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Medicare Part D partners with Bread of Life to provide free flu vaccines to the community.

Feb 13, 2012

This year, Pacific's Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Medicare Part D event at Franco Center provided nearly 300 screenings and services to residents of the low-income housing complex. It was here that Gina Valadez discovered the invaluable service that the School provided to the community. She reached out to Dr. Rajul Patel '01 '06 and invited the School to participate in her event and non-profit organization, Bread of Life. Bread of Life is a ministry of LifeSong and provides supplemental groceries to needy families of the greater Stockton community every month.

Valadez was inspired to start Bread of Life after driving home one day and seeing all of the foreclosed homes. She struggled as a single mom and understood how it felt during hard times. As a team of one, Valadez recalled the months she spent going door-to-door inviting the community to come out and take a bag of groceries. Her efforts seemed to go unnoticed until one day she showed up and there was a line.

"Community outreach is important and what I learned is that we should always treat others with respect and dignity," said Valadez.

With the help of Dr. Mark Walberg '06 '09, Dr. Joseph Woelfel '70 '72 ‘78, Dr. Annie Patel '01, and a handful of students, they were able to offer an immunization clinic at the event. The clinic was made possible through a partnership between the School, Bread of Life, and Public Health Services of San Joaquin County who donated flu shots.

During this December event, 67 community members received the flu shot, many of whom would not have received it otherwise. Being that this was the School's first time participating in the event, Dr. Patel is encouraged and hopes that this becomes an annual event in which our pharmacy students can participate. "This is a great event. We would love to be here again next year," he said.

The purpose of Medicare Part D outreach is to provide services to Medicare beneficiaries helping them chose a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan that meets their needs at the lowest cost possible. In addition, participants can take advantage of health services including blood pressure screening, cholesterol screening, immunization, asthma screening, and more.

To learn more about Bread of Life, visit breadoflifestockton.org.

about the author

Dua Moua   Dua Moua '09 is the Marketing Communications Assistant at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Pacific.