Pacificans Honored by the California Pharmacists Association

On February 24, 2017, at the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) Western Pharmacy Exchange in Palm Springs, Dean Phillip R. Oppenheimer, PharmD was inducted into the CPhA Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honor recognizes individuals for their inspiration, distinguished service and innovative contributions to the practice of pharmacy in California. Read more.

Several Pacific alumni were among those honored at the 2017 Western Pharmacy Exchange. Michael A. Pastrick ’73, BS Pharm, who was inducted to the CPhA Hall of Fame in 2014, was formally recognized. Read more.

Edlen Wong ’07, PharmD, FCPhA, received the Distinguished New Practitioner of the Year award. Read more.

K. Scott Guess ’83, PharmD, MSPharm, RPh, received the Cardinal Health Generations Rx Champions award. Read more.

Edlen Wong ’07, PharmD, FCPhA, Michael A. Pastrick ’73, BS Pharm and Donald Floriddia ’71, PhD.

Alumni Spotlight: Nathan “Nate” Hunsaker ’97, PT, MSPT, DPT, Cert MDT, CSMT

Nathan “Nate” Hunsaker ’97, PT, MSPT, DPT, Cert MDT, CSMT approaches his work as a physical therapist the same way he approaches a summit like the Grand Teton — with determination, skill and grit.

“I’m from Wyoming and since they didn’t have a physical therapy program at the time they would fund you to go elsewhere,” said Dr. Hunsaker. “I was impressed with the relaxed, but professional atmosphere Pacific seemed to offer. After interviewing at several different places their interview stood out to me because the physical therapy department had a unique way to interview. […] They asked really crazy questions, that was really interesting.” He thinks that the rationale for the unusual interview questions was to see “how you reacted, how you thought on your feet.” This theory was confirmed when he got to know his classmates. He shares, “I think it reflected on the class we had. We had a lot of unique thinkers, they thought outside-the-box.”

Dr. Hunsaker was named the 2016 Physical Therapist of the Year by the Idaho Physical Therapy Association. “First of all, it was a complete surprise to me,” Dr. Hunsaker shares. “I’ve worked hard to be a good spine therapist. It was a great honor. I was totally surprised, it was wonderful.” He also expressed his gratitude for the work of his peers, who consistently set a high standard of excellence for physical therapy in Idaho.

The award also recognizes Dr. Hunsaker’s role as a mentor. He encourages his fellow alumni to act as a mentor for aspiring health care professionals. “Remember how instrumental it was to getting you to where you are now,” Dr. Hunsaker said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without great mentorship. I’ve mentored many physical therapy students, many physical therapy techs aspiring to be physical therapists and many young people thinking about a career in physical therapy.”

Dr. Hunsaker is a partner, owner, clinic director and physical therapist at RehabAuthority in Idaho Falls, Idaho. While he enjoys the different aspects of this multifaceted role, working with patients is his driving force. “Number one I am a physical therapist; I just love patient care,” Dr. Hunsaker explains.

“Coming out of school I got a job in an acute rehabilitation clinic doing mostly rehabilitation,” Dr. Hunsaker shares. “When I joined RehabAuthority I had to completely shift gears. I had to take extensive education courses.” In 2011, he was certified in Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment, awarded by the McKenzie Institute®, and in 2012 he became a Certified Spinal Manual Therapist, awarded by the International Spine and Pain Institute. He has earned a reputation as a specialist in back and neck rehabilitation and every year hundreds of patients benefit from his expertise.

He continues to challenge himself professionally. He elaborates, “I’m always working on the next certification. I keep setting goals for myself.” Dr. Hunsaker and his partners also plan to expand in Idaho and into Wyoming. He adds, “That provides its own growing pains and joys.”

He has been a member of the American Physical Therapy Association for over two decades. He believes that it is vitally important to be involved in professional organizations. “If we don’t speak up for ourselves no one will,” Dr. Hunsaker said. “Quite simply there is strength in our members, when you have thousands of professionals combining their experience we can truly make a difference.”

He and his family loves spending time outdoors. “I live in a great place to be in the outdoors — Idaho Falls, Idaho. Yellowstone [National Park] is about two hours away and Grand Teton [National Park] is about two hours away.” He and his wife, Audra, have four kids and they enjoy going hiking together.

He thinks fondly of his time at Pacific. “I have a special place in my heart for the Pacific Tigers. I just love Pacific, my wife and I had such a great experience there. I will forever be indebted to that wonderful school and what it’s done for me.”

 

Alumni Spotlight: Edlen Wong ’07, PharmD, FCPhA

Edlen Wong ’07, PharmD, FCPhA, joins a long list of Pacific alumni who have received the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) Distinguished New Practitioner of the Year award. The award recognizes an outstanding new practitioner who encourages others to actively participate in professional, political and/or community affairs related to the practice of pharmacy. Dr. Wong’s enthusiasm for the profession is an inspiration to everyone he encounters. His tireless efforts are evident in the numerous leadership positions he has held within CPhA and the San Joaquin Pharmacists Association (SJPhA).

“When you make the decision to be involved it’s not the awards that drive you to succeed, but the passion for the profession,” said Dr. Wong. “My goal is to leave the profession in a better position than when I started. Receiving this award is quite a humbling honor; especially to be recognized by one’s mentors and colleagues. It is inspiring to be amongst such incredible company of previous award recipients who have gone on to do so much in their careers.”

During his time as a student at Pacific, Dr. Wong was actively involved in the student chapters of CPhA, American Pharmacists Association (APhA), National Community Pharmacist Association (NCPA) and California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP). Over the years, he has been involved in numerous Pacific health care outreach events as a student and a preceptor. Immediately after graduating he began serving on the SJPhA Board of Directors; serving as president in 2010 and again in 2014.

“Being actively involved in a pharmacy organization is a way to give you a voice to shape your profession,” Dr. Wong said. “One person can make a difference, but it takes a group to move a mountain. It is never too late to get involved. Join us in advocating for your profession!”

Dr. Wong is the immediate past-president of CPhA, having served the 2016-2017 term. His dedication to the CPhA includes his service as speaker-elect and speaker of the House of Delegates; as well as member of the Board of Trustees. It was during Dr. Wong’s term as speaker of the House of Delegates that CPhA revamped their association policies and standards of practice. He has also served on several CPhA committees and task forces.

His passion for the pharmacy profession is without question. He has mentored numerous student pharmacists and new practitioners. “I’m thankful for the great mentors who helped me along the way as if it wasn’t for them, who knows where or what I’d be doing today,” Dr. Wong shares. “I only hope to inspire the next generation of new practitioners for future success.”

As a board member of the Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association, he continues to give back to his alma mater through his time and talent. In 2014, he was named a Fellow of CPhA. Dr. Wong is currently a lead pharmacist for Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek, California.

Pacific Alumni Distinguished New Practitioner of the Year Award Winners

2015 | Annie Ho ’12, PharmD
2014 | Michael Conner ’12, PharmD
2011 | Veronica T. Bandy ’00, ’08, MS, PharmD
2009 | Eric Gupta ’00, PharmD
2008 | Ryan Gates ’04, PharmD
2007 | Jason Kim ’04, PharmD
2006 | Helen Park ’98, PharmD
1999 | Adam M. Kaye ’95, PharmD, FASCP, FCPhA
1995 | Michael Pavlovich ’89, PharmD
1992 | Christopher Woo ’88, PharmD
1990 | Scott Workman ’81, RPh
1988 | Michael Woo ’80, RPh

Alumni Spotlight: Tobias “Toby” Damron ’14, PharmD

From California to New Jersey and back to California, Tobias “Toby” Damron ’14, PharmD has come full circle. “Following graduation, I joined Novo Nordisk as a post-doctoral fellow,” Dr. Damron said. “It was rewarding to grow as a professional and diversify my skills. I was really surprised by the number of doors that a fellowship opened for me in pharmacy. Roles that were traditionally not thought of as for a pharmacist, or that I had not thought were for a pharmacist, were available to me.”

He shares a memorable experience from his fellowship: “I gave a diabetes market overview presentation to the entire sales force of 3,000 employees. It was really awesome that they trusted me to do a presentation like that.” The experience gave him a sense of belonging and made a lasting impression. He remembers thinking that the opportunity to present to such a large audience showed that he was viewed as a contributing member of the company.

Despite facing a sharp learning curve at the start of his fellowship, he felt that his time at Pacific honed his abilities and equipped him with transferrable skills. “Pacific does a really good job of keeping their students well-rounded,” Dr. Damron said. “The program’s emphasis is on being well-rounded pharmacists, good communicators, being involved in the community and being leaders. Throughout the fellowship these were the things [Novo Nordisk] emphasized and thought were important.” As a student, he was the vice president of Phi Lambda Sigma, Rho chapter, and a member of Rho Chi, Beta Omega chapter. In addition, he was a member of the California Pharmacy Student Leadership team and a project manager for Operation Heart.

For students considering pursuing a fellowship he emphasizes that there are “so many opportunities that maybe you haven’t even thought about yet a fellowship can open doors to.” Given the competitive nature of residencies and fellowships, finding ways to stand out from the sea of applicants is essential. Dr. Damron recommends taking the time to research the company. He elaborates, “From first-hand experience those people who do well in the interview are those who understand the company culture.” His advice is to find out who oversees the fellowship and, if possible, directly contact the preceptor. He adds, “Collect as many resources as you can about the fellowship and connect with the current fellows.”

Following his fellowship, he accepted a position at Novo Nordisk as manager of health care professional relations. In July 2016, he transitioned to the position of regional medical liaison. His territory covers Northern California, including Stockton and Nevada. “In my new role, I share education and resources with health care professionals,” Dr. Damron said. “Building strong partnerships and relationships to enhance patient care is my number one goal.”

 

Alumni Spotlight: Brenda Riser ’85, PharmD

Few people have as many stamps in their passport as Brenda Riser ’85, PharmD. By specializing in contract work and utilizing her experience in pharmacy she has been able to see the world.

“Contract work has allowed tremendous flexibility during my career,” said Dr. Riser. “It allowed me to experience and enjoy new towns and cities I would not have explored without working these assignments. Also, in the latest chapter of my life as a single mom, it has allowed flexibility in scheduling to enjoy our adventures in traveling.” Dr. Riser, her mother and her daughter form a tight family unit. “Three generations of women live and travel together,” Dr. Riser shares. The flexibility of contract work also allows her to volunteer at her daughter’s school, as well as attend her daughter’s academic and athletic events.

Dr. Riser was awarded the 2017 National Staffing Employee of the Year All-Star for the health care sector by the American Staffing Association. She shares what receiving this award means to her personally: “What a humbling experience. […] My boss’ nomination and support means everything to me. To be recognized in such a large industry boosts my confidence.”

She has had over 500 assignments during her tenure with Rx relief®, a leading specialty pharmacy placement firm which utilizes a network of over 50,000 pharmacy professionals.  “I have been fortunate to dabble in many niches of pharmacy through my relief work,” Dr. Riser explains. “I always enjoy the challenge of something new and I believe I am adaptable to what the clients need. I have taken on both short and long-term contracts. I try to keep abreast of the changes within our profession.”

Dr. Riser explains how she first got connected to Rx relief®: “Carl Franklin was a customer of mine when I worked in retail. I went to pharmacy school with Tom Maez [’85, PharmD], so both bosses were actually friends prior to my employment with them. I first began with Rx relief® as a client, utilizing their staff to cover my temporary needs. I then began working with them part-time to supplement my extensive traveling.”

Dr. Riser believes that contract work allows pharmacists “to experience niches of our profession they might not get exposure to, but requires a great deal of confidence and hard work.” For those interested in this career path she emphasizes that one must be open to learning new information, personalities and systems. “The main challenges have been gaining enough knowledge and skill to provide the client with the level of competence they deserve. It requires a great deal of flexibility and adaptability to become a part of the staff and team in a limited amount of time.” Travel is also a key component. Dr. Riser adds, “An openness to travel to the client is a must.”

The element of travel has a strong appeal for Dr. Riser. “I have travelled my entire life, starting as a child with camping, exploring the U.S. and Canada,” Dr. Riser explains. “As a teen, my family took our first cruise in 1978 on the original Love Boat and I was hooked. I have been on over 60 cruises all over the world. I have visited all the continents except Antarctica, which is still on my list. My favorite places have been those that had animal experiences and encounters including Tanzania, Tasmania, Australia and the Galapagos Islands. My daughter has caught the travel bug as well; starting at 4-months-old with her first passport and adventure to Tahiti.”

 

Photo credit: Chance James Photography

Alumni Spotlight: Michael A. Pastrick ’73, BS Pharm

Michael A. Pastrick ’73, BS Pharm, who was inducted into the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) Hall of Fame in 2014, was formally recognized at the CPhA Western Pharmacy Exchange Awards Ceremony in Palm Springs on February 24, 2017. “It’s a humbling experience to suddenly be included in the same group of pharmacists you’ve always considered to be your role models and mentors,” said Pastrick.

A member since 1973, Pastrick has served the CPhA as board member, president and parliamentarian. He shares, “As a student, I was taught the importance of volunteer work and giving back to your community and to the profession.” He was named the CPhA Pharmacist of the Year in 1992 and received the Bowl of Hygeia Community Service Award in 2003. In 2016, he was named a Fellow of the CPhA.

Pastrick received the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Good Government Pharmacist of the Year Award in 1992 and the Hubert H. Humphrey Award in 2009. The latter recognizes APhA members who have made major contributions in government or legislative service at the local, state or national level. The award is named for United States Vice President Hubert Humphrey, a pharmacist, mayor and U.S. Senator who served under President Lyndon B. Johnson and was instrumental in the passage of the groundbreaking Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In 1995, Pastrick received the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Service. In 2014, he was named the Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association Alumnus of the Year. Pastrick is a member of the Beta Omega chapter of Rho Chi and the Gamma Nu chapter of Kappa Psi. He is also a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council.

Pastrick explains his motivation for continuing to give back to his profession and alma mater: “Someone once told me, if you won’t do the work, how can you expect others to do it? It takes all of us working together to advance the profession and improve patient care.” He adds, “It’s a way of paying it forward to thank those that came before you. There have always been great role models at Pacific. Pacific has a proud tradition of service, 25 percent of the membership of the Hall of Fame are Pacificans.”

In addition to his service to the pharmacy profession, for many years he has been actively involved in civic affairs in Contra Costa County. A lifelong resident of Concord, California, Pastrick has served the city as mayor, member of the City Council, chair of the Design Review Board, chair of the Planning Commission and as an architectural design consultant; in addition to several other leadership roles for the city and county.

Pastrick is a currently a clinical oncology pharmacist at John Muir Medical Center and an editorial advisor for the Pharmacy Technician’s Letter.

Pacificans Inducted into the CPha Hall of Fame

2017 | Phillip R. Oppenheimer, PharmD
2014 | Michael A. Pastrick ’73, BS Pharm
2013 | Royce Friesen ’65, RPh
2013 | Ralph L. Saroyan ’64, RPh
2012 | Jeff Jellin ’74, PharmD
2012 | Clark H. Gustafson ’66, RPh
2009 | Donald Floriddia ’71, PhD
2007 | Charles Green ’68, RPh
2006 | Carlo Michelotti ’61, RPh, MPH
2005 | Thomas J. Long
2005 | Joseph M. Long
2000 | Ivan “Cy” Rowland, PhD

View complete list.

 

Alumni Spotlight: Carol Hirota ’77, ’79, MA, CCC-SLP

The San Francisco Giants, Delta Gamma and University of the Pacific — spend time with Carol Hirota ’77, ’79, MA, CCC-SLP and one is likely to hear about her passion for baseball, education or alumni engagement. When describing her Pacific experience Hirota uses an expression: “From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it; from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.” She shares, “That is how I feel about my proud affiliation with the Pacific Speech-Language Pathology Alumni Association, the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and University of the Pacific. It is a collegial community that exemplifies pride, history, tradition, excellence and distinction.” Hirota was named the 2016 Pacific Speech-Language Pathology Alumna of the Year. She was honored at the Alumni and Friends Breakfast at the 2017 California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA) Annual Convention & Exhibition, held in Pasadena, California in March.

She has served on several CSHA committees, including a two-year term as commissioner of association services. She has been recognized by CSHA for her outstanding achievements and service to the profession. “There is always so much to look forward to in our profession; employment options, international networking and opportunities to serve our association and University,” Hirota said.

Simalee Smith-Stubblefield ’83, MA, CCC-SLP shares, “As a colleague she is well respected, dedicated, professional, efficient, ethical and always keeps her student’s best interest at heart. She sets high standards for herself and is wonderful to work with as she is innovative in her philosophy and knows how to problem solve.” She adds, “In addition, she is a great Giants fan and loves going to AT&T Park for a game! Go Giants, go Carol!”

Several years ago, Hirota made the transition from speech-language pathologist to administrator, becoming the principal of the Stockton School for Adults. In this new role, she is a passionate advocate for her students and staff. Hirota is a well-respected and active member of several adult education organizations in California.

Hirota is also actively involved with her alma mater. She devoted eight years of service to the Pacific Speech-Language Pathology Alumni Association and is currently a member of the Pacific Alumni Association board of directors. She has held several prominent positions on University committees, including chair of the Delta Gamma Advisory Team. In her role with Delta Gamma she encourages and champions the members of Pacific’s Delta Epsilon chapter. For her tireless efforts on behalf of Delta Gamma, the University’s division of student life recognized her with the Advisor of the Year Award in 2016.

She is also an avid community volunteer, serving as a member of the Junior League of San Joaquin and the Miracle Mile Improvement District Board. Passionate about literacy, she has volunteered with several literacy organizations at both the local and state level.

Samantha M. Soto ’16, Carol Hirota ’77, ’79, MA, CCC-SLP, Tierney O’Mara ’17 and Simalee Smith-Stubblefield ’83, MA, CCC-SLP at the 2017 California Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention & Exhibition, March 16-19, 2017 in Pasadena, California.

 

Alumni Spotlight: K. Scott Guess ’83, PharmD, MSPharm, RPh, DAAPM

On February 24, 2017, K. Scott Guess ’83, PharmD, MSPharm, RPh, DAAPM received the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) Cardinal Health Generations Rx Champions award at the CPhA Western Pharmacy Exchange in Palm Springs. The award recognizes a pharmacist who has demonstrated excellence in community-based prescription drug abuse prevention. This honor recognizes Dr. Guess’ outstanding efforts within the pharmacy community to raise awareness of this serious public health problem.

For over two decades Dr. Guess has been refining his knowledge of pain management. He has been influential in shaping the community pharmacist’s role in the chronic pain management field. Starting with a single patient with chronic regional pain syndrome in 1993, he has expanded his practice to include 800 chronic pain patients.

Using this knowledge base, he developed PainTRac™, the award-winning program which gives community pharmacists a solid foundation upon which they can define a reasonable and personal definition of corresponding responsibility. This program has been instrumental in the prevention and treatment of drug abuse in chronic pain patients. PainTRac™ is a testament to Dr. Guess’ creativity and his ability to develop innovative tools to combat the issue of rapidly increasing prescription drug abuse.

Dr. Guess was awarded the California Pharmacist Association Innovative Pharmacist of the Year in 2012. He has served as an expert witness, assisting attorney on a number of cases that involve the proper dispensing, record keeping and diversion prevention of controlled substances.

In 1983, he earned a doctor of pharmacy from University of the Pacific. As a student, he was a member of the Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity. For Dr. Guess, his time as a student at Pacific was a formative experience. He shares, “I was taught by world-class experts, expanded my horizons and learned to live with a stranger in a dorm full of strangers who became a dorm full of friends. I learned study habits that I use to this day.”

In 2016, he earned a master of science in pharmaceutical outcome policy, specializing in policy and regulation, from the University of Florida. A lifelong learner, Dr. Guess continues to hone his expertise in palliative care. “Now that the California Board of Pharmacy is allowing the Advanced Practice Pharmacist (APP) license for pharmacists, I have decided to apply for the APP license based on my clinical training as a mid-level practitioner in the pain management of palliative care patients,” Dr. Guess said. “To improve my knowledge in this area, I am currently pursuing a master of science in palliative care at University of Maryland. In the meantime, I continue to work as a licensed pharmacist at a community pharmacy and to build the patient base for my palliative care clinic.”

“It has always been my goal to do the best I can for my patients and my profession by using the knowledge and skill set I have been given,” said Dr. Guess. “It is my hope that all pharmacists will do the same.” The CPhA commends Dr. Guess for the impact that he has had on the issue of prescription drug abuse.

 

Loriann DeMartini ’84, PharmD Named Pacific Pharmacy Alumna of the Year

The Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is proud to announce that Loriann DeMartini ’84, PharmD has been named the Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association (PPAA) Alumna of the Year. Dr. DeMartini earned her doctor of pharmacy from University of the Pacific in 1984. Dr. DeMartini will be honored at the Pacific Pharmacy Alumni and Friends Breakfast at the Western Pharmacy Exchange, presented by the California Pharmacists Association. Pacific Pharmacy alumni and friends are invited to attend the breakfast to be held on Saturday, February 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Renaissance Hotel in Palm Springs.

“We are proud to count Loriann DeMartini among our distinguished alumni,” said Dean Phillip R. Oppenheimer, PharmD. “Without question she has improved health care in California. Her leadership and dedication to promoting the pharmacy profession are an inspiration to her peers and to the next generation of pharmacists.”

In 2016 Dr. DeMartini was named chief executive officer of the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP), a non-profit professional association which serves the needs of hospital and health-system pharmacists. CSHP, the largest state association for pharmacists, represents over 3,500 members who practice specialized medicine and clinical pharmacy.

“The Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association has so many qualified candidates; for her work in medication safety and her leadership at the state level Loriann DeMartini rose to the top,” PPAA President Tom Maez ’85, PharmD said. “We are excited that she was recently named CEO of CSHP. On behalf of the PPAA, we wish to thank her for her years of dedication to the profession and for her leadership as together we shape what lies next for the future of pharmacy.”

Dr. DeMartini’s areas of expertise are medication error reduction and regulatory enforcement. From 1992 through 2016 she served the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in a variety of roles, most recently as deputy director of the Office of Quality Performance and Accreditation. During her tenure at CDPH she was recognized nationally and statewide for her contributions to improving patient care. Under her leadership the Medication Error Reduction Program (MERP) was launched and implemented in over 400 hospitals in California. In 2010, the Institute for Safe Medication Practice recognized MERP, recommending that it be adopted nationwide.

Dr. DeMartini completed a fellowship in leadership in health care at the California Health Care Foundation in 2006. She is a Fellow of the California Health Care Foundation and member of the Accreditation Improvement Advisory Committee for the Public Health Accreditation Board. She has also been involved in the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. She currently holds faculty appointments at Touro University California, University of California, San Francisco and University of California, San Diego.

The PPAA awards the Alumnus/Alumna of the Year to a current member who has distinguished themselves by either their service to the University or School, their leadership and distinction within the pharmacy profession, or their body of service. The recipient is also asked to serve as the keynote speaker for Pacific’s doctor of pharmacy White Coat Ceremony.

Pacific Pharmacy Alumni and Friends Breakfast at CPhA
Saturday, Feb. 25 | 7:30 – 9 a.m.
Renaissance Hotel – Sierra/Ventura Rooms
888 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Tickets for this breakfast will not be available at the door and are not included in the conference registration. To purchase, please visit bit.ly/cpha_022517 by Friday, February 17.

 

Alumni Spotlight: Judi Jewett ’95, MA, CCC-SLP

deans_letter_judi_jewett_welcome_back_dinner“I never have to worry about what I want to do when I grow up because I’m doing it,” said Judi Jewett ’95, MA, CCC-SLP. For over two decades Jewett, president of Jewett and Associates, Inc., has worked in private practice and in schools as a speech-language pathologist. She believes, “Communication is a basic need and if you can help someone with their communication you are giving them a gift.”

She reflects on what inspired her to pursue a career in speech-language pathology (SLP). “There was a video that I absolutely fell in love with. The speech-language pathologist was teaching a hearing impaired child to speak. I thought, ‘That’s it, that’s what I want to do.’” She also found the variety of opportunities available within the profession very appealing. Jewett adds, “I have always been fascinated by all of the things you can do in SLP.”

She explains why she chose Pacific for her masters of arts in communicative disorders: “I liked the philosophy of the School.” She says that choosing Pacific was “one of the best choices I’ve made.” She adds, “I absolutely love Pacific; all of the staff, all of the faculty, all of the students. I always feel connected to Pacific even though I graduated many years ago. They have a wonderful program that I can’t recommend enough. They support each student to be the best clinician they can be.”

Jewett was a speaker at this year’s Welcome Back Dinner, an annual event where alumni and experienced speech-language pathologists serve as guest speakers for round-table discussions with current SLP students. She shares, “One thing that I like about the Welcome Back Dinner is that it takes place just before students have their first interaction with their clients.” Jewett brought with her almost 700 books which she distributed to undergraduate and graduate SLP students. The books had been donated to First Book, a non-profit social enterprise, by Random House Golden Kids. First Book receives donations of new books from publishers, which are then available to educators who work in settings where the majority of the students come from low-income families.

One of the books Jewett brought was “Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten” by Marc Brown. Jewett explains that in the book the monkey is doing activities such as playing with blocks and coloring. By bringing props to a speech therapy session, such as coloring books and blocks, the client can engage in the activity instead of only listening. Jewett stresses the importance of helping children form positive associations with books during the pre-literacy phase. By introducing an interactive element, the child is able to practice literacy skills, regardless of their age or skill level. Also, the speech-language pathologist can ask the child about both what the character in the book is doing and what they themselves are doing.

Jewett’s passion for sharing the gift of communication crosses linguistic and cultural boundaries. Jewett traveled to what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina shortly after the Bosnia War ended in 1995. “I first went to Bosnia as part of a church program,” Jewett said. “I went to a youth house, the schools were not up and running at this point.” She noticed that one child wasn’t engaging in the activities that were going on around her. Jewett was told, “‘She’s deaf, there’s nothing you can do.’” Jewett thought to herself, “‘I’m a speech-language pathologist, I do know there are things I can do.’” The girl could only use a few gestures, which her mother understood, but she was unable to communicate with her father who had been blinded in the war. Jewett worked tirelessly until she found hearing aids.

Finding hearing aids was only the first step. “You have to also provide therapy,” explains Jewett. “You can’t just hand them hearing aids like audiology tourism.” Jewett arranged for the girl to have speech therapy. On her return trips she observed the impact it had made on the girl’s life. She shares, “She went from gesturing to actually participating in conversations.” That initial interaction sparked the creation of the Bosnia Speech and Hearing Project. Jewett shares, “Bosnia is the place that has captured my heart. The people there are now my family. I didn’t have family when I first went, but now I do.”

She believes that it is our responsibility to reach those individuals who otherwise would not have access to the services they need. She encourages her fellow speech-language pathologists to give back of their time and talent. “There are some people outside of our settings that also need communication, that is a basic need,” Jewett said. “Find those settings where we can use our knowledge and skills.”

 

Phi Delta Chi’s Alpha Psi Chapter Celebrates Their Diamond Anniversary

deans-letter-phi-delta-chi-reunion-03“We love what we do and we love doing it together as a family,” said Kevin Chan ’19. The spirit of camaraderie is interwoven throughout the rich history of the Alpha Psi chapter of Phi Delta Chi. In 2016 the chapter celebrated their 60th anniversary. This milestone was celebrated at the Alpha Psi Diamond Jubilee held during Pacific Homecoming.

“Had it not been for my joining the fraternity during my freshman year, I might not have graduated from Pacific,” Ralph L. Saroyan ’64, RPh said. “The support and fraternal love I gained from this brotherhood provided the encouragement I needed when my studies were not going well.”

When Saroyan was initiated on May 1, 1960 it paved the way for his career at Pacific, which would include being awarded Order of the Pacific, the University’s highest honor. “Had I not been in Phi Delta Chi I would not have been brought back to the University,” Saroyan said. He explains that through being involved in Alpha Psi he formed a connection with Dean Ivan “Cy” Rowland, PhD. Dean Rowland approached Saroyan when he decided to create the role of Director of Student Affairs. Saroyan shares, “I was blessed that Cy Rowland saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.”

Jack Schlegel ’67, RPh joined Phi Delta Chi in 1963. “Without Dean Rowland’s support, as well as that of Alpha Psi, I am not certain that I would have been able to complete pharmacy school and enjoy the remarkable career I had in the profession,” Schlegel said. After serving as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, Schlegel relocated to Washington, D.C. His illustrious career includes serving as the CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, CEO of the American Pharmacists Association and CEO of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as his current position as president and CEO of Schlegel & Associates. “My experiences as an Active in Alpha Psi clearly helped develop and hone leadership skills that served me well throughout my career,” Schlegel said.

Chan shares the impact the fraternity has had on his personal and professional growth. “When I first joined as a brother, I lacked a sense of responsibility and had little knowledge of what I wanted to pursue in the field of pharmacy,” Chan said. “The fraternity has given me a vision of who I want to become and the essential resources to strive after my professional and personal goals. It is extremely important to form connections with fellow peers, because having a support system is crucial to any success. The best part about the brothers of Phi Delta Chi is the diverse group of individuals you get to work with, which can allow you to gain new skill sets by working with such unique personalities.” Chan adds, “Our alumni have been an essential part of the fraternity’s success by offering career and academic advice.”

Milestones
1883 | Phi Delta Chi, the country’s first professional pharmacy fraternity, was established. Their motto is alterum alterius auxilio eget, “each needs the help of the other.”

1955 | A school of pharmacy was established at Pacific.

1956 | The Alpha Psi chapter was officially chartered. At that time Dean Rowland was Phi Delta Chi’s Grand President. Dean Rowland’s legacy is the fraternity’s focus on leadership development. Today Phi Delta Chi emphasizes “Leaders in Pharmacy” and “Brothers for Life.”

1958 | The North Wing of North Hall, what is now Hand Hall, was designated as housing for Alpha Psi brothers.

1978 | Alpha Psi hosted the Grand National Council at North Lake Tahoe.

1981 | The chapter received the fraternity’s prestigious Emory W. Thurston Grand President’s Award. That year Saroyan was elected Grand President, serving the fraternity on the national level. Both Saroyan and Dean Rowland served as Grand President for a record four terms, a total of eight years. Also, representing Pacific, Max Polisky, PhD and Robert “Bob” Supernaw ’72, PharmD, key figures in the School’s history, both served as Grand Vice Presidents.

1989 | The new chapter house was dedicated. Rowland Hall, the two-story brick building located across from Burns Tower, is named in honor of Dean Rowland.

1997 | The chapter became a co-ed fraternity — that year of the 21 new Brothers initiated 13 were women. Saroyan shares, “Since going coed in 1997, Alpha Psi chapter has never been stronger as demonstrated by their ranking in the top ten national chapters for the past two decades.”

2008 | Alumni established the Alpha Psi Education, Scholarship & Leadership Foundation a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public-benefit corporation. The mission of the Foundation is to provide support for pharmacy students through scholarships and leadership training. The founding members believe that by that investing in the development of pharmacy students it contributes to the pharmacy profession and advances in health care, which benefit society at large.

2015 | For the second time, Alpha Psi received the Emory W. Thurston Grand President’s Award. Logan Brodnansky ’17, explains that for a chapter to be awarded the Thurston Cup is “the highest honor our chapter can receive.

2016 | During Pacific Homecoming 2016 the chapter celebrated their 60th anniversary. President Pamela A. Eibeck spoke at the Alpha Psi Diamond Jubilee, congratulating the Foundation on their focus on leadership development and their commitment to supporting students through scholarships.

 

Doctor of Pharmacy Graduates’ Future Plans

The graduates from the doctor of pharmacy Class of 2016 are pursuing a wide variety of exciting opportunities ­­- from a fellowship at the preeminent pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly to a residency at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. As Commencement approaches we asked them to take a moment and reflect on their time at Pacific and their path ahead.

 

Utsav Patel ’16 has been matched with a Postgraduate Year One (PGY1) managed care residency at Kaiser Permanente Central Valley in Stockton. I am looking forward to continuing to develop my skills in the field of managed care, as well as add on to my clinical knowledge as I rotate through the ambulatory care rotations offered in this program,” shares Patel. The connections that he made while at Pacific were influential in leading him to this residency. He explains, “I was able to speak with managed care pharmacists that I had connected with when I was a student. They were able to offer me great advice for the different managed care programs available in California.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. James Uchizono. I have known him since my time as an undergraduate and as such he has had a great impact on me professionally and personally. We would meet occasionally and talk about everything ranging from school to personal life and he would always have great advice, which pushed me to aim higher in everything I pursued.”

Professional goals: “I hope to design and implement a clinical program related to mental health that can be widely adopted.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “My time spent in the Medicare Part D elective, especially during outreach season. Being able to go out into the community and practice what we have learned through the Medication Therapy Management interventions and also helping the beneficiaries cut down on their prescription drug costs.”

 

Saranpreet Nagra ’16 has been matched with a visiting scientist fellowship in the Clinical Innovation Department at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, Indiana. “I am looking forward to being immersed in a company and environment which fosters innovation,” shares Nagra. “Eli Lilly, and specifically their innovation department, is very well known for being very forward-thinking and being open to pursue ‘long-shot’ ideas.” He adds, ” I was able to learn about this specific fellowship position through references from recent alumni and peers.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “I’ve been extremely lucky during my short time here to have multiple mentors, both faculty and alumni, who were willing to go above and beyond to help me reach my potential. One of my mentors, Dr. Sachin Shah, has always been willing to do whatever possible to help me reach my goals and has served as an amazing guide in helping me to navigate the opaque process of applying to fellowships.”

Professional goals: “The biggest thing I hope to contribute to the profession of pharmacy is the idea that the value of the PharmD is far reaching and can supersede the traditional roles in the pharmacy.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “One of my favorite memories during my time at Pacific was our chapter’s APhA-ASP Operation Immunization winning National First Runner Up at the APhA 2016 Annual Meeting and Exposition. It was amazing to see our team and university get some national spotlight for the countless hours our committee put in to help make our communities healthier through direct patient care and education.”

 

Martina L. Rigmaiden ’16 has been matched with PGY1 pediatric pharmacy residency at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California.

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Joel Wagner has been my constant support system throughout my time at Pacific.”

Professional goals: “I hope to bring awareness to the pediatric population and continue to be an advocate for health-system pharmacy and those who wish to pursue a residency to grasp the inpatient clinical aspect of pharmacy.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “When a professor came up to me and said, ‘I can’t believe your performance on the final exam.’ [I was terrified, but] the professor revealed that out of the whole final exam I had only missed half of a point. It was very rewarding to know that all the hours, sleepless nights and office hours consulting with my professor paid off and I completely grasped the concept.”

 

Sophie Hoang ’16 has been matched with a medical affairs fellowship at Novo Nordisk in Plainsboro, New Jersey. “I look forward to learning about the pharmaceutical industry and how new products are launched to create a global impact,” said Hoang. “Participating in various projects, organizations and committees have helped me to create long-lasting relationships with professors and mentors. Not only have they recommended me to potential employers, but also supported and guided me along the way.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Ed Sherman served as the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) advisor during my time as president of the NCPA Pacific Chapter. He opened my eyes to the world of independent pharmacy and encouraged me to participate in the NCPA Student Business Plan Competition.”

Professional goals: “I hope to create a global impact through the launch of new medications, better access to care in rural communities and to ultimately improve patient outcomes across the world.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “One of my proudest moments was planning the Alternative and Integrative Medicine Committee Health Fair in collaboration with the Tzu Chi Foundation.”

 

Tinh An “April” Nguyen ’16 will be the inaugural fellow of the global regulatory program at Biogen in Boston, Massachusetts. She has also been offered an adjunct position at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “I can’t wait to face so many new amazing opportunities, apply what I’ve learned from the California Pharmacists Association to the Massachusetts Pharmacists Association, make a difference and expand Pacific’s legacy!” exclaims Nguyen.

Professor who had a profound impact: “I was a research coordinator with Dr. Sachin Shah for a study on energy drinks and their cardiovascular safety, which was recognized nationally and internationally across multiple news media, including CBS, NPR, UK Daily Mail and Times of India. I’ve been fortunate to work with a mentor who built my foundation of technical skills in the pharmaceutical industry and cardiovascular clinical research.”

Professional goals: “I want to continue to make a difference in the lives of the patients we serve and be an advocate for the profession of pharmacy.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “Staffing the inaugural Rx Boot Camp with students from 12 schools of pharmacy across California inspired me to become the 2016 Rx Boot Camp Director in the state’s first student-led pharmacy conference, which is focused on collaborative practice and communication. I also have fond memories of organizing the first APhA-ASP Health Fair at the Midtown Farmers Market which provided services to 400 community members in Hmong, Spanish and Vietnamese.”

 

James Wall ’16 has been matched with a clinical operations oncology fellowship at Roche Group in San Francisco. In addition, he has been offered an adjunct faculty position at Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. “I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge in the area of oncology,” said Wall. “This opportunity will allow me to pursue my interests in oncology therapeutics while simultaneously allowing me to contribute to the development of novel treatments.” He adds, “I would not have this opportunity without the guidance and support of the faculty at University of the Pacific.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Marcus Ravnan [’94] had a significant impact on my development as a pharmacist. I thoroughly enjoyed his therapeutics courses due to his unique style of teaching. His residency/fellowship elective course should be considered by any student with the desire to pursue post-graduate training. Dr. Ravnan continued to make himself available as a mentor during my clinical rotations.”

Professional goals: “Over the past few decades the pharmacy profession has changed dramatically, expanding to include more clinical functions. I would like to continue this expansion and enhance the pharmacist’s role in both the acute healthcare environment and the general medical community.”