Temple Pharmacists Respond to Afghani Refugee Emergencies







The Temple University School of Pharmacy community led the pharmacy effort to support Afghani refugees from the Taliban takeover of Kabul at the Philadelphia International Airport.

With faculty members Drs. Neela Bhajandas, Van Hellerslia, and Tina Tran at the helm, their faculty colleagues, residents, students, and alumni applied their expertise to start up an emergency dispensary operation in the early weeks of September 2021. They created a secure inventory database, automated and standardized volunteer recruitment and management, and developed standard operating procedures.

Alongside 100-plus pharmacy volunteers, including several from Temple Health, the School of Pharmacy’s delegation dispensed medications, administered vaccines, and served as a resource for drug-related information. 

While communities may be caught up in controversies surrounding the circumstances, these volunteers kept to the Oath of a Pharmacist to “consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering as their primary concerns."

Read CBS Philly’s coverage, “Afghanistan Evacuees Arriving In Philadelphia Met With Doctors And A Warm Welcome” from September 10, 2021.

Volunteer Roster:

Neela Bhajandas
Larry Carey
Van Hellerslia
Melissa Potts
Natalie Rodriguez
Christina Rose
Tina Tran

Kristin Feick
Kaitlyn Gaynor
Kaitlyn Kennedy
Stephen McAllister
Alexandra Novinger

Leah Rodriguez

Sarina Ahmed
Hawra Alabdulaziz 
Tim Choi 
Becky Hersch 
Francisco Joseph 

Rona Farighi
Sunny Ro

Special recognition goes to the Temple University School of Pharmacy chapter of Phi Lambda Sigma, the national pharmacy leadership society, for recruiting volunteers.