A Scholar, an Athlete, an Advocate

Brooke Jordan-Brown, PharmD Candidate ’24, is committed to affecting real and lasting change for others

Story by Carrie Creasy| Published October 18, 2022

During the pandemic, Brooke Jordan-Brown transitioned from exceptional college athlete poised for graduation, to focused graduate student concentrating on professional goals. In her third year pursuing her PharmD degree at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in Asheville, she has been inducted into Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society and serves as President of the local chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), showing her commitment to affecting real and lasting change for others. Whether on the court or in the clinic, this Rural Scholar’s community mindset is steadfast and sincere.

Brooke lights up remembering her initial exposure to professions in health care: her own elementary school days ending in ‘the lab’ where her nursing student mother finished a day’s work. Her curiosity and inspiration grew as a high schooler while shadowing a hospital pharmacist. Four years on the UNC-Asheville women’s basketball team made her no stranger to hard work and dedication, while her propensity for teamwork and collaboration flourished. Currently, she cherishes the mentorship of faculty and is galvanized by friendships with classmates. Brooke has consistently valued human connections and relationships in her past. They now augment her education, and guide her future career path.

Acknowledging human complexity, Brooke Jordan-Brown emphasizes that “all people are beautiful” and considers what it will be like to connect with patients as she serves various groups through pharmacy.  A biracial woman herself, she can appear strikingly different based on how she styles her hair. Competing on a predominately black basketball team during college, she wore her hair straight. Now, in a predominately white cohort of students, she wears her hair big and curly. Fully identifying as both black and white, she relishes each side of her extended family. “I know who I am,” she remarks with confidence.

She also knows her personal experience has power and explains that “with that responsibility comes some amount of pressure to voice the concerns of minority populations.” She is developing sensitivities to hardships of groups other than black and white as she engages with the curriculum of the Rural Scholars Program.  Stephanie Kiser, Director of Rural Health  and mentor to Jordan-Brown in Asheville says, “Brooke is certainly someone who has already spent some time understanding herself as it pertains to how she views the world. The Rural Scholars Program positions our students to gain skills in broadening their understanding of how others see the world, and how they experience healthcare.”

Through her course work, Brooke Jordan-Brown’s eyes have been opened particularly to disparities in the LatinX, Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian, and Appalachian communities. Kiser continues, saying, “A health care provider that possesses the awareness that trust is everything and approaches caring for patients of other backgrounds with cultural humility, as Brooke does, can make a wonderful difference in their patients’ experience with health and healthcare.”

Upon graduation, Brooke aspires to work in ambulatory care pharmacy in a rural setting. In preparation for her service-oriented career, she embraces volunteer opportunities that expose the impacts of environment on a community and stimulate her desire to improve their access to a better quality of care. It is likely to find Brooke Jordan-Brown teaching local high school minority students about professions in pharmacy, conducting community blood pressure and glucose screenings throughout Asheville, or cooking meals on Sunday afternoons for veterans in an effort to serve the underserved. No doubt, the world has already benefited and will be further blessed by the endeavors of this future professional.