Interview with Wilkes Pharmacy Student: A reflection on her time with the PA AHEC Scholars Program
Antonia Gobo was a 2020 graduate of the Wilkes University Pharmacy Program.
What are your hobbies, interests, or activities?
Outside of my professional life I love to be outdoors, traveling, and experiencing new things.
How are you affected by your participation in the PA AHEC Scholars Program?
I think that the PA AHEC Scholars Program has taught me a lot about public health and underserved populations. I have learned to be more open minded and consider more factors when working with patients. One of the biggest influences from this program was when I participated in a poverty stimulation. The experience had a lot of value and opened my mind.
Why did you decide to participate in the PA AHEC Scholars Program?
I decided to participate in the program because helping the underserved is a passion of mine. The program enabled me to learn from many different people at a pace that worked for me.
What is your Service Learning Project? Why did you select this project?
This past summer I had a rotation at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup, NM where the population served was Native American. During my rotation, I was able to apply cultural competencies I had learned in the program. My rotation was focused on ambulatory care where patients can set up appointments with pharmacists to help manage their disease states. I also recently finished a public health rotation in Fairbanks, Alaska. While there, we worked with multiple organizations to gain exposure to the healthcare system along with social support systems. We spent a lot of time with a Native Elders program and were able to learn from them and hear their stories. We gave a presentation on Covid-19 and created presentations on mental health, infectious disease prevention and medication management to be used at a later time. There was a research component to the rotation on vaccination hesitancy but due to the timing of the rotation being in March, plans changed, and we had to come home early. The goal of this rotation was to gain a better understanding of public health.
What’s something you hope to accomplish or impact during the program and with your project? Hopefully, in the future, the program can help students to do bigger projects independently! It would be nice to see other students use this program as an opportunity to learn more about other cultures in new places.
What would you like other students to know about the PA AHEC Scholars Program?
For students thinking about joining the program I think that it is a great opportunity to learn about social and behavioral aspects of public health. I was exposed to many learning experiences that I never otherwise would have had.
What are your future plans? How do you want to impact the health field or Pennsylvania?
I will be starting a Managed Care Residency at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States this July. My goal is to use the public health principles I have learned to have an impact on patient care and overall health.