Wilkes University


Wilkes University Student Pharmacist Erika Zarfoss of York, Pa., Wins U.S. Public Health Service Award

Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy third-year student pharmacist Erika Zarfoss of York, Pa., was the recipient of a United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award. Zarfoss was recognized for positively impacting patients through her participation in a medical mission trip to Guatemala and in the Lehigh Valley Network flu clinics.

The award recognizes pharmacy students who have made significant contributions to public health by promoting wellness and healthy communities.  Students are evaluated on their contributions towards voluntary health-related services, an emerging public health issue or contributions that advance the goals of Healthy People 2020 or the National Prevention Strategy.

Zarfoss’s pursuit of achieving the objectives of Healthy People 2020.1 is reflected in her participation in various community-related activities. She participated in a medical mission trip to Guatemala where she played a major role in providing health care and medications to an underserved population. Zarfoss also served as a translator between Spanish and English speakers and helped locals understand the medications and health-care recommendations given.

She also participated in flu vaccinations at the Lehigh Valley Network Flu Clinic for the past three years. She also assisted with the annual drive-thru flu clinic which immunized over 12,000 people. Zarfoss’s role at the flu clinic is commendable because flu vaccination can reduce flu related illnesses, doctors’ visits, missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

Zarfoss maintains a 4.0 grade point average and is equally active with various activities. She has been serving as a teaching assistant with anatomy and physiology laboratory practicals for the past two years and assists with a research project entitled “Feasibility of Determining Oxidative Biomarkers in Healthy Human Subjects After Oral Vitamin C Administration.” 

Zarfoss was nominated by Wilkes associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences Ajay Bommareddy.

Pictured from left to right: Jennifer Malinowski, assistant dean of academic affairs and assessment in pharmacy practice; Julie Olenak, assistant dean and associate professor of pharmacy practice; Lieutenant Commander Yvon Yeo, United States Public Health Service; Erika Zarfoss; Scott Stolte, dean of the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy; and Ajay  Bommareddy, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences.