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Carly A. Ranson ’13, ’17, PharmD, MS, BCGP, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, was inspired to pursue a career in pharmacy after reading Michael J. Fox’s autobiography. “He talks about his disease, treatments and medications,” said Dr. Ranson. “It got me interested in answering why a tiny pill can help control tremors or cure a headache. After finding an interest, I volunteered at a local hospital to try my hand in the pharmacy world and found it fit; I loved it. I still work at that hospital after all these years and love every moment.”

She is inspired by Michael J. Fox’s “optimism, humor and honesty.” She added, “Even though he was one of the youngest people to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he talks about being grateful for the diagnosis as it guided him toward the life he lives today. He continues to push for a cure, continues to live his life with his family, remains optimistic and has a sense of humor about life. […] I have actually met Michael J. Fox at the Voices of Inspiration fundraiser for Hoffmann Hospice in Bakersfield courtesy of the Hoffmann family. The photo is one of my prized possessions.”

Another major influence in her career is Rajul A. Patel ’01, ’06, PharmD, PhD, professor of pharmacy practice, who leads the Medicare Part D mobile outreach clinics. “This course was the moment I found my purpose in pharmacy school and I have since given every moment possible to ensure its success,” Dr. Ranson said.

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Speaking of her mentor she said, “Dr. Patel is one of the most humble, down to earth and honest people I have ever met. He will do anything to ensure the success of his students, colleagues and patients. He is one of the most accomplished individuals I know and yet he is driven by virtue and integrity, rather than titles and notoriety. He has perfected the ability to connect and laugh with students but still commands respect.”

In addition to her involvement in health care outreach clinics, she is passionate about serving veterans through the Honor Flight Network. “They send our veterans to see their memorial in Washington, D.C., free of charge, so that they know they are not forgotten, that they are loved and that we as a country are grateful for their sacrifice.”

Her interests range from gardening and restoring classic cars to working archaeological digs. “My dad and I restored my 1957 GMC step side and that gave me the classic car bug,” Dr. Ranson said. Her family also rescues and rehabilitates animals. Their menagerie often includes dogs, cats, fish, chickens, horses, pigeons and sometimes even opossum.

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By Anne Marie H. Bergthold
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