For over 60 years, the School has focused on training leaders in pharmacy and this is evident in the accomplishments of our alumni. Maria Serpa ’87, PharmD, FASHP, FCSHP is among those distinguished alumni who are on the forefront of advancing, and advocating for, the pharmacy profession. On July 19, Dr. Serpa was appointed to the California State Board of Pharmacy.
“I am looking forward to serving patients in our state to ensure they receive the best health care, and pharmacy services in particular, to improve their health and wellness,” said Dr. Serpa. “I am proud to be a representative of our pharmacy professional community.”
The history of the Board dates back to 1891 and their overarching goal is to ensure that all Californians have access to safe medication therapies. The Board holds public meetings throughout the year and pharmacists, as well as community members, are encouraged to attend. During the meetings, testimonies are given on topics ranging from regulations to strategies to promote patient safety. For example, there are discussions about “how medications are prepared in different settings to ensure they are prepared safely, correctly and adequately labeled.”
Healthy Californians through quality pharmacist’s care.
– California Board of Pharmacy | Vision Statement
Dr. Serpa is a Fellow and past president of the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists. She is also a Fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. She strongly encourages her fellow health care professionals to be actively involved in their professional organizations. “I think that by working with professional organizations you get an opportunity to not only network and build relationships, you also get a lot of satisfaction out of giving back to the profession,” Dr. Serpa said. “It is very rewarding to be a part of a larger community.”
Dr. Serpa is grateful to have chosen a profession with so much flexibility. “One of the best things about the pharmacy profession is there are so many different practice settings,” Dr. Serpa said. Whether one is interested in industry, business, research or patient care, there is the option of switching practice settings throughout one’s career.
“You make a lot of friends in pharmacy.”
As a student at Pacific, she was a member of the Alpha Xi chapter of Lambda Kappa Sigma (LKS). She helped with fundraising and providing health care services to the community. “You think you are just having fun with your friends, but really you are preparing for your career,” she said. Reflecting on her memories of volunteering with LKS, what stands out to her is the camaraderie and time spent working together to accomplish a shared goal. “You make a lot of friends in pharmacy,” Dr. Serpa said.
By Anne Marie H. Bergthold