Benjamin van Tassell [View Image]

August 2017

Service in
Action

"Like most things in life, it’s all about relationships. At VCU, we embrace the connections that link us together. Whether it’s inner city Richmond, southwest Virginia or rural Honduras, we’ll show you how you can transform lives through providing high-quality, professional and personalized health care."
Benjamin W. Van Tassell, PharmD, is a research and associate professor in the Department of Pharmacotherapy & Outcomes Science.

Describe your latest outreach project.

Our outreach group focuses on two different approaches to support 17 villages in the La Hicaca region of Yoro, Honduras. Each year in June, we set up weeklong adult and pediatric clinics staffed by physicians, pharmacists, nurses and students and see approximately 1,000 patients.  We also contribute to a number of public health projects in the region to support access to clean water (e.g., filters, chlorination systems), sanitary latrines and appropriately ventilated cookstoves.

Discuss how you feel when you finish an outreach project.

The trip is exhausting, but incredibly fulfilling. Aside from brief breaks for meals, we work from sunrise to sundown in 90- to 100-degree heat, sleep on cement floors and learn to live without electricity or running water. While it’s easy to focus on the differences between life in Virginia and life in rural Honduras, it's far more rewarding to embrace the similarities between our communities.

How would you sell VCU School of Pharmacy to potential students or faculty members?

Like most things in life, it’s all about relationships. At VCU, we embrace the connections that link us together. Whether it’s inner city Richmond, southwest Virginia or rural Honduras, we’ll show you how you can transform lives through providing high-quality, professional and personalized healthcare.

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