Two students from the University of Hawaii at Hilo – College of Pharmacy arrived on island over the weekend for their internship at PHI Pharmacy.
Mathew Mullahy and Adam Stockdale began Tuesday their six-week ambulatory or outpatient care rotation, which mainly involves doing blood sugar and blood pressure screenings and giving patients essential information for their medical and health concerns.
Stockdale, who also studied at the Washington State University, became interested in the internship program after learning about it from previous interns.
“It’s really gaining momentum,” he said about the program.
Stockdale looks forward to learning “how to truly help people” under different circumstances and sharing with them health advice and information.
In his spare time, Stockdale plans to go scuba diving to check out Saipan’s remarkable marine life.
Mullahy, who holds a degree in Chemistry, wants to establish personal relationships with patients. On his first day of work, he already had a handful of patients with diabetes and hypertension and advised them to make simple changes in their lifestyles such as substituting white rice with brown rice and increasing their physical activity.
A native of Kauai, Hawaii, Mullahy already had a chance to visit some of the popular sites on Saipan such as Bird Island Lookout, The Grotto, and Suicide Cliff. “It’s really nice. It’s similar to Hawaii,” he said.
Now on its fourth year, the internship program is a collaboration between PHI Pharmacy and the University of Hawaii, seeking to expose students to a different patient population and giving them a different perspective in the study of pharmacy.
“It lets them know that pharmacy isn’t just about handing out pills to patients; it’s also about spending time getting to know and working with these patients,” PHI Pharmacy owner Bruce Cohen said.
According to Cohen, the internship program is a two-pronged approach: Students have the opportunity to learn about the patient population on island while PHI staff and patients benefit from the knowledge the interns can share with the community.
“It’s really a win-win situation,” he added.
During their stay, Mullahy and Stockdale will be doing the blood sugar and blood pressure screenings at PHI Pharmacy in Dandan every Tuesday and Thursday.
Additionally, they will be featured in the CNMI Health Digest, be in interviews with KKMP, participate in health-related events such as the upcoming Let’s Move Marianas expo on Saturday, and develop additional health brochures for the community.
Cohen encouraged any church group or civic organization planning to conduct health fairs and other related functions in the next six weeks to utilize the services of both interns by calling PHI Pharmacy in Dandan at 235-6170 or 74.