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2012 CU Pharmacy Alumnus Serves to Advance Healthcare Needs in Underserved Communities

Dr. Okocha’s “burning desire” is to make a difference

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Written by Jaron Bryant on February 3, 2023

CU Pharmacy alumnus Harold Okocha, PharmD ‘12, recently discussed his pharmacy career. As a board member of the CU Pharmacy Alumni Association and a member of the School’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, Dr. Okocha stands as a leader and role model for future pharmacists.

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What are you currently doing as a pharmacy professional and how did you progress to where you are today?

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Harold Okocha, PharmD '12

Upon graduation, I started working for a major retail pharmacy chain.  Years later while still with retail pharmacy, I started consulting as a Clinical Pharmacist for Colorado-based healthcare clinic providers.  I also serve as a clinical Instructor for the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in preparing the pharmacists of tomorrow. 

What is different about the person you are today compared to the person you were while in school?

Following the completion of my pharmacy degree, the education I obtained equipped me with the necessary skills needed to help the Colorado community. It gave me a wider reach to minority and underserved communities.

What has been a defining moment for you as a seasoned professional?

My defining moments are when my patients come back to share how my healthcare advice has helped them and made a difference in their lives.

What inspired you to attend the CU Pharmacy program and what was your experience while in the program?

After obtaining an MBA, getting married, and establishing a strong family base here in the Denver metro area, I chose to attend the CU Pharmacy program upon deciding on a career change. It was a local school in my state, and it left a positive impression on other family members who attended school here. My experience while in the program challenged me and provided me with the knowledge and capabilities to approach various clinical scenarios and cases.

What is your proudest moment and your favorite thing about working in the pharmacy profession, and how have you made a difference in your career?

Pharmacists continue to be one of the most respected professions in the world and I am proud to be one of them. We thrive in impacting individuals' health outcomes one patient at a time, especially in underserved communities, and can provide comfort and reassurance to an aspect of health maintenance that is often difficult for some people.

What sage advice would you pass on to current and future students that was helpful for you in preparing for the job market?

Pay attention to various positions available to pharmacists beyond the traditional lines of employment.  Focus on what makes you happy. Strive to work in a position where you will wake up every day with a burning desire to make a difference. 

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