Pharmacy alumni driven to expand community access to health care services
A mobile clinic van will enable Thomas J. Long doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students and faculty to expand delivery of health care services into the communities where it is most needed.
The van, funded in part by alumnus See-Yan Lam ’76, ’84, will provide immunizations and diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, among other services.
“Health care is a precious commodity and there is a gap between underserved populations and access to care,” Lam said. “I hope the mobile clinic can cover that gap and provide the necessary education and services.”
Lam earned his PharmD and doctor of philosophy degrees at Pacific and has been a supporter of the programs since graduating. He credits his father for instilling in him the importance of giving back to the profession and community. He offered his support when he learned of the idea to expand Pacific’s health care outreach through a mobile clinic van.
Andrea Wamsley ’03, who earned a doctoral degree in pharmaceutical and chemical sciences, also helped fund the mobile clinic van.
She has volunteered at every Pacific COVID-19 vaccination clinic since the first one in January 2021. Wamsley has been inspired by the overwhelming support from the Pacific community and alumni who represent a dynamic group of health care practitioners. It was interactions with students and patients that moved her to support the mobile clinic.
“While it is great to have the clinics at Pacific, we need to get into the communities where people are disenfranchised and underserved,” Wamsley said. “With the mobile clinic van, you can help pharmacists understand equity and health care across all levels and what it means to serve those communities.”
Lam and Wamsley value Pacific’s student-centered teaching environment and the hands-on experience they gained while students. “One of the best teaching tools is community outreach, and the mobile clinic will help students understand the scope of what pharmacists can do,” Lam said.
Added Wamsley: “Students who participated in the COVID-19 vaccine clinics had such invaluable experiences. You cannot recreate that in any clinical setting.”
The mobile clinic van will have clinical space with a sink, counter space, shelving and a private exam area. The van also will be outfitted for use at immunization clinics.