by Steve Vodhanel
Here at Loma Linda University we believe that whole person care is very important to the patient and vital to optimal health care. The entire university’s framework for education centers upon the central mission statement “To Make Man Whole.” At the School of Pharmacy, students, staff and faculty strive to make our daily activities into personal ministries by extending into the local communities pharmaceutical care and expertise along with the university’s mission.
For the past eight months, several School of Pharmacy students, under the direction of Dr. Jerika Lam, have extended themselves for the Riverside County HIV clinics in Perris, Riverside and Palm Springs by bringing a little ‘wholeness’ into their work. Several students decided to do extra service for the HIV patients by taking the time to hand craft fifteen blankets, bringing some extra care and consideration for those suffering from a physical aliment. Students Emily Garispe, Erica Lee, and Anna Lee organized the outreach and hosted a blanket party during February where several more students spent hours cutting, sewing, and stitching together yards of decorative cloth into beautiful handcrafted blankets.
Dr. Lam has also experimented outside the normal framework of medical care with the use of a trained patient therapy dog. “Zoey’s role in the healing process is her simple acceptance of our patients’ diversity irrespective of their health status or comorbid illnesses. She adapts excellently to the patients’ moods and allows them to pet and hug her during their medical visits. Her friendly presence really relaxes these patients, who initially were more reserved or upset, and subsequently they open up to myself and the other healthcare providers,” states Dr. Lam.
Linda Williams, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs & Admissions, stresses to current and prospective students that one of the things making Loma Linda University unique is the emphasis on Whole Person Care. “The Pharmacy students put their LLU experience into action by the outreach programs they are involved with. It is wonderful to see how our students give back to the community through such programs as this blanket outreach. This is truly service in action and I am personally so proud of the way the School of Pharmacy students are involved in our community,” states Mrs. Williams.
Pictured in the photo, from left to right, are Anna Lee, Dr. Jerika Lam, Zoey the therapy dog, Emily Garispe, and Mr. Daniel Brown, staff at the Perris/Riverside HIV clinics.