Twin sisters, Drs. Jess and Jenn Macklin, both pharmacists by training, co-founded and operate an organization called Hands-on-Health, where they work to raise awareness of ways people can improve their health and they also are committed to helping more students of Color pursue STEM in high school and beyond.
“It’s always nice to keep an open mind because even though you may start with an idea, who knows where your life will take you and have taken a totally different direction”.
Can you please explain your background?
We are pharmacists by training. We have our doctorate of pharmacy and we’re first generation college graduates. And we went to Cleveland Heights High School.
We went to Cleveland Heights High School, college at Kent State and Pharmacy School in Chicago and Chicago State.
And we have an organization called Hands on Health that we both co-founded. It is an organization that addresses heart health in our communities, as well as introducing underrepresented students to STEM-based careers.
How did you discover this field and know that you wanted to do this?
Our high school had a vocational program for pharmacy tech. So we kind of explored into that because we’re interested in medicine, but really didn’t want to go the M.D. route with all the touching of patients.
We were interested in preventative care and also being in the community, and we figured if we can understand diseases as a whole and that as a specialty as well as how to treat them, we could do better for our patients and the communities that we serve.
So we enjoyed the pharmacy tech program and we went all the way to get our doctorate. And then after working as pharmacists, we figured a lot of patients that we want to target aren’t actually making their way to the pharmacy or even to primary care.
What does STEM mean to you?
You can look at everything that you do and can translate it back to some form of STEM. STEM just means possibilities.
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