Pharmacist returns home to help the NMI community | New

FOR many CNMI students who go abroad to further their education and seek ‘greener pastures’, it can be difficult to decide between returning home to the islands and contributing to the local economy, or staying home. stranger to earn more income, but for Patsylynn J Cepeda, the decision to return home after earning her doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Hawaii was a no-brainer.

Brabu Wellness and Wellness Center co-owner Ted Parker, left, and Patsylynn J. Cepeda, right, pose for a photo Monday.

“I thought about staying overseas, but … it was always part of my plan to come home, just to help give back to the community, and I have all my family here, so it was logical to come back. “

Cepeda’s six-year journey has been difficult, she said, but not impossible.

“I did two years in Guam in the pre-pharmacy program, then four years at the University of Hawaii to get the doctorate in pharmacy. It was hard. It was really difficult, but not impossible, so it was good to keep a good grip [on] What [I] really wanted in the end. This is what kept me going, ”she said.

Prior to studying abroad, Cepeda worked at the Brabu Pharmacy and Wellness Center as a Certified Pharmacy Technician. While she was working she said she came and went to school.

This week marks his first as a graduate pharmacy intern under the guidance of Brabu co-owners Ted Parker and Kathy Yuknavage.

“I just couldn’t think of another place to work. This place really sets a high standard. . . . I want to thank Ted and Kat and everyone here [at Brabu] for always being there for me from the start and for really pushing me to achieve my goal, ”said Cepeda.

Brabu, which is the Chamorro word for “healthy”, is an independent pharmacy established in 2009 to provide professional health services to the island communities of Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

Parker, who has worked in all the pharmacies on the island since just before the turn of the century, said that when he and Yuknavage decided to establish Brabu, their goal was to recruit from the local workforce and d ” strongly encourage their staff to acquire new skills and pursue higher education locally or abroad.

“We are absolutely delighted. Our goal was to get the locals to school and give them a place to come back. I think that was missing for a long time so that’s the only reason we started everything we started. We are very, very proud of Patsy, and we are very proud to find her again … She had a rough start and challenges that she was able to overcome … We just wanted to give her the support that she needed. . I am absolutely delighted and very, very proud that she has finished and we are very happy that she has come home, ”he said.

To CNMI students who might be interested in a similar path, Cepeda, an alumnus of Kagman High School, said, “If you have a passion for this, you should just do it; you should continue. Don’t let anything stop you. Really, the only thing that can stop you is you. Pharmacy school is expensive, but if you are smart and look for the right resources, you will be able to get by. It’s difficult, but if you have a passion for it, it shouldn’t be too difficult. Keep your head up, keep studying and you will get there. If I can do it, you can do it.

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