Sandra Le ’21 was named one of the top 10 recipients of the 2020 U.S. Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award. Le’s journey to choosing a career in pharmacy started at home. “Growing up, I witnessed my grandma juggling countless prescriptions,” said Le. “I was always tasked with translating her pill bottles to tell her exactly what the medications were for and how to take them. I knew that others may not have family or friends around to do the same for them. I made it my goal to help them by becoming a pharmacist.”
Her experiences have also helped her focus her career path within the field of pharmacy. “I hope to work with the geriatric population to address medication-related problems such as noncompliance, lack of patient education and inappropriate [prescription] drug use.”
Pharmacists are uniquely positioned within the health care system to make an impact on public health. “From helping patients with insurance problems to fighting drug abuse, pharmacists make an impact on public health,” Le said.
Le’s mentors and classmates can attest to her desire to care for the community in practical ways. At Pacific, she dove headlong into leadership and health care outreach opportunities. Le is a member of the California Pharmacy Student Leadership program, otherwise known as CAPSLEAD, and the Alpha Psi chapter of Phi Delta Chi. She served as president of Pacific’s Professional Pharmacy Fraternity Council and vice president of professional affairs for Pacific’s chapter of the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Le also served as a project manager for three committees: American Lung Association, Drug Awareness and Operation Heart.
“Don’t be afraid to create your own opportunities, you will always have people supporting you at Pacific.”
She is grateful for the pharmacists who volunteer their time to precept at health care outreach events. “Thank you for always coming back to Pacific and our health fairs to precept and mentor pharmacy students,” she said. “Because of your continual support, we can make an impact on public health and local communities.” Le is also thankful for the support of the Pacific faculty. Her advice for her fellow students: “Don’t be afraid to create your own opportunities, you will always have people supporting you at Pacific.”
By Anne Marie H. Bergthold