This article was originally published in the Summer 2012 Harker Quarterly
Jessica Liu ’04 was profiled by The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) for her trip with fellow University of Washington School of Pharmacy students to Honduras in the summer of 2011. Liu, a doctor of pharmacy candidate, worked with 27 other students to organize a temporary healthcare program in the impoverished country. They raised more than $25,000 worth of medication and supplies to bring to Honduras and were able to see more than 800 patients in less than one week. “While no one had any misconception that we would ‘change the world’ in this one week, we knew that we could make a difference down there, no matter how small,” says Liu.
One incident that stands out in Liu’s mind was when a mother brought her infant daughter in who had been burned. The mother had applied an herbal paste, and the foot had become infected and was at risk for amputation. After treating the wound, Liu and her team educated her mother. “What we were able to teach them in a week about basic hygiene, the importance of clean drinking water, etc., was so much more effective than any amount of
medication we could bring down.”
After graduating in 2014, Liu plans to become a clinical pharmacist specializing in pediatrics or oncology. Liu said the trip reminded her of why she was so passionate about health care. “At the end of the day, if you can make even one patient’s life a little easier, then it’s worth it.”