer. However, the opportunity came at an inopportune time – that summer was his toughest semester in the program.

“I searched the Student Handbook to see what would happen if I missed class. I came across a clause on student development leave and I started asking questions,” Wolfinger said.

Wolfinger knew the camp was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. In his letter of support to the Department of Physical Therapy’s ad hoc committee, he argued the impact it would have on his education and career.

Since high school, Wolfinger diligently built and fostered a relationship with the Shark’s head athletic trainer. “Every year I would check in with him to see if there were any opportunities for me to get involved,” he said. “One year, I got to shadow him for a day.” At the prospect camp, Wolfinger witnessed first-hand preseason physicals, mixed athletic training services and early screenings. He also met with team physicians to provide movement analysis and participate in injury prevention. “They were great about asking me to show them what I was learning or asking for my opinion about injuries,” Wolfinger said.

Wolfinger played Division II ice hockey at San Diego State University and was president of the team for two years. During his senior year, he landed an internship with the San Diego Chargers. “I started with pushing nutrition and hydration, but later assisted with treatment and acute on the field care during practices and three home games,” he said. Wolfinger earned a bachelor of science in kinesiology with an emphasis in athletic training at San Diego State University.

In August 2013, Wolfinger earned his Athletic Training Certification and started the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Pacific. He chose Pacific because of the University’s strong tie to the Stockton Thunder. Wolfinger used that to his advantage and spent last season (eight months) and this season (four months) with the Thunder providing acute care management and assisting players with injuries.

Wolfinger also named Dr. Todd Davenport, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, as a reason for choosing Pacific. “While I was considering physical therapy doctoral programs, Dr. Davenport was the only person who encouraged me to use my experience in athletic training to enhance my physical therapy education. He was a big supporter of my development leave and continues to encourage me to pursue my career.”

“Wolfinger has a deep passion for making sure ice hockey athletes have the best possible health care and performance” Dr. Davenport said. “His commitment is infectious.”

Wolfinger approached Dr. Davenport about writing a research paper about ice hockey and its common injuries. “It’s exciting that he can contribute to his new profession in this manner, even as a student physical therapist, and it speaks to his character that he wants to bring a whole profession along with him as he works to achieve his own career goals,” he said.

Wolfinger has a bright future ahead. He will rotate through three clinical externships this spring including a sports medicine externship with EXOS™ (formerly Athletes Performance) and the San Francisco Giants.

He has been playing ice hockey since he was five. His favorite food is his mom’s homemade chicken parmesan. Wolfinger is engaged to his high school sweetheart and is set to marry her in October.


Student Spotlight: Alanna Sing ’16

Alanna Sing_resizedAlanna Sing ’16 isn’t your typical student pharmacist. Her love for animals, specifically horses, inspired her to pursue a nontraditional career path of becoming a veterinary pharmacist. This career path will allow Sing to provide services to customers by treating their animals, the patients. Sing has been riding horses since she was five. She joined the rodeo team when she studied at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo where she also earned her bachelor’s in animal science. Her interest in pharmacy peaked after spending three months volunteering at a local community pharmacy. Sing was moved by how well the owner knew all his patients’ names and his dedication to fostering relationships with them.

Sing, a member of the doctor of pharmacy class of 2016, already has a jumpstart on her career. Recently she completed courses required for a certificate in the AmerisourceBergen Good Neighbor Pharmacy Entrepreneurial Pharmacy Practice Program. This past October, the Visalia native received the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Foundation Presidential Scholarship in recognition for her leadership qualities, accomplishments and interest in independent pharmacy, as well as her involvement in extracurricular activities.

“It’s an honor to receive the scholarship because there are so many qualified candidates,” she said.

Though only a few hours from home, Sing couldn’t resist bringing two horses to Stockton. “I ride every day,” she said, adding that she trains her own horses and competes at least twice a month. Her dedication to the sport gives her opportunities to improve her veterinary skills. She explained that medications made for humans have been adapted to treat animals, but there are challenges in administering the medication.

“I’ve found creative ways to treat my horses when they are sick,” Sing said. “Recently I dissolved the medication in their grain, but they were able to tell the difference.”

Sing understands that her dream of owning a veterinary pharmacy could be expensive and challenging but the entrepreneurial pharmacy courses make it seem possible.

“I’m also learning so much from the guest speakers, who are great pharmacists and business people,” she said. “I think it’s a crazy dream but the program is teaching me how to be creative about how I approach it.”