UFCW Local 135 would like to congratulate Vons Pharmacy member, Seung Oh, on his appointment by Governor Gavin Newsom to the California State Board of Pharmacy. The Board of Pharmacy is entrusted with protecting and promoting the health and safety of Californians by pursuing the highest quality of pharmacist’s care and the appropriate use of pharmaceuticals through education, communication, licensing, legislation, regulation, and enforcement. His appointment is for one four-year term.
“Seung’s tireless advocacy for his patients and Californians made him the ideal choice to serve in this important role,” said Local 135 President Todd Walters. “As a pharmacist, Seung knows the crucial role pharmacists play in Californians’ health and the importance of providing individual quality care to keep patients safe. Through his years of experience and training, Seung will bring to the board important insights, from day-to-day operations and areas where the profession can enhance the role of pharmacy in providing access to healthcare.”
“I’m honored by the opportunity to strengthen the profession of pharmacy and pharmacists’ role in patient care by serving on the California Board of Pharmacy,” he said to UFCW’s Western States Council. “As a practicing pharmacist, I know firsthand what pharmacists need to properly serve our patients and improve their health, including safe workspaces. On the Board, I will be a strong voice for pharmacists, patient health and improving access to quality healthcare for all Californians.”
Seung received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Arizona and earned a Master of Advanced Studies degree in leadership of healthcare organizations from UCSD.
He has been a pharmacist for about seven years, almost six of them as a member of the UFCW. He’s the Pharmacist-in-Charge/Pharmacy Manager at Vons 2735 in Liberty Station. He’s been there since 2014.
Seung became a pharmacist because he was really passionate about medications and taking care of people. “I felt like that was the area I had the biggest understanding. And that was the area I wanted to be involved in. Helping patients with medication management and understanding their treatments.”
The best part of his job is helping people.
“I’m lucky at this location that I get to know people very intimately. We really develop relationships that are close. We get to know their families. We get to know their stories. And I think that’s what makes this job so unique and great, I get to really help them take care of their family and take care of their everyday needs,” he explained passionately. “When they’re really down and they need their medication they’re not always at their best at the moment. It’s important that they are taken care of so that the last thing they have to worry about is getting their medication.”
Seung is pleased that Governor Newsom decided to appoint someone who’s not in management to the Board of Pharmacy.
“In the past, the Board of Pharmacy positions have been geared towards people who are in management and upper management who don’t have an understanding of what it’s like to be a pharmacist in the real world,” he proclaimed. “To me I think it’s a significant step in really supporting the regular pharmacist so that our voices can be heard and be represented. I think it’s a huge deal. It means a lot for the pharmacists working out there. I just want to be able to represent us and protect our profession and the public.
In addition to being a pharmacist that cares for his patients, he also cares about his co-workers and the union that represents them. But it wasn’t always like that. “At first, I was a skeptic. I wasn’t a big fan. Before I really got to know what unions represent and how good unions can really make a difference for the people and the community. I really became a believer through the process of what I saw UFCW do for its workers and the people that it serves. I became a big believer in how important it is for us to be protected with the help of the union.”
He’s such a big believer now that he thinks all workers across the state and country should have a union to back them up, especially health care professionals.
“We really need strong cohesion amongst us so that our voices are heard and represented. I think the union does a lot in protecting our work conditions, protecting our wages, and making sure that our jobs are not jeopardized and that we can do our jobs the best we can. I’m so thankful for the union. I’m so glad I can be part of UFCW as a pharmacist.”
UFCW Local 135 is proud to have a health care professional like Seung Oh as a member. He cares for his patients, he cares for his co-workers, and he cares for his union. Thank you, Seung, and congratulations on your appointment. You’re going to be an amazing voice on behalf of everyday pharmacists throughout the state.