Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Pharmacy is being heralded for contributing four “”Inspiring Journeys”” videos to the just-launched website Pharmacy is Right for Me, which teaches middle and high school students about pharmacy.

The website debuted on Oct. 27, 2011, thanks to a partnership between the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and OptumRX, which is a pharmacy benefits manager working under United Health Group.

Through John Jones, senior vice president of OptumRx, who is a member of the College of Pharmacy’s Deans Advisory Council, Dean Daniel Robinson, PharmD, and Vice Dean Jesse Martinez, PharmD, WesternU students and students from the Pomona Health Career Ladder (PHCL) were targeted to tell their stories.

Jones says OptumRx was looking at ways to advance the Obama administration’s initiative of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and WesternU’s PHCL was “”a perfect fit.””

“”As OptumRx was considering developing the Pharmacy is Right for Me program to further advance STEM goals, it became obvious that the Career Ladder program would produce video opportunities to feature on the website,”” Jones said.

Several universities have contributed videos to the site. WesternU’s are from third-year pharmacy students Richard Garcia and Felicia Molina. Two more came from Pomona Unified School District students who learned how to make toothpaste in WesternU’s College of Pharmacy compounding lab during Palomares Academy of Health Sciences’ Project Lead the Way Biomedical Program May 13, 2011.

Garcia talks about the impact of relating to patients by speaking Spanish. He says the profession is equipping him to help the underserved and make a difference. He encourages high school students to pursue the many opportunities available in the pharmacy profession.

Molina emboldens high school students to become pharmacists, and describes why and how she is in school to become one. Her 10 years of working in a pharmacy, as well as her family’s medical issues, reinforced how much she likes helping people.

One of the videos features Pomona ninth-graders talking about why they are choosing a science-related field and how they can eventually give back to the community. The second of these videos showcases their experiences in the compounding lab.

Dean Robinson said he was glad the College of Pharmacy was able to inspire some of the website content.

“”I think the website does a great job of pointing out that pharmacy is a rapidly changing profession, and it gives students many good reasons to go into the field,”” he said. “”I’m very excited about what this offers, and that it provides a visual perspective to attract and keep the interest of students who have so many options ahead of them. We certainly want them to know as much about pharmacy as possible so they can make informed decisions.””