I was born and raised in West New York, NJ and am a first generation Cuban-American. At the age of 16, I started my first job in a popular, local, independent pharmacy as a cashier and eventually as a pharmacy technician. Pharmacy was not my first choice. I was heavily involved in music and that was my dream but alas, I decided to continue my journey in pharmacy, and it has proven to be one that I do not regret. I studied at Ernest Mario College of Pharmacy in New Brunswick, NJ and graduated in 1994. I was one of only 3 Spanish speaking students and was quickly hired to work for a large retail chain in the northern NJ market where there was a large Latin-American population. I continued to work in that market until 2008 when I moved to Georgia. This move turned out to be a very eye-opening experience in my career. When you live in an area that is densely populated in a richly diverse Latin-American community and you move away, you realize that there are vastly underserved Latino communities outside of these pockets in the US and Latino pharmacists are very much needed. The look of relief in your customer’s face when they realize that there is someone that they can communicate with and trust is very rewarding. Pharmacy may not have been my first choice, but I feel a lot of pride in being able to serve and have a positive impact in the health of our community. Recently, I continued my studies in Functional Medicine, studying the root cause of disease. I have started my own consulting business, Your Wellness Script, and I’ve continued my work in retail. I think there is a lot more that we can do to help prevent disease. As pharmacists we can be more involved in helping our communities with drug induced nutrient deficiencies, medication management and lifestyle changes while using the functional medicine foundations to help minimize prescription use. Our communities need it and we, as Latinas Pharmacists, need to be in the forefront of that.
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