Celebrating 60 Years of Excellence

As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, we’re reminded of all we have accomplished over the years. In the past year –– our faculty, students and alumni were once again recognized for their excellence with scholarships, grants and so much more. See for yourself, just click below…

Celebrate 60 Blog Image

Guest Blog: Reginald Ramirez ’16, ASP President

Reginald RamirezOne of my greatest highlights since becoming a proud Tiger at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences was becoming the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) president. I sought out this opportunity in order to make an impact in the pharmacy profession because it has always been my dream to become a pharmacist.

As president, I want to promote the different aspects of the pharmacy profession to fellow students – through sharing knowledge I gained from attending local association meetings and annual conferences around the nation. The APhA-ASP executive board aims to provide opportunities to our fellow colleagues to enhance their professional growth and interest in the field of pharmacy. I want to empower every student to pursue their aspirations and encourage them to attend pharmacy conferences in order to become proactive in our profession.

In the community, I enjoy providing patient care at various health fairs and interacting with diverse populations. Through this service, I hope to inform patients about the role of pharmacists as members of the health care team. Hopefully, the time I spend with them will make a difference and help them take the next step to a healthier life. These acts of kindness and willingness to help others will motivate me to be a better person and to become a great future pharmacist.

 

Reginald Ramirez ’16
Student Pharmacist
2015-2016 APhA-ASP President

 

Pause to Make an Impact

Email-graphicPaHS to Give is a month-long campaign with the goal of raising $5,000 for student scholarships and travel grants. An investment in the next generation of health care practitioners is money well spent. In 2014 alone, more than 67 students were honored with scholarships. These students have been given career-building experiences that make the Pacific education so memorable and valuable.

Scholarships are often the most visible way that the School can reward students and honor our donors. Many of our donors were recipients of scholarships themselves, so they understand the critical need for students to receive financial assistance and demonstrate a “pay it forward” philosophy.

On the surface, scholarships are a source of financial support for many students, but scholarships are about more than just money. Beyond dollars and cents, scholarships help tell the stories of donors and the students they support. Scholarships are often created to memorialize individuals for their contributions to the profession and their excellence in the field. Through this recognition many will learn about the inspiration behind the scholarship, why it was created and what purpose it serves.

Scholarships also help deserving students reach their personal and professional goals and realize their dreams. Through scholarships we learn about the students and the life events that have led them to Pacific. Some of the greatest advice and inspiration comes from the student recipients. Click here to read stories from students about their challenges, aspirations, and life mottos.

PaHS to Give Now

Guest Blog – Unsung Heroes: Medicare Part D Preceptors

Rajul PatelI was asked to write a blog for the Dean’s newsletter about our Mobile Medicare Clinics and was thankful for the opportunity. However, shortly after accepting the offer, I realized that there were several different directions in which I could go and so I decided to share a little about our program but spend more time sharing with you who the true stars of our program are…the volunteer pharmacists.

Our Mobile Medicare Clinics have grown since we first began in 2007. That first year we served 72 Medicare beneficiaries and our student pharmacists helped them minimize their out-of-pocket costs through Part D plan optimization. Clinic turnout has steadily increased over the last seven years and to date we have been able to save 2,911 beneficiaries an estimated $2.23 million on their prescription drug costs.

Since the inception of our clinics we have expanded service offerings at each clinic site to include Medication Therapy Management (MTM), immunizations, bone density testing, cholesterol and diabetes testing, blood pressure measurement, anemia screening, asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) testing, depression and anxiety screening, falls risk assessment, memory decline screening, help with pharmaceutical assistance programs, and much more. To date, we have provided over 15,000 such services to clinic attendees at no cost. None of this would be possible without our students or the truly unsung heroes of our program – the volunteer pharmacists who supervise students in the provision of these services.med part d 3 resized

This fall, we have 13 clinic sites in seven different cities across Northern/Central California including our first ever events in San Francisco and Oakland. We expect to serve over 1,400 seniors and community members, many from underserved and underrepresented populations including low-income, racial/ethnic minorities, non-English speaking and those with permanent disabilities. As our program has expanded and word has spread, the interest of others has also been piqued.

I have received e-mails and calls from faculty at several schools of pharmacy across the country who want to find out what we do and how we do it. Time and again they are very excited until they ask the question “How is it that you provide so many services?” Inevitably, when I share with them the number of pharmacists that commit, give so much to our program, and allow students to provide necessary services to our community, you can hear the machinations (some of which they articulate) on the other end. “How do you get so many pharmacists to supervise your students?” And as many answers as I think I may have, that is the one question which always stumps me. I am not sure, but when I do reflect I am astonished at how many pharmacists give so much to the Medicare program and our students.

med part d 1 resizedTo give you an idea, between our 13 Mobile Medicare Clinics this year we will have 115 different pharmacists (total number of pharmacists = 267) that will be precepting our students while they provide the aforementioned services. These pharmacists come on their days off and precept events that range from five to eight hours in duration. They travel on their own dime from Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, and all across the state to lend their expertise and serve as mentors to our students. Aside from donating so much time, many make other significant contributions to the program be it paying for our wireless devices, lunch for 100+ students/volunteers at an event, food for seniors and other clinic attendees, pounding the pavement to help spread the word of what we do, and on and on.

I am humbled and want to thank all the pharmacists who have ever precepted a Mobile Medicare Clinic of ours. None of the recognition that our program has received means as much to me as what all of you have so selflessly given. I am truly humbled by your contribution to the program and feel indebted to you in so many ways. Mother Teresa once said that “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are true endless.” To all the volunteer pharmacists I hope this letter resonates with you in the same way. Thank you.

If you want more information about the program including videos, program statistics, our fun newsletters and so much more please go to our webpage at go.pacific.edu/medicare or feel free to contact me directly at rpatel@pacific.edu.

 

Rajul A. Patel ’01, ’06, Pharm.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Pharmacy Practice

Prominent Stockton Physician Joins Pacific

Dr. Joseph Woelfel
Dr. Joseph Woelfel

The Department of Pharmacy Practice at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is pleased to welcome Dr. Ashok Daftary as the new Patient Care Clinic Medical Director. Dr. Daftary has 37 years of practice in internal medicine and geriatrics. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He joined the Pacific faculty in fall 2013.

“I am privileged to be a part of this University and to create a portal of entry for seniors to Pacific where we hope to help in many ways with their future healthcare,” said Dr. Daftary.

Dr. Daftary, a well-respected Stockton physician, is actively seeing patients in our Clinic. Under a collaborative practice agreement, Pharmacy faculty members and our students, under faculty supervision, now have the opportunity to participate in active patient care. Collaborative practice agreements with Speech-Audiology and Physical Therapy faculty and their students are being discussed. Additionally, Dr. Daftary is providing the “physician’s perspective” to our classroom setting.

Sincerely,

Joseph A. Woelfel, Ph.D., FASCP, R.Ph.
Vice Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Director of Pharmaceutical Care Clinics
Coordinator for Geriatric Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences
Associate Professor

Guest Blog: School Announces New Doctor of Audiology Program

I am delighted to announce our new professional doctorate degree program, Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Pacific’s Au.D. program will be the first in Northern California. It will be one of four accelerated programs in the country, and the only one in California. This program will be located on the new San Francisco campus with clinics on both the San Francisco and Stockton campuses. This three-year accelerated program will serve a cohort of 15-20 students per year and will draw students with undergraduate majors in speech-language pathology, biology, and pre-health. The first class of Pacific’s Doctor of Audiology students will begin in the fall of 2015 pending approval of the audiology accrediting agency.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, “employment of audiologists is expected to grow by 37% from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Hearing loss increases as people age, so an aging population is likely to increase demand for audiologists. The early identification and diagnosis of hearing disorders in infants also will spur employment growth. Advances in hearing aid design, such as the reduction of feedback and a smaller size, may make the devices more appealing as a means to minimize hearing loss, leading to more demand for the audiologists who provide hearing aids.” There is currently a shortage of audiologists in California since the only Au.D. Program in San Diego currently graduates eight to 10 audiologists per year.

Rendering of New San Francisco Campus
New San Francisco Campus

The Audiology Clinic on the Stockton campus will serve as a clinical site for students and has successfully operated since 2004. Our new Audiology Clinic on the San Francisco campus along with anticipated collaborations with many Northern California medical and audiology centers will provide student clinical experiences. The San Francisco Clinic will begin seeing patients in August 2014 and will provide residents throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with audiology and hearing aid services through patient visits and community outreach events.

An audiologist shortage statewide makes this new Doctor of Audiology Program critically important to both the region and state health care systems. The program will continue Pacific’s long history of producing graduates who are highly skilled health care practitioners. It will build upon Pacific’s reputation and strengths in health sciences, reach new student markets, and align with our strategic plan, Pacific 2020.

We are pleased to offer a wonderful opportunity to create a permanent legacy by naming the new audiology clinic, classrooms, labs, sound booths, and offices. Naming opportunities are recognized forever in our beautiful new San Francisco Campus building. We invite you to partner with us. Contact Susan Webster at 209-946-3116 or swebster@pacific.edu for more information.

Robert E. Hanyak, Au.D.
Department Chair
Associate Professor of Audiology
Department of Speech-Language Pathology

Clark Gustafson ’66 Elected to Pacific’s Board of Regent’s

I am delighted to share the election of pharmacy alumnus Clark Gustafson ’66 to the University of the Pacific Board of Regent’s. He exhibits strengths of good character which distinguish him in all he does and the University is fortunate to have Clark joining the Board.

I have known Clark for many years. We have worked together in the California Pharmacists Association and on numerous committees and projects. He has served on my Dean’s Leadership Council at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences since its inception in 2000, and prior to that, was a guiding force in the University’s President’s National Commission, which laid the groundwork establishing the many aspects of our strategic plan and capital campaign.

His service to the School and University has extended to the Department of Pharmacy Practice and to our alumni and students. He has a passion for professional competence and is willing to put himself out there for our students and especially their clinical training. Clark was a key figure in the development of our Bakersfield Advanced Pharmacy Practice Region and continues to effect growth and advancement in this area. He has provided funding to underwrite receptions for the Bakersfield region; opened his homes for alumni and student gatherings; speaks to our students on issues of business management and managed care; and is a philanthropic friend of the School.

Clark’s professional service and honors exhibit his important achievements and contributions: Among his most prominent service to CPhA are his service as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1978-1985; President in 1984; and multiple years as Chairman such key committees as Long Range Planning and Long Term Care and Institutional Pharmacy Academy.  Clark was honored as Pharmacist of the Year in 2001. He has served for nine years as Vice President of Pharmaceutical Care Network and as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Premier Pharmacists Network for three years. He has been active during his career in the American Pharmacists Association, serving as Trustee of the Board of Directors and currently serves as Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists and has served on the Committee of Home Health Care and Ancillary Personnel.

The Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at University of the Pacific honored Clark as Alumnus of the Year in 2010. An honor given, not only for his service to the School and the distinction he has brought to Pacific as an alumni, but also for his many years of service to the profession.

You can read the official University announcement here.

Guest Blog – Dr. Cathy Peterson: Blind in the Bathroom

Everyday I walk from the house I’m renting to the College of Medicine. My neighborhood is safe to walk in during daylight hours and the guards and gardeners greet me as I pass by homes hidden from view by 8-foot high walls with glass shards or electrified razor wire adorning the tops. The guard’s job is to sit inside the locked gate ready to open it when the boss or madame (yes, I am a “madame” here and I cannot get used to that) approaches. But at 7am they are all standing outside the gates – kind of on break, I guess.

I thought I was seeing amazing diversity along my pathway to the College – men and women in business suits and dresses (women almost never wear slacks), barefoot people with huge loads on their heads, gardeners bent over at the waist “mowing” with machetes, children in school uniforms, SUVs, bicycles, pickup trucks, minivans packed to the gills, men and women selling cellular air time, men selling mops, women selling ears of corn and little bags of peanuts, and as I approach my destination, students and staff. There are very few fellow azungus (white people) and most people greet me with “Hello and how are you madame?”

Well, today I walked to the city center. Wow. It was about a 50-minute heat-soaked (too vivid?) walk from my house and I have never seen so many people walking to so many different destinations within such a small area. I left my house around 11am, and at noon on a Saturday, the central business district is the place to be. The city center is about 4 square blocks—all paved roads (though treacherous potholes abound both streets and sidewalks). There are 3 main roads: Victoria Avenue, Glyn Jones Road, and Haile Selassie Road. A key aspect of being on foot is quickly realizing that pedestrians are seen as too poor to have transportation and as such have no right of way. But there are strengths in numbers so I try to find people crossing my way…Oh, and no one looks behind when reversing – why should they? They are maneuvering something weighing well over a thousand pounds. People would be foolish not to get out of the way!

On a lovely Saturday the streets were filled with pedestrians – mostly adults with business to take care of: banking, tailoring, cooking, buying, selling, and begging. Many were sitting on the sidewalks with canes and crutches nearby. One man with flip-flops on his hands was using his arms to propel his upper torso over severely polio-deformed lower limbs – he was in front of me “walking” away and at the base of his pelvis I could see a foot with toes facing “due right.” He was getting around this moderately hilly and very inaccessible town remarkable well. I wondered what his life must be like and where he came from—not only today, but where was he born? In town? In a village? Where does he sleep? And in what position? Could he benefit from a wheelchair? I’m not sure. It’s unlikely he could use it in a town filled with huge potholes, uneven paved surfaces, deep trenches between the roads and the walkways, high thresholds, and stairs. But in the village…maybe.

When so many need so much I have to remind myself what I can do here as a visiting physio professor. Writing this blog today has helped me answer that – teach aspiring physios to ask questions about people like the man I observed. Once they begin to tackle individual’s needs, advocating for societal change (accessibility and other serious issues facing so many with physical impairments) will be a natural evolution of the impact physiotherapy will have in Malawi. I think one of the courses our curriculum committee is proposing will likely help promote this evolution: Health Promotion and Advocacy for Individual and Societal Change.

Lastly, a lizard update…they have been relatively few and far between this week. Oh, except the little one who shocked the daylights out of me as I blindly (very blindly but not THAT blind) opened my medicine cabinet one morning…GAH!