Desire to see more collaboration between pharmacies and local universities

Bitwise Industries in Fresno is an interesting place. It’s basically a tech hub pulled together by some great local minds. Located in a nice little area in downtown Fresno, BitWise has tasked itself with taking “a burgeoning tech industry that was growing in silos in California’s heartland, add places that inspire community, collaboration, and growth, create accessible education that equips and empowers a homegrown army of technologists, deploy talent to execute technology success stories”. I visited the facility with my brother, Robert when it first opened. Impressive and inspiring.

But this post is not about BitWise. It’s about something I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years. BitWise was simply a catalyst to remind me to revisit my idea.

In March 2013 I sent a letter to Dr. John D. Welty, President of California State University, Fresno (CSUF) asking him to consider a collaboration between CSUF and pharmacy leadership throughout the Central Valley of California. There are several large acute care facilities located within an hour from my home.

Community Regional Medical Center Fresno, which is associated with UCSF.
Saint Agnes Medical Center
Children’s Hospital Central California
VA Central California Health Care System
Kaiser Permanente
Clovis Community Medical Center
Kaweah Delta Medical Center
Madera Community Hospital
Tulare Regional Medical Center

Along with a host of surgery centers, oncology centers, rehabilitation facilities, transitional care centers, long term care facilities, infusion centers, community pharmacies, and so on. I’ve worked in several of these facilities. They offer a diverse mixture of technology, distribution models, and approaches to pharmaceutical care. Such a rich pharmacy environment lends itself to incredible opportunities when combining smart and experienced pharmacists and technicians with young, eager minds from CSUF.

At the time Dr. Welty was scheduled to retire so I didn’t expect a response, and as predicted no response came.

Fast forward to August 2013. The new President of CSUF, Dr. Joseph I. Castro, was officially installed in office and was quite active in the social media space talking about his interests in building a better university, community, etc. Typically public figure rhetoric. I reached out to Dr. Castro on Twitter asking if he would be interested in hearing about my idea. He invited me to send him my information. So I did. I basically sent the same letter as before. No response. I really expected more.

Here we sit almost a year later. Nothing new from my end, but the great work at BitWise has rekindled my desire to see more pharmacy collaboration here in the Central Valley of California. I’m going to attempt to bring some of the pharmacy leadership in the area together for a meeting and see where things go. I’ll let you know if anything interesting develops.

I’ve uploaded my CSUF to Dr. Castro here should you be interested in reading it.

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