Juan Garcia, a PharmD student at UW School of Pharmacy, has been selected to participate in the Latino Center for Health 3rd Annual Student Scholars Fellowship Program in 2022.
This fellowship program plays an important role in helping meet the demand for Latinx and Spanish-speaking health care workers in Washington state by providing crucial financial and community support to students in the health sciences.
“The shortage of bilingual and bicultural health professionals in our state is pronounced,” says Dr. Gino Aisenberg, associate professor for the UW School of Social Work and co-director of LCH. “The Latino Center for Health is staunchly committed to help expand the state’s health professions pipeline by supporting the next generation of leaders and scholars who are doing excellent work to promote the health and wellbeing of our state’s Latinx communities.”
Last year, Juan participated in a Q&A session at a central district high school, talking to students about health care professions and steps to get there, support systems, and mentorship opportunities. He is looking forward to sharing more insights with the local community and connecting with other professionals with similar interests in pharmacy and outreach.
Juan notes that trust-building and authenticity will play integral roles in his success as a health care professional moving forward.
“Being that representative—that person of color—providing comfort and trust in patients like, ‘that person knows my culture and what matters to us, how we feel about health care, how we feel about medications and medication safety.’ That’s what I hope to do with my PharmD degree is provide that trust to our patient population and represent people of color and our Latinx community.”