Meet Your Provider: Pablo Fragoso, RPh
Growing up as a Cuban immigrant in New Jersey, accessing health care wasn’t easy for Zufall Health clinical pharmacist Pablo Fragoso, RPh, and his family. His father worked for small businesses that did not offer health care benefits, leaving the family uninsured. A great deal of his father’s income was spent on medical emergencies, including his mother’s time in the hospital. Joining Zufall in 2021 gave Fragoso the opportunity to support people and families facing similar hardships.
As a clinical pharmacist at Zufall’s Dover location, Fragoso works directly with patients and their medical providers in a primary care setting to facilitate the most appropriate medication plans. He is an expert on prescription drugs; he provides information on drug interactions, side effects, and cost-effective options. Most of his patients are people living with diabetes and other chronic illnesses. His goal is to ensure their compliance with medication, lifestyle changes, and follow-up visits with their providers to best keep their conditions under control.
In addition to having personally faced challenges accessing health care, Fragoso credits his family for his career choice. His father managed and owned independent pharmacies and his cousin was a physician. Most significantly, his uncle was a pediatrician who took care of him and his brother when they were sick.
“I remember going to my uncle’s office and seeing how appreciative parents were of the care he provided their children. Even to this day, his patients – now adults – mention how greatly he impacted their lives. I was always inspired by his ability to heal.”
Indeed, working as a clinical pharmacist has provided Fragoso the ability to heal. Although medication cannot cure chronic conditions like diabetes, the right therapies can help patients achieve and maintain better health. For a person with diabetes, this means that glucose measurements meet a certain goal and that hemoglobin a1c – a measurement of blood sugar levels over a three-month period – is maintained at the right level, usually 7 or below.
Fragoso’s delivery of culturally sensitive care also has a healing impact. He knows that without Zufall, many of his patients would receive limited care for their chronic illnesses. A bilingual English/Spanish speaker, he counsels patients about the importance of therapeutic adherence with a compassionate understanding of the barriers that can interfere.
In addition to his clinical responsibilities, Fragoso says he’s happy at Zufall because he likes his colleagues and the overall appearance of the Dover facility. He especially appreciates that his workplace is decorated with visual art from Zufall’s Arts in Health Program, which exhibits original works from local artists.
“It is a bright, uplifting environment. What a nice place to come to for treatment and for employment.”
Fragoso earned his bachelor’s degree at Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and completed an internship at Staten Island University Hospital.