Faculty Spotlight: Larry Boles, PhD, CCC-SLP

Larry-Boles-posterCan you predict if a student will be successful in graduate school even before they step foot in a classroom? That is the question that Larry Boles, PhD, CCC-SLP Graduate Director and Professor of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology wanted answered. He presented a poster entitled, “Predicting Graduate School Success” outlining the finding of his research at the 2015 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) convention held in Denver, Colorado.

What motivated him to explore this topic was the lack of existing research on predicting the success of graduate students. Dr. Boles explains, “In my search of the literature I found very little data investigating this issue.” He elaborates, “Like most graduate programs in most fields, we ask for [undergraduate] grade point averages, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, etc. I wanted to see which of these, or which combination of these, predicted how our grad students did as students.”

Dr. Boles explains the variables he used in his study: “Just prior to graduation, our [graduate students] take the Praxis exam, which is a national test covering all areas of our field. I decided that would be a good and quantifiable measure of the knowledge and skills they had attained.” The Praxis exam is an important benchmark in the speech-langue-pathology (SLP) profession as an individual must earn a passing score in order to receive their certification from ASHA. According to Dr. Boles, Pacific’s SLP students have had a 100 percent pass rate for the Praxis exam for the last 10 years.

In explaining how he conducted his research he shares, “Using a multiple regression analysis I compared the GRE scores and each grade in each course to the Praxis score, plus letters of recommendation.” In presenting the conclusions he drew from this study Dr. Boles said, “The most compelling predictor variables for success were the GRE scores combined with grades in three courses: Speech and Hearing Science, Speech and Language Development and Phonetics.”

Dr. Boles joined the Pacific faculty in 2010 after over a decade in the California State University system. He has been impressed by the environment of support created by the faculty and staff that prioritizes the success of each individual student. Dr. Boles shares, “I think we do a particularly good job of giving students more personal attention [and] personal attention matters.”

 

 

PT Students Gain a Global Perspective Through Malawi Trip

group-photo“Pangani chonchi.” “Do it like this.” Over the past decade Casey Nesbit, PT, DPT, DSc, PCS Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy has had many opportunities to use the phrase “pangani chonchi” as she trains healthcare workers in the Republic of Malawi, a landlocked country in southeast Africa. “I originally went to Malawi in 2006 with my daughter to volunteer at St. Gabriel’s Hospital,” shares Dr. Nesbit. “We both had an interest in global health.” In 2015 Dr. Nesbit was accompanied by Sarah Haga ’16, C.J. Mooneyham ’16 and Abby Sheats ’16, which marked her 11th trip. Pacific’s physical therapy (PT) students have been going to Malawi since 2013 and have a trip planned for 2016.

At St. Gabriel’s Hospital students face the challenges that come with working in a rural setting in a developing country. Dr. Nesbit shares, “The experience at St. Gabriel’s is full of uncertainties and unexpected events. I’m continually surprised by the students’ ability to deal with these conditions, bond as a team and adapt to the circumstances.” She adds, “The reasons why this experience is pivotal to the students varies. For each student there are unique challenges that they overcome. For some it is dealing with the unexpected. For others it is gaining a perspective different from their own [or] dealing with the limited resources in the environment. For others it is reconciling the level of poverty and suffering with our own comfortable world.”

Haga shares that despite studying about the culture and history of Malawi prior to her trip she still experienced culture shock. She explains that even though she “heard many stories, read books and attended weekly classes all in preparation for this exciting experience I was not prepared for interactions I would have with this country and its people that brought me to a place of humility and vulnerability.” In speaking of her experiences she shares, “The Malawian culture is very social, personal and kind. Every exchange we had with a person in the village, hospital or in surrounding areas felt as if we were exchanging with a long-time friend. There is an incredible sense of community there and the people are quick to make visitors and guests feel welcome.”

Dr. Nesbit expresses, “These experiences solidify a commitment to physical therapy in the global arena. Additionally, these experiences strengthen their commitment to the profession, build their capacity to deal with people from different cultural backgrounds, highlight the importance of educating others about our profession and develop a resilience to situations that are difficult or uncertain.”

Haga performs blood pressure screening on a community member in Malawi.
Haga performs blood pressure screening on a community member in Malawi.

Haga found that her view of the physical therapy profession changed as a result of going to Malawi. Haga shares, “Prior to going to Malawi, my view of physical therapy was focused on the patient’s impairment and what I could do as a healthcare provider to improve their PT diagnosis.” After spending time in Malawi her focus shifted to take into account the overall picture of the patient’s situation as well as their cultural background. She adds, “While on our trip, our goals were directed towards improving the patients’ quality of life, whatever that meant for each patient. For some it was helping them return to their previous functional status of walking so they could return to working in the fields. For others it was improving their ability to sit unsupported so they could participate in daily chores as they once did. As student physical therapists, we were challenged to find what each patient deemed as important and channeled our therapy goals towards those aspects of the patient’s life.”

Dr. Nesbit has observed that when students have the opportunity to interact with patients from a wide variety of cultural and economic backgrounds it contributes to them becoming practice-ready professionals. She said, “I encourage students to have the courage to take advantage of practice opportunities that let them serve vulnerable populations, [both] here and abroad. I guide them to opportunities to do so through our national association, the American Physical Therapy Association.”

Haga discovered that her experiences in Malawi have improved her ability to serve patients as a healthcare professional. She elaborates, “Having worked with the Malawian people, I have gained a greater insight about how cultural beliefs and perspectives contribute to overall health. Regardless of where I am practicing, I will be able to apply this understanding towards any patient population.”

To read about the students’ experiences in Malawi in their own words visit their blog beyondpacificblog.wordpress.com.

 

 

PT Students with a Vision for Giving Back

The doctor of physical therapy Class of 2016 has a vision of forging a lasting legacy through an endowment fund. Dean Phillip R. Oppenheimer, PharmD believes that the Physical Therapy Visionary Endowment of the Class of ’16, ’17, ’18, ’19 and ’20 reflects the culture of philanthropy that has been exhibited by the current classes of PT students. “The physical therapy Class of 2016’s intention to create an endowed travel fund has generated an unprecedented level of excitement and enthusiasm among the students, faculty, staff and alumni,” shares Dean Oppenheimer.

Decades-of-GivingWe will have five years to fundraise $50,000,” explains Susan Webster, Director of Development. “When that amount is reached, it will be matched by the Powell Match program bringing the fund balance to $100,000.” The Powell Match was established by the extraordinary $125 million gift from Robert and Jeannette Powell. A full $85 million of the Powell’s gift is dedicated to matching, dollar for dollar, new endowment gifts of $50,000 or more that support scholarships or enhance the academic experience of our students. Funds from the endowment will be used to assist students with travel expenses so that they may attend national conferences.

The largest conference for the PT profession is the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) annual Combined Sections Meeting (CSM). In 2016 over 11,300 attendees came from across the country to attend the conference, which was held in Anaheim, California. “By definition, CSM is a program designed by all 18 of the APTA’s specialty sections,” explains Teresa Li ’16. “Each section can be considered a unique facet to the PT profession and each section provides programs with the most up-to-date, evidenced-based concepts or treatment techniques relevant to the population of patients or topic they specialize in […]. The truth is, PT cannot truly be broken down into 18 sections when you are treating a patient! When you attend a program from one of these 18 sections at CSM the concepts and techniques discussed can be applicable to a vast majority of patients you see no matter what setting you are in.”

The motto of CSM is “Together we will transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.” Li has taken this motto to heart. She shares, “I believe every physical therapist has a duty to think outside the box to strive to enhance our profession. Together we can truly improve the way people move and thus enhance their day-to-day life. Dr. Todd Davenport once urged us to break down the meaning of the CSM motto and think about how we can actually transform society. He taught us that in order for us to transform society in our profession, we must bring new things to the table by merging other schools of thought and expertise to the PT profession. Dr. Davenport is a stark example of this having recently earned a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. He plans to bring his new expertise of public health, along with his broadened social network of public health experts, to the PT field […]. Dr. Davenport is an inspiration to our profession with his forward thinking and incredible work ethic, I hope to one day contribute to the field of PT in a similar way.”

Kyle Clark ’15, DPT believes that a ripple effect is created when students have the opportunity to attend national conferences. He explains, “The fund benefits the physical therapy profession as a whole because it helps send University of the Pacific DPT students to a conference where they are able to learn more about the profession and the newest research being published, which in turn will benefit their future patients.” He adds, “It is important for both students and licensed physical therapists to attend CSM to learn about the new cutting-edge technology, network with other individuals and companies and continue to grow their knowledge in regards to evidence-based practice. It is a great opportunity to learn new things that you can take home with you and immediately use in your practice in order to provide better care for your patients.”

Alumni play a vital role in partnering with students who will soon become their colleagues. Clark shares, “It is important for alumni to give back and support future DPT students because the students are our profession’s future.” This endowment fund was established to support students as they develop into professionals. Naina Batra ’16 explains, “Giving back to the future classes will allow them to focus on completing their professional education.” Webster adds, “The Class of ’16 and Class of ’17 are a special group of students who have recognized a need.” She is excited to see their vision become a legacy.

Contact Susan Webster for more information on how to support this student-led endowment at swebster@pacific.edu or 209.946.3116.

 

 

Faculty Spotlight: Todd Davenport, DPT, MPH, OCS

Todd-Davenport-Headshot“Human subjects research is a human process conducted with other human beings,” said Todd Davenport, DPT, MPH, OCS Associate Professor of Physical Therapy. “Human subject based research gives us a chance to explore questions that are specific and meaningful to people.” Dr. Davenport has been appointed co-chair of the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB is responsible for holding all research projects involving human subjects to the ethical standards outlined by federal regulations. The committee reviews proposed research studies involving human subjects to evaluate the ethical implications of the research.

“The IRB assists with making sure that the rights of human subjects are protected,” explains Dr. Davenport. It is essential that in the review process the IRB weighs both the potential benefits and risks of the proposed research study. When the IRB is evaluating a proposal one of the questions they are seeking to answer is the matter of informed consent; meaning whether or not the subject has a clear understanding of what they are agreeing to. He adds, “Ensuring that while we humans assess questions that have uniquely human components to answer we observe uniquely human rights.”

Dr. Davenport believes that the IRB plays an important role in maintaining the positive relationship between the University and the surrounding community. He elaborates, “I find that for many research subjects, the only interaction they get with Pacific is through a study.” He adds, “Part of ensuring an ethical experience is to ensure an excellent one.” Participants in a study can contact the Office of Sponsored Programs to report any concerns and in response the IRB will investigate.

Dr. Davenport has served on the board for seven years as a committee member. He is honored to have been unanimously chosen for the position of co-chair. He shares, “It is deeply meaningful for your peers to believe you can do a good job and conversely it motivates you to do a good job.” For Dr. Davenport, his own research has helped prepare him for this new role. In addition, he recently earned a master of public health from University of California, Berkeley, which gives him a unique perspective on research ethics. Dr. Davenport adds that one of the benefits of serving on the IRB is the opportunity to see what innovative research his colleagues are conducting.

When asked how he would define research he responded, “the process of systematically asking and answering questions to yield information for public consumption.” He emphasizes that what falls within the parameters of needing to be reviewed by IRB is defined by federal guidelines and listed on the IRB website. Context and intent are the determining factors of what projects require IRB approval. At Pacific a wide range of disciplines utilize the services of the IRB including pharmacy, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, psychology, dentistry, biology and education.

The ongoing goal of Pacific’s IRB is to maintain a culture of ethics and compliance. They are also committed to making the process as simple as possible for investigators working with human subjects. “The last thing people want is a roadblock or a hoop to jump through,” said Dr. Davenport. He stresses, “The IRB is here to help.” He encourages students and faculty conducting research to ask questions throughout the process. He says, “If there is any doubt whatsoever people should feel free to reach out.”

 

 

Pharmacy Students Partner with School District to Provide Health Education

after-school-1Pacific has partnered with the Stockton Unified School District to offer an after-school program for elementary school students. During the spring and summer academic semesters pharmacy students have the opportunity to give presentations on a wide range of health-related topics. The groundwork for this program was laid by Sian Carr-Lopez ’85, PharmD and currently the program is coordinated by Cynthia S. Valle-Oseguera ’12, PharmD, BCACP Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice.

“The schools within the Stockton Unified School District host the educational sessions while pharmacy students from various professional fraternities and committees deliver interactive presentations,” explains Dr. Valle-Oseguera. “The number of attendees varies per event and per school, but all of the school sites are kindergarten to eighth grade and have about 100 students. The presentation topics also vary by date depending on the pharmacy group responsible for that particular date, but may include: bone health, exercise, eye health, smoking cessation, germs, nutrition and sun-safety.”

This program gives pharmacy students the opportunity to work with a young, underserved population. “This school district is composed of mostly minority groups with financial difficulties, which is reflected by its free and reduced lunch rate of 90 percent, [which] is considered to be extremely high,” explains Dr. Valle-Oseguera. “The program helps them learn, in fun ways, topics that perhaps they may not have learned.” She adds, “Our students really help make it interactive and fun.”

after-school_fruit-snacksPartnering with the school district opens up additional sites for pharmacy students to engage with the community, which allows them to gain valuable hands-on experience. Dr. Valle-Oseguera believes that one of the greatest benefits for pharmacy students is the opportunity to practice their presentation skills. Dr. Valle-Oseguera elaborates, “[Pharmacy students learn] how to teach a topic depending on their audience and how to interact with different audiences.”

Dr. Valle-Oseguera views the program as being mutually beneficial. She shares, “This program has been very well-received by pharmacy students, as well as by the District’s schools. Students enjoy having the opportunity to work with this younger population and possibly even mentoring them into a career in healthcare, while the schools enjoy hosting beneficial educational sessions for their students.” She adds, “Overall our students have been very professional, they do an outstanding job. Both sets of students are very happy with the program.”

 

 

Faculty Spotlight: Sachin A. Shah, PharmD

Sachin Shah
Sachin Shah

Recently there has been a notable increase in the number of emergency room visits related to energy drinks. As of June 2014, the Center for Science in Public Interest reported 34 deaths related to energy drinks. In a recent analysis of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System, cardiac and neurological abnormalities appear to be the most frequent. “We decided to investigate if and how energy drinks effect the heart,” said Sachin A. Shah, PharmD Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Regional Coordinator, Travis AFB. “Our findings suggest certain energy drinks may increase the risk of having an abnormal heart rhythm when consumed in high volumes.” The study found that energy drinks altered a parameter on the electrocardiographic known to increase the risk of sudden cardiac death. It also showed that blood pressure was raised post energy drink consumption.

Students completing their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience in Dr. Shah’s region were thoroughly involved in the research process. Dr. Shah explains, “They coordinated the study, recruited patients and did data analysis. Additionally, they wrote and presented the paper. They were involved in every phase of the research.” Tinh An “April” Nguyen ’16 is extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with this dynamic team. She shares, “Working in an interdisciplinary team helps build our communication skills in collaborative practice. The dialogue between pharmacists and the statistician, cardiologist and other members of the healthcare and research team helped solidify my understanding of what was ‘clinically significant’ versus ‘statistically significant’ in multiple healthcare settings.”

Dr. Shah believes, “Research is one of the ways they can develop their critical thinking skills.” Nguyen echoes this sentiment: “[Research provides] another avenue for students to work with their faculty, it’s a great way to be involved first-hand in the discovery process that has shaped so many landmark trials.”

In addition to honing their critical thinking skills, Dr. Shah believes that when students engage in research it increases their ability to assess the quality of published research. He explains, “It helps them critically appraise where the information they are reading in a textbook or in an article is coming from and how it is compiled. It teaches them to assess the information that is in front of them so they can better apply it for their patients.” Amanda Chan ’16 shares, “Understanding the research process has given me a lot of insight into the clinical studies and trials that dictate current practice guidelines. […] Being able to quickly understand if a study is done well, or the significance of its results is paramount to being a great practitioner.”

Dr. Shah encourages future students to get involved in research while they are in the doctor of pharmacy program. “Start early, have genuine interest and get involved,” recommends Dr. Shah. Being involved in research as a student can open doors to future professional opportunities. Chan shares, “Having a research background helps provide me with a unique qualification that I have found to be highly valued by potential employers.” Andrew Occiano ’16 agrees, “Being involved in this study has offered me a unique experience that really sets me apart from other candidates.”

“I am very passionate about collaborating with healthcare professionals to further educate the public on drug safety, the regulation of drugs and the role of pharmacists as healthcare providers,” shares Nguyen. “Through the research process I’ve met pharmacists in the FDA and industry who have encouraged my pursuit of a fellowship.” She is excited to apply those skills to her upcoming two-year fellowship in global regulatory affairs.

The findings of the potential health risks of energy drinks has gained attention from the media, including CBS News, CTV News, Time, American Council on Science and Health, Times of India, Health.com and Capital Public Radio. Dr. Shah eagerly looks forward to expanding the study by conducting a trial with a larger number of subjects. Dr. Shah emphasizes the valuable role that student involvement can play in the research process. He explains, “At times students will come up with great ideas and concepts that can also help your research progress.” He believes that this study attests to the caliber of work Pacific’s faculty and students can do with good collaboration.

Dr. Shah collaborated with Occiano; Nguyen; Chan; Joseph C Sky, MD David Grant USAF Medical Center, Travis AFB; Mouchumi Bhattacharyya, PhD Professor of Mathematics; Kate M O’Dell, PharmD, BCPS Professor of Pharmacy Practice; Allen Shek, PharmD Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Nancy N. Nguyen, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP, FCSHP Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice.

 

 

Grant Creates Opportunities for Mental Health Outreach

Robert Halliwell
Robert F. Halliwell

Mental health is a key aspect of healthcare and Pacific pharmacy students now have an exciting new opportunity to gain hands-on experience in this area through a community outreach program. The School has been awarded a grant of $15,000 by San Joaquin County Behavioral Health Services to develop a program of educational activities in mental health within the County.

The project entitled “Partnering Pharmacists and those with Lived Experience of Mental Illness to Enhance Recognition, Early Intervention and Care Capacity in the Wellness Center of San Joaquin” will be coordinated by Robert F. Halliwell, PhD Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology. He has been assisted in the process of securing this grant by Edward L. Rogan, PharmD, BCACP Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, who has been a key contributor to the project.

Dr. Halliwell shares the focus of the project, “Our program builds on evidence-based practice that educational activities reduce stigma, improve linkage in healthcare, enhance early recognition and facilitate early intervention in mental illness. Educational activities also improve understanding, confidence, insight and ability to cope in those with mental illness.” In addition, “Interaction between community pharmacists and mental health consumers reduces stigma.”

Pharmacy students who are members of Pacific’s Mental Health Committee will be participating in this outreach program. Dr. Halliwell believes this program is beneficial for students preparing for a career in pharmacy. He said, “It gives them the invaluable, first-hand experience of seeing some of the most complex and common disorders they must help to manage in their careers. It will also reduce the stigma many people, including pharmacy students and practitioners, have of mental illness.”

For Dr. Halliwell this grant recognizes the community outreach already in motion. He explains, “This project builds on some of the educational activities I have developed with the Mental Health Committee to provide educational training for members of the Wellness Center here in Stockton. The Wellness Center is a free, drop-in facility that provides peer-run support for those with mental illnesses.” Those the Center serves are “frequently without health insurance or regular income.” He adds, “We are privileged to help this Center develop its resources.”

The Mental Health Awareness Committee hosts events throughout the year to bring awareness to mental health issues.
The Mental Health Awareness Committee hosts events throughout the year to bring awareness to mental health issues.

Mental health is a prevalent issue in California. Dr. Halliwell notes, “According to the U.S. Government approximately one in five adults in the U.S., 43.8 million or 18.5 percent of the population, experiences mental illness in a given year. California reports nearly 1.8 million individuals with a mental health-related issue.” In response, programs such as the one made possible by this grant provide resources and support for those dealing with mental illness. According to Dr. Halliwell, “The World Health Organization recognizes the importance of including consumers in the development of mental health education. Evidence-based practice shows that incorporating those with lived experience of mental illness as educators in training programs for pharmacy, nursing and medical students can elevate the status of the consumer and impart a greater sense of equality in the health decision-making process.”

A portion of the grant will go toward training consumables, including blood glucose and cholesterol tests, which will be administered by the students. Dr. Halliwell explains the reason these tests are an integral part of the program: “Many [prescription] drugs used in psychiatry, especially those for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, change blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Routine testing of these parameters help reduce the risk of developing diabetes, obesity, stroke and cardiovascular disease. We are also running mental health screenings for depression, anxiety and insomnia.”

Dr. Halliwell sees this program as one way in which the School is continuing the tradition of community involvement. He expresses, “Healthcare professionals are an integral and important part of our community, so our involvement is essential and has always been a part of the activities of faculty, staff and students.”

 

 

Pharmacy Alumni Q&A

Here at Pacific our faculty are committed to preparing students to be practice-ready professionals who are equipped to take on leadership roles in their profession. Two of our pharmacy alumni share with us the role that Pacific played in their careers and share advice with the next generation of pharmacists.

Paul_Oesterman_headshot Paul J. Oesterman ’76, PharmD was named the 2015 Nevada Society of Health-System Pharmacists (NVSHP) Hospital Pharmacist of the Year. Recognized throughout his career by his peers, Osterman received the Syntex/Pacific Preceptor of the Year Award in 1985 and the NVSHP Bowl of Hygeia Award in 2008. In 2012 he was the only pharmacist selected to participate in the initial United States Drug Enforcement Agency’s Las Vegas Citizens Academy.
Rahimi-Headshot For Aram Rahimi ’85, PharmD Pacific is much more than where she earned her degree. Her son, Neema Rahimi ’17, is following in her footsteps and is currently in the doctor of pharmacy program at Pacific.

What led you to pursue a career in pharmacy?
Oesterman: As a child growing up I was always interested in the medical field. I loved the hospital environment and ended up working in multiple departments including the pharmacy.

Rahimi: My passion for the career in pharmacy started when I was a child watching our neighborhood “old fashioned” pharmacist compounding some antibiotic powder, wrapping it inside some paper and dispensing it to his patients including myself. I was so intrigued by that practice and how miraculously I was cured each time I was given that bitter powder, that I tried to play pharmacist by picking some leaves from to our backyard, crushing them using my mom’s mortar and pestle from her kitchen.

How did Pacific help prepare you for a career in pharmacy?
Oesterman: I truly enjoyed the opportunities to participate in community outreach programs and recall many weekends doing blood pressure checks at Weberstown Mall. My education gave me the foundation needed to be a well-versed practitioner, which has allowed me to practice in multiple settings. The most important lesson I learned from the faculty was that your education does not end the day you graduate, that is just the beginning.

Rahimi: I had a great advisor who found out that I had a great passion for hospital pharmacy practice and encouraged me to go through a clinical pharmacy residency program in order to pursue my future career in hospital pharmacy.

How did your time at Pacific prepare you to take on a leadership role in your profession?
Oesterman: The preparation for my career that I received at UOP gave me the opportunity to participate in local, state and national organizations.

Rahimi: My education at Pacific and the encouragements I received from my advisor, Dr. Jeff Jellin [’74], were the main causes of my acceptance to the residency program, which in turn built my strong clinical and administrative skills.

What can students do while they are still in the program to prepare for leadership positions once they enter the field?
Oesterman: Take advantage of select opportunities and give it their all. Student organizations are a great way to start and build friendships that will last a lifetime.

Rahimi: Take any didactic elective courses which can strengthen their knowledge and skills in pharmacy management practice in addition to shadowing a pharmacy manager or director during their rotations, followed with a pharmacy residency program. Diversify your knowledge and expertise so you can take advantage of all the exciting job opportunities.

What individuals have been influential to your career?
Oesterman: My mother, Helen, instilled a strong work ethic in me and made sure I always did the right thing. The Pharmacy Director at Marin General Hospital, Jack S. Heard, who was president of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists took me under his wing, as a high school student, and provided me the opportunity to experience and develop my passion for hospital pharmacy practice and the team approach to healthcare.

Rahimi: Dr. Jim Blankenship, my pharmacology professor, Dr. Donald Floriddia [‘71], my pharmacokinetics professor and Dr. Katherine Knapp, my pathophysiology professor.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in pharmacy?
Oesterman: Talk to various people in various practice settings and ask a lot of questions then decide if it is right for you. Try to shadow a practitioner if at all possible.

Rahimi: I would tell them the pharmacy program at Pacific is one of the best in the country and certainly in the state of California and once they graduate from the program they will be among many highly distinguished and successful pharmacists serving their communities.

Please share a fond memory from your time at Pacific.
Oesterman: Dorm life in Grace Covell Hall created some lifelong friendships. Saturday night football games at Stagg stadium. The whir that was created when the “Pacifican” newspaper that came out on April 1, 1975 or 1976 with the headlines that the Beatles were going to get together and perform at UOP – not realizing that this was an April Fool’s joke.

Rahimi: The day I won the patient education contest and was awarded an expensive patient education guidebook.

 

Please share your professional recognitions or exciting accomplishments by visiting pacificpahsalum.org/connect and submitting your story.

 

Student Spotlight: Michael Dessel ’15, DPT

michael_dessel_nyc_resizedFor Michael Dessel ’15, DPT his physical therapy (PT) experiences have been a study in contrasts. In 2014 he accompanied Casey Nesbit, PT, DPT, DSc, PCS Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, Meiying Lam ’15, DPT and Katherine Samstag ’15, DPT on a service-learning trip to Malawi. For his final clinical rotation, he went to New York City where he interned at Professional Physical Therapy, located between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue. Despite the juxtaposition of these two settings, the level of care he provided to his patients was the same. Dr. Nesbit can attest to his commitment to provide all patients with optimal care.

Dessel’s patient-centered philosophy came from both his experiences at Pacific and his own set of personal values. “We learned that you need to treat your patients with respect,” said Dessel. He saw this exemplified in the actions of the Pacific faculty and his fellow students. Dessel shares that in addition to respect, his core values are integrity, compassion, accountability and empathy. He believes that as a physical therapist it is important to convey to your patients that you have their best interest at heart. Dessel adds, “The key to understanding your patients is listening to what they have to say. Develop a rapport with your patients.” He finds that when meeting with a new patient it is important to take the time to understand why they are coming to see you. “We didn’t choose the patients, the patients chose us for a reason.”

Dessel working with a patient during his trip to Malawi.
Dessel working with a patient during his trip to Malawi.

Dessel speaks from experience when he says that as a PT student at Pacific you are exposed to “a variety of patient populations in regards to pathology, clinical settings and patients with different socio-cultural backgrounds.” Through local outreach programs students have the opportunity to interact with members of the community. Dessel took advantage of experiential learning opportunities and has been a part of several outreach programs. He emphasizes the importance of gaining hands-on experience while you are still a student: “Of course you need the theoretical and practical background, but working with real people is vital to learning and developing yourself into a proficient clinician.” He adds, “You learn how to become comfortable with treating people.”

When asked if he would recommend the experiential service learning elective he answered, “Absolutely! I loved that elective. Getting that experience, going global with healthcare provided perspective. It sure provided perspective for me. I think that is something that everyone should take advantage of.”

Dessel was offered a Physical Therapist position at Professional Physical Therapy upon completion of his internship and he is currently living in New York. As he embarks on his career he shares that he is grateful for the set of experiences that led him to the place he is now. He reflects, “I like to travel, I like to work in different settings and I’ve been fortunate enough to do that.” For Dessel learning doesn’t stop once a degree has been earned. “I want to continue to learn and be mentored to by the senior PTs,” shares Dessel. “I want to be the best physical therapist I can be.”

 

 

Introducing Pacific’s Chapter of the Student Academy of Audiology

SAA-groupFrom the beginning the School’s faculty and students set a precedent for establishing chapters of professional organizations soon after programs were launched. The doctor of audiology (AuD) program continued in this tradition when Pacific’s chapter of the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) was formed in November 2015, only a few months after the program launched. “The Student Academy of Audiology brings together students who have a passion for audiology,” said Veronica Koo ’18. “The goals of SAA are to provide a means for students to become more involved in the profession, encourage them to advocate for the rights of audiologists, promote leadership and mentorship and provide networking opportunities between students and professionals.”

The SAA is the national student division of the American Academy of Audiology (the Academy), which is the largest professional organization in the field of audiology. In essence, the SAA is a nationwide network of students. “SAA provides a place for students to interact and bond over their passion for audiology,” shares Koo. “In class students learn about best practices as audiologists and all the technical information we need to know to be the most effective and skilled audiologists that we can be. Through SAA, we are connected to fellow students across the nation who have the same enthusiasm for audiology. We learn about what other students are doing to help the growth of our profession and it encourages us to find our own way to give back to our field and the communities we serve.”

Sharing Pacific’s core value of community involvement the Academy advocates for SAA chapters to organize and participate in community outreach programs. “Local SAA chapters are encouraged to provide audiology services to their communities, which also brings greater awareness of the profession and the importance of our hearing,” said Koo. She emphasizes the importance of AuD students engaging with the community. She explains, “Many people are unaware of the profession of audiology and in turn are unaware of the importance of preserving one’s hearing.”

Outreach programs are beneficial to both the community and to students. Koo shares, “After learning how to diagnose and treat patients in the classroom, we truly learn how our knowledge can provide specific care when going out into the community and learning about the needs of those who would benefit from our services. Educating the community helps students solidify the knowledge obtained in class and develops empathetic audiologists who are more intimately aware of the population that they will serve in the near future.”

Pacific’s chapter of SAA has partnered with Entheos Audiology Cooperative . Entheos is a member-owned cooperative that believes it is a privilege to have the opportunity to provide hearing healthcare services. Their mission is to share their time and talent in parts of the world where audiology services are not readily available. According to Koo, “We are currently working towards sending students to locations such as Guatemala, Jordan, Mozambique, Zambia, Haiti and more. Students will be fitting donated hearing aids on children and adults who are unable to afford these devices and do not have access to audiology services in their country.”

To learn more about the SAA go to saa.audiology.org.

 

 

Pacific In the Press

Here are examples of how University of the Pacific was represented in the news media in recent days:

BioPharm Insight
CMS’ proposed Medicare Part B reimbursement changes draw expert doubts on significance, ability to shift prescriber behavior.
Mar. 30, 2016
Rajul Patel, PharmD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice.”Prescribers, Patel said, are mostly in the dark about medication costs, and often do not know the patient copays, leading cost to not influence their practice.”

BioPharm Insight
CMS’ proposed Medicare Part B reimbursement change could squeeze small medical practices, accelerating industry consolidation – experts.

Mar. 31, 2016
Rajul Patel, PharmD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice.”Consequently, reimbursements going down for higher-cost drugs could make carrying them in inventory cost-prohibitive for smaller practices […].”

BioPharm Insight
CMS’ value-based pricing proposals present implementation challenges despite solid rationale – experts.

Mar. 31, 2016
Rajul Patel, PharmD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice.”Nonetheless, because injectable drugs across indications under Medicare Part B are not the ones typically prescribed off-label, the proposed changes shouldn’t affect off-label prescriptions, Patel added.”