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Pharmacy alumna enhances career with own company

After graduating from the UH Hilo Daniel K Inouye College of Pharmacy’s inaugural class of 2011, Dr. Zoe Green (formerly Chun-Dela Cruz), began selling her own natural product line of soaps and other cosmeceuticals called “Common Scents.”

Her company is now a non-profit organization offering high-quality natural products at affordable prices to the local community. Through the non-profit she is able to partner with several Hawaiian health organizations to provide health education workshops at schools and other organizations, focusing on native Hawaiian plant medicine (lā‘au lapa‘au).

An accomplished health care professional, in 2014 Green was the only pharmacist among about 50 doctors, nurses and other medical personnel from the Aloha Medical Mission who visited the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, which led to the death of more than 5,700 people. She still contributes to the Ohana Medical Mission through her non-profit.

She also has been more active in primary care practices, working on having “health teams/pods” to increase quality in primary care by closing communication gaps between health care professionals.

“This approach is similar to the way hospitals conduct rounds,” she explained. “When there are multiple disciplines working together, each health professional can focus on their area and communicate in round table style, which allows the primary care physicians to spend more time with their patients.”

Currently, she also is also working with physicians on targeting patients with hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidemia to participate in a study on māmaki tea in primary care practices for heart disease.

“With my company, I am able to help fund the ongoing teachings of native Hawaiian health education, domestic violence programs and various other causes,” she said. “I’ve also been doing motivational speeches on perseverance and succeeding through tough times of domestic violence, where I talk about life during pharmacy school with an infant, a toddler as a working single mother after domestic violence.”

To learn more about Common Scents, click here.

This story was republished with permission from Kāwili Lā‘au, originally published in the magazine’s summer 2018 issue.

University of Hawai‘i Alumni