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October 2007 Issue

The Winkle College of Pharmacy's annual white coat ceremony.
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New College of Pharmacy Class Celebrates Diversity in Health Care

Published October 2007

Ninety-six students were welcomed into the College of Pharmacy during an orientation that included a celebration of diversity and culminated in the college’s White Coat Ceremony on Sept. 18.

Students spent two days acclimating themselves to the university and building relationships with faculty and fellow pharmacy students.

New this year to orientation was a celebration of diversity event, at which faculty and students had the opportunity to hear from a 2006 alumnus on why diversity in health care is important.

The speaker, Amaka Moka, PharmD, told students, “Diversity is important in the health care profession because of the increasingly diverse country we live in.”

Moka, a clinical pharmacist at the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said, “Under-standing different cultures and beliefs increases the level of trust between provider and patients, particularly when they’re from different races.”

Understanding those differences, she said, allows the provider to better manage a patient’s health problems and creates a more satisfying relationship between the patient and provider.

Andrea Wall, RPh, assistant dean for student affairs, says it’s important to expose students to diversity early in their pharmacy education.

“Our students come from different backgrounds and have their own values,” says Wall. “It’s important for them to respect the patients they will be working with who may come from different backgrounds than their own.

“The white coat is a symbol of their journey into the pharmacy career, and we hope students will wear them proudly,” she adds.

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