A Student Perspective: Tara Tokar

October 30, 2014

During the month of October, the Clinic was fortunate enough to receive the services of yet another Pharm.D. Candidate from Ohio Northern University.  Tara is the type of student that says yes…to anything!  She is fearless in the face of all challenges and used innovative ways of reaching out to our patient population.  Like many students that grace us here at Health Partners, Tara took away more than she gave which is really saying something.  Tara reflects upon her time with us in the latest Student Perspective:    

Upon receiving my clinical rotation schedule for the year, I was thrilled to see that I was to be scheduled at one of my top-ranked sites, Health Partners Free Clinic in Troy, OH! While ranking my rotations, I was avidly choosing sites that would provide an absolute unique experience that I could hold onto the rest of my pharmacy career and Health Partners surely delivered!

Before beginning at Health Partners, I had some experience working at a charitable pharmacy, ReachOut in Dayton. I was absolutely humbled by my experience at ReachOut, providing medications, counseling, and education to a patient population whom are otherwise overlooked. I quickly made a similar connection to the patients here at Health Partners and I am pleasantly reminded daily of why I chose the profession of pharmacy.

One of my passions that I fortunately lived out daily in the clinic involves providing education and counseling to patients about their disease states and medications. I love building professional relationships with patients based on trust and genuine concern for their well-being, so that together we can make a plan to better their health. While working at Health Partners and ReachOut, I noticed a distinct similarity in the patient population we serve. Yes, these patients are primarily uninsured and/or may not be financially stable, but the people I educated and counseled here are the most grateful patients I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Unfortunately, there are days in the retail pharmacy world where all we hear are complaints, so it has been absolutely refreshing to hear genuine gratitude from the people we serve. I will never forget a patient once said to me, “Thank you all for being here for me, I really don’t know where I would be or what I would have done without you.” That statement encompasses the entire purpose of free clinics like Health Partners and fuels the hearts of the employees and volunteers who continually strive to better the lives of others.

With that being said, Troy itself has a beating, generous, loving heart that is powered by the blood of kind men and women who serve this town. While at Health Partners, I had the unique opportunity to attend the Miami County Foundation (MCF) grant ceremony, where people of Miami County share what they are going to do with the monies donated to their organizations by the MCF. I was overwhelmed with awe to hear how both small and large organizations are helping the community. From purchasing iPads and Smartboards for local schools, to providing laundry service for those in need, to building a safe hang out spot for young teens, to buying dictionaries and other reading materials for kids, the thoughtful ideas and continuous good deeds that the people of Miami County are providing are endless.

It will be difficult to match the overall selfless experience I had here at Health Partners, but I am eager to continue to provide health care and counseling to those in need at my future rotation sites and throughout my career as a pharmacist. My time here at Health Partners reopened my eyes to the kindness, appreciation, and generosity that this world has to offer.