Q&A with May Chen ’16, ’19, PharmD, MS, BCPS

For May Chen ’16, ’19, PharmD, MS, BCPS, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, Stockton is home. After earning her bachelor of arts in applied sciences and doctor of pharmacy from Pacific, she completed a post-graduate year one pharmacy practice residency at Dignity Health, St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton.

She completed a pharmacy practice fellowship at Pacific and earned her master of sciences in pharmacoeconomics, health care outcomes and clinical services in 2019. Dr. Chen is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist. She is currently the president-elect for the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Central Valley chapter.

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Q&A

What is your hometown?

“I was born and raised in Stockton, growing up in my parents’ local restaurant.”

Why do you love teaching at Pacific?

“As a Stocktonian and Pacific alumna, Pacific has always been home for me and a small oasis that fostered diversity and offers immense potential. The amazing faculty that have served as mentors and inspiration play a major role in my decision to teach at Pacific and contribute as an educator in this tight-knit community.”

What are your goals in your position here at Pacific?

“As part of the pharmacy practice faculty, my goal is to empower students to become active leaders in their community and serve their patients with compassion and empathy. I advocate for my students to not only be able to build on foundational knowledge, but also develop the ability to apply their knowledge in a way that will result in realistic, obtainable outcomes. I hope to be able to bridge the gap between health care and underserved patient populations, especially in the Central Valley community, through pharmacist-driven outreach.”

What led you to pursue a career in pharmacy?

“I originally pursued clinical pharmacy in the acute care setting after being involved in my grandparents’ care during their hospitalizations. Having experienced the intricacy of today’s hospital systems from a patient’s perspective taught me the importance of effective communication and transitions of care.”

What are your hobbies? 

“During my free time, I enjoy practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu, as well as sharpening my bowling skills. I also love to hike various terrains and catch live music of all sorts. I am an avid coffee drinker and loved to barista. My guilty pleasure is playing the cellphone game Candy Crush, on which I have surpassed level 3500.”

Alumni Spotlight: Tony J. Park, PharmD, JD

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Advocate, attorney, educator — Tony J. Park ’96, PharmD, JD, assistant clinical professor of pharmacy practice, fills a critical niche as a pharmacist lawyer.

As a doctor of pharmacy student at Pacific he was mentored by Richard R. Abood, JD, professor emeritus of pharmacy practice. “In 1995, Dr. Abood allowed me to take an independent study course in pharmacy law with him, on the specific subject of drug products liability,” said Dr. Park. “From this experience, a spark of possibility in the area pharmacy law ignited in my mind. I attribute my current profession as a pharmacist lawyer to his encouragement and inspiration to do something out of the ordinary.”

Dr. Park earned his juris doctor from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School. “As one of the very few pharmacist-attorneys in California, I represent individuals and entities that are subject to government scrutiny: the California State Board of Pharmacy, the Department of Health Care Services, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and others” he said.

In 2012, Dr. Park created his law firm, California Pharmacy Lawyers, in which he currently serves as its principal attorney. “I legally represent and counsel Californian pharmacists when attacked by the state or federal government, threatening the right to practice pharmacy,” Dr. Park said. As general counsel for the California Pharmacists Association, he works with the association to defend and promote the pharmacy profession within the legislative process when creating or reacting to new state and federal legislation and regulations. He also serves as legal counsel for the California Korean American Pharmacists. “As a legislative advocate, I work with elected officials and industry leaders to enact laws that use every health care dollar as efficiently as possible,” he said.

“From this experience, a spark of possibility in the area pharmacy law ignited in my mind. I attribute my current profession as a pharmacist lawyer to Dr. Abood’s encouragement and inspiration to do something out of the ordinary.”

Dr. Park is also passionate about helping current and future pharmacists navigate through the legal complexities of their profession. “As an educator, I teach future pharmacists about the many legal and ethical challenges that they will face in health care,” said Dr. Park. “I love teaching my Pharmacy Law and Ethics class because I find that Pacific pharmacy students are highly motivated and energized to learn,” said Dr. Park. “They engage in meaningful in-class discussions on all aspects of pharmacy operational compliance and regulations.”

“I also teach current pharmacists, technicians and business owners how to proactively ensure compliance with all state and federal laws in the highly regulated industry of prescription drugs,” he said. Dr. Park is a regular presenter at annual New Drugs and Modern Concepts in Pharmacotherapy continuing education program hosted by University of the Pacific.

Faculty Spotlight: Laura Street, AuD, FAAA, CCC-A

A love for fostering communication is the through line for the career of Laura Street, AuD, FAAA, CCC-A, assistant clinical professor of audiology. She earned her bachelor of arts in applied linguistics, with a TESL certification, and master of arts in applied linguistics from Montclair State University. She continued at Montclair State University, teaching English as a second language to undergraduate and graduate students.

The next chapter of her career took her to St. Louis where she earned her doctor of audiology from Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Street completed a clinical fellowship at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison, New Jersey. As an audiologist, she has worked in private practice, medical, nonprofit and industry settings, with both adult and pediatric patient populations.

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Her past research has explored the realms of linguistics and neuroscience. “I have previously contributed to research projects which investigated methods of automatic text annotation, as well as mechanisms of hair cell regeneration and hearing preservation in animal species exposed to ear damaging drugs and hazardous noise levels,” said Dr. Street. She has also delved into the industry side of audiology through her research on a new type of direct-drive contact hearing device.

She believes that hearing and listening are key to communication, as well as our ability to build and maintain meaningful relationships. This belief can be traced back to her father who developed hearing loss following his retirement from the US Military. Given her father’s experiences, Dr. Street treats her patients as she would any member of her family, by striving to provide quality of life improvements through evidence-based practice.

Dr. Street is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and the California Academy of Audiology. She is also a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the American Auditory Society.

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Dr. Street joined the Pacific family in 2017. Her goal is to help cultivate audiology professionals who are autonomous, thoughtful clinicians. “In my teaching, I encourage intellectual curiosity and strive to develop critical thinking skills, in addition to interpersonal skills and clinical best practices,” she said. “I believe students should be self-motivated individuals, avid readers of the literature and lifelong learners capable of carrying the profession forward.”

When she is not working with patients or students, Dr. Street is likely with her high school sweetheart, hiking in California’s state parks, developing her small garden or reading nonfiction.

Dean Oppenheimer’s Farewell Tour

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After 22 years as dean of University of the Pacific’s Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and 46 years in academia, Phillip R. Oppenheimer has announced his plans for retirement.

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Please join the Pacific family as we celebrate Dean Oppenheimer’s lasting legacy at one of the events that will be held in locations throughout California.

Jan 18

Dean Oppenheimer’s Farewell Reception in Bakersfield
Saturday, January 18, 2020 | 5 – 8 p.m.
Bakersfield Country Club
4200 Country Club Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93306
RSVP

Jan 19

Dean Oppenheimer’s Farewell Reception in Fresno
Sunday, January 19, 2020 | 5 – 8 p.m.
Copper River Country Club
2140 E. Clubhouse Drive, Fresno, CA 93730
RSVP

Feb 8

Dean Oppenheimer’s Farewell Reception in Pomona
Saturday, February 8, 2020 | 5 – 8 p.m.
Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center
601 W. McKinley Avenue, Pomona, CA 91768
RSVP

Feb 9

Dean Oppenheimer’s Farewell Brunch in Manhattan Beach
Sunday, February 9, 2020 | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Westdrift Manhattan Beach
1400 Parkview Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
RSVP

Mar 7

Dean Oppenheimer’s Farewell Reception in Emeryville
Saturday, March 7, 2020 | 5 – 8 p.m.
Trader Vic’s Emeryville
9 Anchor Drive, Emeryville, CA 94608
RSVP

Mar 8

Dean Oppenheimer’s Farewell Brunch in Aptos
Sunday, March 8, 2020 | 10 a.m – 1 p.m.
Seascape Beach Resort
One Seascape Resort Drive, Aptos, CA 95003
RSVP

Dean Oppenheimer’s Accomplishments

Phillip R. Oppenheimer was named Dean.

The Department of Communicative Disorders, which was renamed the Department of Speech-Language Pathology, became a part of the School of Pharmacy. The Department established a partnership with the local Scottish Rite, which has provided additional training space for students and dramatically increased the number of patients who can be seen at the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Center.

The School transitioned the master of science in physical therapy degree to a doctor of physical therapy degree. The first class graduated in the fall.

Dean Oppenheimer’s leadership resulted in the construction of the Health Sciences Learning Center and Clinics, which was later renamed the Chan Family Health Sciences Learning Center and Clinics, reflecting the Chan Family’s many contributions. It provided much needed classroom, lecture and clinical space for all academic programs.

Dean Oppenheimer was named the California Pharmacists Association Pharmacist of the Year.

Under Dean Oppenheimer’s leadership, with support from the Hedco Foundation, the Hedco Audiology Suite was established on the Stockton campus. Thanks to the generosity of Rite Aid Corporation, the School established the Rite Aid Information Commons to provide a health sciences library for pharmacy and health sciences students.

Dean Oppenheimer was named the American College of Apothecaries Dean of the Year.

Alumni funding supported the renovation of the dispensing labs in the Edward and Alice Long Memorial Hall and named the pharmaceutical care labs for Professor Emeritus Donald Y. Barker, PhD who, during his tenure at Pacific from 1955 to 1989, taught and mentored thousands of pharmacists.

Rajul Patel ’01, ’06, PharmD, PhD spearheaded the Medicare Part D Outreach Clinics to help beneficiaries evaluate their options and select a plan to save money on their medications. As of 2018, students have volunteered more than 20,000 hours and assisted more than 8,600 beneficiaries with their Medicare Part D plans, saving consumers more than $8 million on potential out-of-pocket prescription drug costs.

With generous support from ScriptPro, the ScriptPro SP2000 equipment was donated to the Barker Lab, enhancing technology and education for the doctor of pharmacy program.

The School launched the combined master of science in pharmaceutical and chemical sciences and fellowship in pharmacy practice. The School also instituted the bachelor of applied science degree.

Dean Oppenheimer was selected as the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Most Outstanding Dean of the Year for his contributions to the Pacific APhA-ASP Chapter and active promotion of student welfare through various community service, leadership and professional activities.

Dean Oppenheimer’s leadership resulted in funds to refurbish Brookside Hall, which was renamed Chan Family Hall.

Dean Oppenheimer was named a recipient of the University of California, San Francisco Alumni Excellence Award.

The Audiology Clinic on the San Francisco campus began treating patients, providing audiology and hearing aid services through patient visits and community outreach events. The inaugural White Coat Ceremony marked the launch of the doctor of audiology program.

Under Dean Oppenheimer’s leadership, the Chan Family Office of Academic Success and Instructional Support was launched. It provides students in the School with individualized strategies for academic, personal and professional success.

Pacific’s doctor of pharmacy program received full eight-year accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

Dean Oppenheimer was named the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists-Central Valley Pharmacist of the Year.

Dean Oppenheimer was inducted into the California Pharmacists Association Hall of Fame. Thanks to the generosity of the Joseph and Vera Long Foundation and the Chan family, the School was able to renovate the second floor of the Chan Family Health Sciences Learning Center and Clinics (following the relocation of dental hygiene to the San Francisco campus) to include three high-tech large classrooms, a quiet study area, several conference rooms, a telehealth center, 19 faculty offices and a pharmacy care clinic space.

The School secured a significant gift from the Chan Family to support the renovation of the Rotunda building, including the construction of new exterior ADA-compliant and gender-inclusive restrooms.

Regent Clark and Pamela Gustafson provided significant funding to support student scholarship, community outreach programs and sustainability for the School and the University.

Partnering to Build a Healthier Community

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Pacific’s Medicare Part D Program and the Valley Mountain Regional Center (VMRC) share a common goal in providing services and support to help people lead healthier lives in their communities.

Rajul A. Patel ’01, ’06, PharmD, PhD, professor of pharmacy practice, saw a need for increased community outreach to the developmentally disabled population in the region. In 2016, he approached the VMRC with a proof-of-concept proposal to assist VMRC clients who had prescription drug coverage through Medicare with their out-of-pocket Part D costs, while also providing a comprehensive review of their medications. Services were provided by trained pharmacy students during the fall Medicare Part D outreach clinics to community attendees as well as clients identified by the VMRC. Each subsequent year, students have assisted an average of 80 VMRC clients during the Medicare open enrollment period and identified potential savings averaging $1,700 per VMRC client.

The success of this early effort opened the doors to expand this unique partnership to support roughly 1,300 VMRC clients, most of whom are dual-eligible (they have Medicare and Medi-Cal). Medicare beneficiaries who also have Medi-Cal are those with the lowest income and most limited resources. Medicare provides some safeguards for this vulnerable population, including their ability to change their Part D plan outside of the fall open enrollment period.

“Being part of the Medicare Part D outreach program has certainly enriched my learning and sparked my passion for patient care.”

– Yi “Allan” Yao ’20

In January 2019, a pharmacy elective course titled “Part D Services for the Developmentally Disabled” was offered for the first time and was taught by Carly Ranson ’13, ’17, PharmD, MS, BCGP, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, and Dr. Patel. The elective course’s core service was to evaluate the Part D plan and other offerings for each VMRC client in light of their medications, preferred pharmacy and receipt of additional governmental subsidies.

In just four months, this expanded partnership has saved clients and the VMRC an estimated $1.69 million on their out-of-pocket prescription drug expenditures. “The tangible benefit to the VMRC is that they can rest assured the costs are minimized to the greatest extent possible,” said Dr. Patel. “If these drugs work we don’t want to change them, but we certainly want to minimize the cost of these medications whenever possible.”

Last year, 45 doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students enrolled and participated in the Medicare Part D Outreach program elective. Of those, 38 decided to add the elective course to their rigorous academic load, despite having already fulfilled the PharmD elective requirement with the past years’ outreach activities.

“Being part of the Medicare Part D outreach program has certainly enriched my learning and sparked my passion for patient care,” said second-year PharmD student Yi “Allan” Yao ’20. “It gave me the opportunity to put what I have learned into action and the positive feedback that the patients provided further encouraged me to try harder. Each patient interaction required different things and being able to help them gave me a sense of accomplishment as a health care provider.”

Dr. Ranson appreciates the opportunity to utilize Pacific’s strengths to support a community organization that provides resources and services to a vulnerable population. More importantly, Dr. Ranson finds it rewarding to see the excitement of pharmacy students working with real patients. She realizes that dealing with insurance is not for everyone, but the students’ care and dedication is very encouraging.

It’s a humbling experience to see the students come back every single week. They are exhausted from their week, but are excited to assist and stay as late as the client situation requires,” Dr. Ranson said. “These are individuals who are doing this because they can and because it is the right thing to do. These are individuals I want to continue to work with.”

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Since 2007, Pacific’s Medicare Part D Outreach Clinics have assisted 8,695 beneficiaries with their Medicare Part D drug plan, helping beneficiaries save an estimated $8.65 million. 

The partnership with the VMRC has been in the works for many years. Nearly 20 years ago, Berit Gundersen ’84, PharmD, vice provost and former pharmacy practice faculty member at Pacific, established a partnership with the VMRC to provide clinical pharmacy consultation services. William A. Kehoe, MA, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS, professor emeritus of pharmacy practice, continues to serve in this capacity. Today, students have the opportunity to step into this role as they continue to serve this population on a large scale through Part D optimization services. “The lessons students gain from these types of experiences are invaluable and the success of this year’s endeavors would not have been possible without the dedication of the students,” said Dr. Ranson.

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Athletic Training: A Lifestyle and a Career

Pacific’s athletic training alumni continue to thrive. One hundred percent of the bachelor of science in athletic training class of 2018 passed the national certification exam on their first attempt.

For many alumni, athletic training is a lifestyle as well as a career. Scott Nastase ’13, a passionate Green Bay Packers fan, found his vocation through his love of sports. “I knew a professional career as an athlete would be a long shot, therefore, I found the next best thing in keeping my involvement in athletics by becoming an athletic trainer,” said Nastase.

After earning his bachelor of science in athletic training from Pacific in 2015, Nastase completed a graduate assistantship and earned a master of arts in education from University of Redlands. During his time at Redlands, he served as one of three athletic trainers for their 21 NCAA Division III athletic teams. He is currently a teacher and an athletic trainer at Loara High School in Anaheim.

Nastase believes athletic trainers are important members of the sports medicine team. “Athletic trainers are the key component to ensure safety for athletes and play a vital role in prevention, emergency care, clinical differential diagnoses, treatment and rehabilitation for all student-athletes,” he said.

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Scott Nastase ’13 is responsible for the daily operations of prevention, emergency care, clinical differential diagnoses, treatment and rehabilitation for all student-athletes.
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Garrison Chan ’17 hopes to become an athletic trainer working with NCAA Division 1 college sports athletes or a professional sports team.

“I decided to pursue a career in athletic training because of the great professors I had as an undergraduate student at Pacific.”

Garrison Chan ’17, a loyal Los Angeles Clippers fan, also launched his career at Pacific. Chan chose Pacific for its small class size and he appreciated how professors knew his name. “I decided to pursue a career in athletic training because of the great professors I had as an undergraduate student at Pacific,” said Chan. “Coming into college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. After taking some foundational athletic training classes, I knew I wanted to make this my career.”

While completing his master of science in health and human movement with a specialization in sports medicine from Utah State University, Chan served as a graduate assistant athletic trainer.

Chan also has been fortunate to meet many professional athletes. While an undergraduate student at Pacific, he had the opportunity to be involved in training camps for the San Francisco 49ers. He accepted an internship with the 49ers for the 2019 season. “I look forward to being able to work with elite athletes and to learn what it takes to work at the professional level,” he said.

Recently, the national accrediting body recommended that all candidates sitting for the certification exam have a master’s degree. In 2017, Pacific launched the master of science in athletic training (MSAT) program and welcomed the first cohort of students in fall 2018. The full-time, two-year graduate program prepares students to become highly qualified health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnoses, therapeutic interventions, and rehabilitation for athletes and active patients.

“Pacific’s formal education, in combination with experiential learning opportunities, prepared me to become the athletic trainer I am today,” Nastase said. “I have brought the many values that I learned from Pacific into my own practice.”

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Stockton
2 years
Deadline May 1

University of the Pacific is currently seeking accreditation for our new master of science in athletic training (MSAT) program and is not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. The institution will be submitting a self-study to begin the accreditation process by Oct. 1, 2019, with a projected accreditation date in spring 2020, with our first graduating class.

2019 Alumna of the Year: Janet Nimtz ’85, MA, CCC-SLP

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Shortly after graduating from Pacific, Janet Nimtz ’85, MA, CCC-SLP became director of the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Center, a position she held for two decades.

Nimtz loved her job because of the close interaction between faculty and students. “The many and varied opportunities for faculty and student interaction create an environment where all students can develop to the best of their abilities and, maybe, discover strengths they didn’t know they had,” said Nimtz.

She considers the people she worked with, both students and faculty alike, to be kindred spirits. Each person shared the common goal of improving their clients’ communication skills. Nimtz said she always felt supported and encouraged. Simalee Smith-Stubblefield ’83, MA, CCC-SLP, professor emerita of speech-language pathology, was one of those positive influences on Nimtz’ life and career. Nimtz recalls how Smith-Stubblefield “encouraged, nurtured and bolstered my confidence to become more than I had previously believed possible for myself.”

Nimtz has supported the speech-language pathology profession as an advisory board member of the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA) District 3. She also served as program chair for CSHA’s state conference. When she retired from Pacific in 2008, Robert E. Hanyak ’79, AuD established the Janet Nimtz Endowed Scholarship in her honor. She and her husband have helped perpetuate the scholarship, which is awarded to a graduate speech-language pathology student in recognition of clinical excellence working with the adult population. Each year, Nimtz is thrilled to meet the scholarship recipient.

“I consider myself blessed to have found such a gratifying career and to have been given the privilege of working with some of the best clinicians, professionals and students in the field.”

“The recognition as Alumna of the Year brings my career and passion for communication between all people to a deeply satisfying closure,” Nimtz said. “I consider myself blessed to have found such a gratifying career and to have been given the privilege of working with some of the best clinicians, professionals and students in the field.”

Nimtz stays busy volunteering with several community organizations, including the Haggin Museum. She is also a San Joaquin County Master Gardener. She is proud of her two wonderful daughters and enjoys seeing their families, including her four beautiful grandchildren, thrive and become successful.

2019 Alumna of the Year: Sandy Reina-Guerra ’97, ’99, ’03, PT, DPT, PCS

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Sandra “Sandy” Reina-Guerra ’97, ’99, ’03, PT, DPT, PCS felt a connection to Pacific before she was even enrolled as a student. After she completed her military service in 1992, a Pacific counselor helped her choose courses she needed to take at a junior college 70 miles away. By the time she transferred to Pacific to complete her undergraduate education, she knew she would also stay to complete her graduate work. “Pacific led me to a career I’ve loved, in teaching and clinical practice, and provided a place where long-lasting friendships were made,” said Dr. Reina-Guerra.

Dr. Reina-Guerra began her career as a physical therapist at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton in 1999. She joined the Pacific physical therapy faculty in 2003 and eventually became chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. In 2017, she made the decision to leave higher education and take a position as the physical therapy clinical coordinator at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California. At Shriners, Dr. Reina-Guerra is involved with the BikeFit program, an annual community tricycling education program. She also volunteers for the NorCal Trykers, a nonprofit community tricycling program for special needs riders.

At Pacific, she was instrumental in the success of the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program as well as the Pacific Physical Therapy Alumni Association (PPTAA), helping to organize events and meetings. In 2017, she brought concussion expert Bennett Omalu, MD to address students, faculty and alumni at the semiannual Sanderson Lecture. Today, she gives back to the profession as a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy of APTA and the California Physical Therapy Association.

“Pacific led me to a career I’ve loved in teaching and clinical practice and provided a place where long-lasting friendships were made.”

Dr. Reina-Guerra credits the teamwork and vision of the department’s professors and staff members with her success as a physical therapist. She is influenced daily by her patients, young and old, and their families and caregivers.

“Pacific has already given me a wealth of experiences and opportunities,” she said. “Being recognized by the PPTAA is an honor that deepens my gratitude for its people and programs and reminds me of its ongoing good work.”

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2019 Alumnus of the Year: Jim Morisoli ’75, RPh

Throughout his career, Stanley James “Jim” Morisoli ’75, RPh has embodied the spirit of the pharmacist’s oath: to devote oneself “to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy.” From 1986 to 2015, he owned American Surgical Pharmacy in San Bernardino, where he specialized in helping local mental health clinics. He pioneered a clinic for Clozaril®, an antipsychotic medication used for high-risk patients with schizophrenia. He was actively involved in the Inland Empire Pharmacists Association and has served as secretary, president for two terms and a board member from 1978 to 2015.

In 2014, he and his son, Adam Morisoli ’10, PharmD, purchased Carlsbad Village Pharmacy, where they currently serve the community as pharmacists. Jim Morisoli is a member of the California Pharmacists Association and the Orange County Pharmacists Association. He was also a council member for the St. Catherine of Siena Parish and is currently a volunteer pharmacist for the California Dental Association (CDA) Foundation’s CDA Cares program, which provides dental care for individuals in underserved communities.

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A strong supporter of Pacific, Jim Morisoli served as a Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association (PPAA) board member for 10 years. “I was very fortunate to receive a quality education from Pacific, own a successful business and, in return, be able to give back to the School through an endowed scholarship,” said Jim Morisoli. He and his wife, Deborah, established the Powell-matched Morisoli Family Endowed Scholarship to assist pharmacy students who intend to pursue private practice pharmacy.

“The friendships and relationships that I have made from attending Pacific have been lifelong,” he said. “The reputation of Pacific students and pharmacists, as well as their involvement in state and national organizations, makes me so proud to be an alumnus. I have been very blessed in my life and my career as a pharmacist. I attribute that to Pacific.”

In addition to the honor of being recognized as the 2019 PPAA Alumnus of the Year, the highlight of his year has been “being a grandfather and spending time with my four beautiful granddaughters, my three sons and their wives.”

“I was very fortunate to receive a quality education from Pacific, own a successful business and, in return, be able to give back to the School through an endowed scholarship.”

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Talent on Display

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Each year brave doctor of pharmacy and undergraduate pre-pharmacy students step onto the Rotunda stage and put their talents on display. Sponsored by Walgreens and hosted by Pacific’s chapter of The Rho Chi Society, the annual talent show is an opportunity for students to showcase their artistic creativity.

Rachel Stone ’20 has been dancing since she was 4 years old. She started out in ballet, but was drawn to hula dancing. “I wanted to learn more about my culture since I am a quarter native Hawaiian,” said Stone. “Dancing allows me to express myself. For the talent show, I decided to showcase hula, rather than other forms of dancing. I wanted to share that part of my culture with my classmates and the faculty.”

Ryan Rana ’20 also has a background in ballet, but he currently focuses on urban choreography. He is a member of Syndicate Dance, a San Jose-based dance team that competes in urban choreography dance competitions across California. “Dancing is my way of saying what’s on my mind in ways that I can’t express otherwise,” said Rana. “Dance is something I can use to connect with other people.”

When considering career options, Rana knew he wanted to work in health care. An incident where one of his family members ended up in the hospital after taking the wrong medication put him on the path to a career in pharmacy. “It opened my eyes to the importance of pharmacists and the job they do,” he said.

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At this year’s talent show, Sharon Cheung ’21 performed the song “Jealous” by Labrinth. “I have been singing ever since I could talk,” said Cheung. “I sing because it is my favorite form of artistic expression. I love the way that singing can tell a story.”

Cheung started at Pacific as a pre-pharmacy student. “I decided to pursue pharmacy because it is at the forefront of accessible health care,” she said. “You can find a pharmacist in so many different health care settings, making it a versatile career and, most importantly, an accessible means to health carefor patients.”

Stone, Rana and Cheung emphasized the importance of having an outlet for self-expression. Having the opportunity to share their creative side helped them connect with their classmates. “A lot of people didn’t even know I could dance until the talent show,” Stone said. “I enjoyed showing people a different side of me than they see in class.”

“Dancing is my way of saying what’s on my mind in ways that I can’t express otherwise.”

“The Rho Chi talent show is an important tradition because it allows for friendly competition among students,” said Stephine A. Golik ’20, president of Rho Chi, Beta Omega chapter. “The talent show allows us to show the community that we are just as invested in maintaining our interests outside of school as we are dedicated to studying and the practice of pharmacy.”

The talent show is also a bonding experience for students who are pledging one of Pacific’s four professional pharmacy fraternities: Kappa Psi, Lambda Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Chi and Rho Pi Phi. Xin Guo, PhD, professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry, who serves as a faculty advisor for Rho Chi, said, “The Rho Chi talent show is also a platform for a number of student organizations to recruit new members. The students connect and collaborate with one another while preparing for the performance.” At this year’s event Dr. Guo and fellow Rho Chi faculty advisor Veronica T. Bandy ’00, ’08, MS, PharmD, FCPhA, FCSHP, clinical professor of pharmacy practice, were joined by guest judges Carly A. Ranson ’13, ’17, PharmD, MS, BCGP, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, and Roshanak Rahimian, PharmD, MSc, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.

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The Beta Omega chapter of The Rho Chi Society was established at Pacific in 1964 to encourage and recognize excellence in intellectual achievement and to advocate critical inquiry in all aspects of pharmacy. Its members are known for supporting their classmates by offering tutoring for students by students. Dr. Guo said tutoring goes beyond explaining a specific subject. Tutors play a key role in helping students identify their weaknesses and leverage their strengths.

“Tutoring shows students different ways to approach problems or see things from a different perspective, which can be useful for future classes and on rotations,” Golik said. “Tutors also share the struggles they had, so students can see that the academic excellence we have achieved was not without its own struggles.”

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Continuing a Legacy of Compassion

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Mariano Que

From the ashes of World War II, Mariano Que built what would become the thriving Mercury Drug Corporation. He opened the first Mercury Drug store on March 1, 1945, in Manila, Philippines.

Orphaned at age 10, he was only able to attend school up to the seventh grade. These formative experiences instilled in him the value of education and a deeply compassionate, generous spirit. “Helping people has been one of the most important values that my father wanted to pass on to his family,” said his daughter, Fortune Que Andrada. “Since he started from humble beginnings, he wanted to be able to help others as he knew what it was to need help.”

Since 1999, the Mercury Drug Foundation has provided medicines and medical services to individuals in underserved communities throughout the Philippines through the Operation Bigay Lunas medical outreach program. “My siblings and I would accompany my parents to visit several sites of Operation Bigay Lunas,” Fortune said. “We saw firsthand how it helped many people. The smiles and relief I saw on their faces made me realize the impact that Operation Bigay Lunas meant to them. This helped us realize the importance of giving back.”

Fortune, her husband, Perfecto A. Andrada, and their children Irene Frances Que Andrada ’15, PharmD, BCGP and Elena Anne Que Andrada ’22, established the Que-Andrada Foundation Endowment Fund at Pacific in honor of Mariano. The Que-Andrada Foundation is supporting the efforts of Pacific’s Medicare Part D Outreach Clinics. Through the power of the Powell Match, the endowment will support an annual health fair focused on reaching the Filipino community.

Fortune noted how the efforts of the Medicare Part D Outreach Clinics mirror those of Operation Bigay Lunas. “It is nice to know prepharmacy and pharmacy students volunteer for this event just like how the pharmacy students from different schools throughout the Philippines volunteer at Operation Bigay Lunas,” she said.

In addition to his philanthropic spirit, Mariano passed on his firm belief in the value of education. “My father strongly believed that education is the best investment and I am glad that my husband and I listened to him because, without a doubt, Pacific is truly a worthwhile investment that no one can ever take away.” Mariano was proud his two granddaughters decided to pursue careers in pharmacy. Fortune shared that from a young age Irene wanted to become a pharmacist. “After being inspired by my father, she knew that she wanted to join the profession to help others,” Fortune said. “She knew that pharmacy would be a great way to serve both patients and doctors.”

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From left to right:
Irene Frances Que Andrada ’15, PharmD, BCGP, Elena Anne Que Andrada ’22, Perfecto A. Andrada and Fortune Que Andrada

The Healing Power of Rowing

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When Patricia “Pat” Tirone ’02, PT, DPT, EdD moved from New York to California, her career path was at a crossroads. In order to continue to work in adult education in California, she would have to go back to school, even though she had a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she also had trained teachers. Her experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa, prior to graduate studies in New York, had sparked an interest in pursuing a career in health care. “Physical therapy married everything I was interested in because physical therapy requires teaching skills,” said Dr. Tirone.

Becoming a student in Pacific’s doctor of physical therapy program also led to a new hobby when one of her classmates introduced her to the world of competitive rowing. When she discovered individual sculling, she never looked back. In sculling, the rower has an oar in each hand as compared to sweep rowing, where each rower has a single oar. “The feeling of being on the water by yourself and propelling across the water is very addictive,” Dr. Tirone said.

“Without my experiences as a physical therapist, I would not have had the courage to bring my own patients down to the water to help them reclaim sport.”

Dr. Tirone is the director of Delta Sculling Center, where she is also the head coach. The center’s motto is “Where EveryBODY Sculls.” “I think a sport is not really a sport until it is inclusive,” she said. They adapt their boats to meet the needs of individuals with physical, cognitive or sensory limitations. Many of these individuals use wheelchairs, walkers or prosthetics. “When you are in the boat those things are gone,”Dr. Tirone said. “There is a meditative quality to the freedom one finds on the water.” The sport demands commitment and perseverance, but offers a sense of peace and community. Time and again, Dr. Tirone has witnessed the restorative power of rowing.

She received the USRowing 2018 Isabel Bohn Award, named in honor of a pioneer and role model in the world of adaptive rowing who lost her left leg at age 11. Dr. Tirone was humbled to receive the award and accepted it on behalf of the center’s volunteers, staff and athletes. Speaking of the award’s past recipients, she said, “Those are my mentors.”

In 2016, the center received a grant from USRowing, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to establish Freedom Rows, a program for military veterans suffering from PTSD and other war-related injuries. The center is also bringing rowing to local schools. Dr. Tirone helped successfully secure a grant from the George Pocock Rowing Foundation to bring Erg Ed®, an indoor rowing education program, to Stockton Unified School District and local Aspire Public Schools.

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Established in 2010 in Seattle, the program uses indoor rowing machines, known as ergometers or ergs, to introduce students to the sport. In addition to rowing skills, the students learn about exercise, goal setting and teamwork. Delta Sculling Center facilitates moving the rowing machines from one school to another and assists the work of physical education teachers who implement the Erg Ed® curriculum in their schools.

Dr. Tirone is currently a consultant for Rehab Without Walls. She works with patients who are coming out of acute care, many of whom have severe orthopedic and neurologic injuries. She is part of an interdisciplinary team that consists of an occupational therapist, neuropsychologist, speech-language pathologist and social worker. “For me, that work is really exciting in terms of both getting that patient back on his or her feet and back to being a part of the community.” She finds great reward in “being a part of getting them back to their life.”

Looking back at her time at Pacific, Dr. Tirone remembers the “incredibly positive, supportive atmosphere.” “The way my classmates supported one another reminds me of a rowing team,” she said. “My life is so much richer than it would have been had I not become a physical therapist. I bring to my physical therapy the insights of an educator. Without my experiences as a physical therapist, I would not have had the courage to bring my own patients down to the water to help them reclaim sport.” Through the power of rowing, the center is helping individuals become athletes again.

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