Charles Ruchalski, PharmD
Clinical Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
3307 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140
office Room 150B
phone (215) 707-1292
Dr. Ruchalski's primary teaching is the Clinical Therapeutics of Asthma, Diabetes Mellitus, and select community pharmacy topics. Other teaching responsibilities include Medicare Part-D, Medication Therapy Management Services, Smoking Cessation Programs and Pharmacy-Based Immunization Services. He instructs a practical laboratory course in which students evaluate and dispense Community Pharmacy as well as Institutional Pharmacy Prescription orders. Much of his time is devoted to serving as a preceptor to Fourth-Professional Year students on a Clinical Ambulatory rotation. Dr. Ruchalski provides Medication Therapy Management Services to patients at a local community pharmacy and Temple University's Employee Health Clinic.
Pharmacy School extends its global outreach to Vietnam
It's been nearly four decades since America pulled out of the Vietnam War. But the effects of the conflict continue to be felt among that nation's poorer populations, with more than 100,000 Vietnamese having suffered amputations due to silent land mines, as well as through infections, diabetic complications and other illnesses.
That's why five members of the Temple's School of Pharmacy traveled to the nation's southern region earlier this summer to bring a pharmacy component to an existing medical mission.
Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice Charles Ruchalski, who served as the faculty sponsor for the trip, and students Thao Nguyen, Montano Recinto, Chi Tran and Hang Nguyen teamed up with faculty and students from Mercer University School of Engineering in Macon, Georgia, for the month-long medical mission.
The team visited local medical clinics and hospitals, as well as nursing homes, orphanages and Di Linh leprosy colony in Saigon, Can Tho, Dong Thap and Vung Tau. They treated more than 1,500 patients, assisting in the fitting of over 200 prostheses on amputees. They also donated more than 450 gift packages containing 5 kg of rice, noodles and other supplies.
"We did traditional pharmacy dispensing activities and patient counseling, but we also conducted more advanced clinical activities, such as checking vital signs, injecting medications, assisting with translation and, most uniquely, assisting with the fitting of prosthetics," said Ruchalski, who blogged about his Vietnam experience at crinvietnam.blogspot.com.
Ruchalski said that working 13 hours a day in 105-degree temperatures provided the pharmacy students with a unique opportunity to gain non-traditional experience.
"Sometimes, what the students traditionally think of as pharmacy is a temperature-controlled environment in the United States where you are dispensing medication, counseling patients or performing clinical pharmacy activities," he said. "This had some of that, but it also had lugging kilos of rice, sawing a metal prosthetic or pulling on a patient's legs so a doctor can manipulate their spine."
The Vietnam medical initiative was brought to Ruchalski's attention by Thao Nguyen, who participated in previous missions while an undergraduate student at Mercer. She participated in the first Vietnam medical mission in 2009 and has participated every year since.
"The patients that I saw, the poverty that I saw, the work that we did there was very meaningful for me; it created a long-lasting impression on me," said Nguyen, who was born in Vietnam but moved to the U.S. in 1994.
Nguyen first proposed the idea to the School of Pharmacy's administration, and after receiving their support, approached Ruchalski, who quickly signed on as a faculty advisor.
Nguyen said she enjoys seeing the teamwork between the students, their interactions with patients and the willingness to be emerged in another culture.
"I think it's a great opportunity for the students to have hands-on experience and a great cultural experience as well," she said. "It's also a chance to see how healthcare works globally."
Ruchalski said Thao Nguyen and Recinto received advanced pharmacy practice experience and six credits for their participation in the medical mission, while Tran and Hang Nguyen received introductory pharmacy practice experience and credit hours.
Ruchalski said he hopes to continue to offer the trip annually as "an altruistic opportunity" for Temple pharmacy students.
"This is only chapter one of what I hope is a very long book of future medical missions through Temple's School of Pharmacy," he said.
On Sunday November 7, 2010, Dr. Charles Ruchalski, Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, participated in The New York City Marathon. Dr. Ruchalski finished the race in 3 hours and 46 minutes (Top 20% of the race). This was Ruchalski's 11th Marathon, which includes 2 Boston, 1 Seattle and 7 Philadelphia Marathons.
On Sunday, May 1, 2011 Faculty and Students from Temple University School of Pharmacy participated in the 32nd Annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run. This is the largest 10-mile run in the country and all proceeds go towards Cancer Research.
This is a great demonstration of the dedication and commitment of our Faculty and Students to improving Health and Wellness and to fundraising for a great cause.
Congratulations to everyone who completed this amazing run!!