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Washington State University

Pharmacy students training to fill rural health care gap

WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has accepted five students into the rural health track. These first-year students will be the inaugural class in the track and will undergo specialized training and education in rural health care. Upon their graduation in 2025, they will be equipped with the skills, tools, and network needed to work in a rural setting.

“We look forward to working with this small group of talented students. Health care providers in rural areas face a unique set of challenges. This includes advising patients on how to access care if they don’t have phone or internet services, or if the nearest … » More …

Prosser resident hopes to provide pharmacy services in her community

First-year student pharmacist Catalina Yepez, age 29, is one of five students in the inaugural class in the rural health track. The track is part of the college’s Rural Health Initiative to recruit, educate, and embed pharmacists in rural communities across Washington state.

I was born and raised in Prosser, Washington a town of roughly 6,000 people nestled in central Washington where access to medical services are limited. Most of the people in Prosser work in agriculture and my family was no different. My mother worked in a cherry factory for 28 years and my father at a potato packaging plant. In 2011, … » More …

Seattle transplant aspires to provide rural patient care

First-year student pharmacist Chase King, age 21, is one of five students in the inaugural class in the rural health track. The track is part of the college’s Rural Health Initiative to recruit, educate, and embed pharmacists in rural communities across Washington state.

I believe that pharmacists can bring about the change needed to bridge the rural health care gap. Many rural residents struggle with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, addiction, obesity, and a myriad of heart conditions, but have little to no access to health care facilities. As a future pharmacist, I hope to provide care in isolated towns, traveling door-to-door, counseling … » More …

Love of chemistry transforms to career in rural health

First-year student pharmacist Bradley Brown, age 22, is one of five students in the inaugural class in the rural health track. The track is part of the college’s Rural Health Initiative to recruit, educate, and embed pharmacists in rural communities across Washington state.

I was raised in Rochester, Washington the youngest of 13 children, where I grew up in a 100-year-old farm house. Rochester is a rural agricultural community with a population of about 2,500 situated between Seattle and Portland. Like many rural communities, everyone in Rochester willingly lends a hand to help a neighbor. This town has raised me as much as … » More …

Veteran pursues PharmD to help rural communities

First-year student pharmacist Michael Sauseda, age 40, is one of five students in the inaugural class in the rural health track. The track is part of the college’s Rural Health Initiative to recruit, educate, and embed pharmacists in rural communities across Washington state.

I applied for the rural health track because I want to help underserved communities, which has been a consistent driving motivation throughout my life. Our motto as a US Special Forces Operator was De Oppresso Liber which translates to, “To Free the Oppressed.” In my 20-plus year military career, I spent 11 years as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant stationed … » More …

Former firefighter finds passion for pharmacy

First-year student pharmacist Amanda Whitehead, age 33, is one of five students in the inaugural class in the rural health track. The track is part of the college’s Rural Health Initiative to recruit, educate, and embed pharmacists in rural communities across Washington state.

As someone who has always lived and worked in rural areas throughout my life, I am truly passionate about bringing much needed health care resources to underserved populations. Living in a close-knit, small town has always been a great comfort to me and I want to support the people in my community in my future pharmacy career in a rural … » More …

From farm to pharmacy

Tyler Young grew up in Oakesdale, Washington, a town of about 400 people, and a 45-minute drive south of Spokane. He graduated from high school with only 11 other students in his class and his first job was on the wheat farm where he spent summers from ages 14 to 20 spraying weeds in 90-degree heat, driving a tractor, and harvesting the crop. » More ...

Gift launches Rural Health Initiative at WSU

A recent $2.2 million gift to Washington State University’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) will increase opportunities for PharmD students to focus on the health care needs of residents in rural Washington. This extraordinary anonymous gift has helped to launch CPPS’ Rural Health Initiative (RHI) to improve access to health care in the rural communities of Washington. Started in the fall of 2021, RHI is an ambitious 10-year plan to create opportunities for student pharmacists and post-graduate pharmacists to specialize in delivery of rural health care. Access to health care providers in rural Washington continues to be a challenge for the nearly 800,000 residents living in these areas. It’s estimated that Washington needs 600 new providers to eliminate this gap in access to care. The Rural Health Initiative aims to alleviate this problem. » More ...

Pandemic becomes once-in-a-lifetime lesson for pharmacy student

Though it has been a difficult year of remote learning, fourth-year pharmacy student Trevor Schultz did not miss a beat. Passionate about working with rural and underserved communities, Schultz teamed up with class of 2009 alumni Tyler Fischback at Confluence Health in Wenatchee to support COVID-19 mass immunization efforts in a largely rural and agricultural area serving the Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties in Washington state.

“I’m really passionate about giving back and serving the community. This pandemic needs to be taken seriously. It’s inspiring me because it’s a beacon of hope to end this thing. I want to educate the public about this … » More …