Ferris-Magazine-Fall-2013 - page 18

College of Pharmacy faculty, students and alumni are committed to
using education and practice to address needs in communities here
and around the world. Their efforts fuel the academic mission and
core values of Ferris State University.
Cherry Street Health Services
In Grand Rapids, the university’s Pharmacy faculty and students
collaborate with Cherry Street Health Services Inc. to help low-
income residents battle chronic diseases such as hypertension, high
cholesterol and diabetes. The effort, under way since November 2011,
is supported by the Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services
Collaborative, a program of the Health Resources and Services
International Outreach
Faculty, students and alumni have taken their hearts for public service
on adventures worldwide as well.
• For the past two years, Ferris Pharmacy students have traveled
to Xicotepecde Juárez in Puebla, Mexico, and treated 3,500
students at deworming clinics. The students earned college
credit by taking an interdisciplinary service-learning course
through the University of Iowa that prepared them for a spring
break of volunteer work in Mexico. The program is championed
by Hazel Seaba, a 1967 graduate of Ferris’ College of Pharmacy
who is now an associate dean in Iowa’s College of Pharmacy,
and Kierstann Hanson, an Iowa graduate and former assistant
professor of Pharmacy Practice at Ferris who accompanied them
in 2012 and again this year.
• Mary Frances Ross, a professor of Clinical Practice who serves
as a preceptor for P4 students on their ambulatory care rotation
at the Family Health Center in Kalamazoo, has traveled multiple
times to El Salvador since 1995. While her efforts have been
personal – she took a leave of absence from Ferris and spent
two years working in a small medical clinic, has led delegations
from her church, served as an international observer for elections
and participated in clean water projects — she hopes integrating
her education and experience into training students fuels interest
in medical missions and cultural understanding that can be
applied locally.
“Besides Spanish, I learned a lot,” said Ross. “When you immerse
yourself in the culture and integrate yourself in the community,
you’re getting back as much as you’re giving. I really learned
what’s important in life and what’s not.”
• John Jameson is a professor of Pharmacy Practice and a
preceptor for P4 students’ ambulatory care rotation at Grand
Rapids Family Practice Residency at Mercy Health St. Mary’s
in Grand Rapids. He traveled in 2012 and 2013 to Zacapa,
Guatemala with a dozen Pharmacy students to serve at Hope of
Life International, a humanitarian organization that offers medical,
food and housing programs, humanitarian aid efforts and rescue
missions. Last year, the group served about 2,700 people. He
plans to return in 2014 with another group of students.
“I have realized how vital it is for all of us to have a cultural
conscience,” Jameson said. “To be very much connected to
global issues instead of living in our own colloquial world.”
Alumni are fueling a culture of caring by developing tools that serve
patients in the United States and abroad. Dr. Joel Robertson, a 1974
alumnus, is the driving force behind medical software that helps health
care workers and physicians diagnose and treat patients anywhere in
the world.
“My vision is of a truly global medical solution — one that would
save lives worldwide through faster, more accurate diagnosis,”
said Robertson, who founded and oversees the Robertson Health
network of for-profit and non-profit organizations based in Grand
Rapids that has affiliates in 80 countries, from Central America to
China to Australia.
One of those organizations — Robertson Global Health Solutions
— developed RHealthAdvisor, medical software that provides
pre-screening and treatment advice, educational health tips and
a reference guide of diseases, symptoms, labs and tests. It also
includes an electronic health record customized by age, gender and
geography, and is regionalized and language-specific. Unique to the
software is its ability to offer suggestions to help diagnose a disease
using artificial intelligence.
Robertson was honored by Ferris at its May commencement
ceremonies with an Honorary Doctorate of Health Services.
Pharmacy Alumni, Faculty, Students Fuel Culture of Caring
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