Spotlight: Lauren DeLoach

lauLauren DeLoach of Port Isabel, Texas

Studies show that the majority of lifelong friendships are anchored in shared history and geography; yet two Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy Class of 2015 students who only met as college roommates in 2011 became inseparable within their first semester.

When Lauren DeLoach of Port Isabel, Texas, started pharmacy school, the only thing she was expecting to walk away with was a doctorate of pharmacy degree.

“I never thought I would leave with a best friend,” she said.

The relationship began in what experts fear might endanger lifelong friendships: technology and social media. DeLoach and Brittany Bateman of Boerne, Texas, became acquainted on the class Facebook page. DeLoach was looking for a roommate and Bateman needed a place to live.

Bateman was uncomfortable at the thought of moving to a place where she knew no one. “Life is funny because that curly red-head ended up being the best thing that the Texas A&M College of Pharmacy ever could have given me,” Bateman said.

The two became life support for one another throughout their pharmacy program. In the middle of fall finals their first year, they leaned on one another after an unexpected tragedy.

“My mom was rushed to ICU with pneumonia,” DeLoach said. “I had finals the next day.”

Christy DeLoach, 56, from Port Isabel, Texas, had just returned from Hawaii celebrating 25 years of marriage with DeLoach’s father, James DeLoach. DeLoach’s mother had lupus and a weak immune system. She passed away in Harlingen, Texas, on Dec. 15, 2011, after complications from pneumonia.

“I did not know what to do,” DeLoach said. “I emailed Dr. [James] Robertson to let him know what was going on. He contacted my professors and assured me that my college life would stay under control.”

Bateman updated professors on the situation. “She became the person I leaned on during hard times and still is,” DeLoach said. “She is always there for me, and she knows when I need a good laugh. After my mom passed away, that was what I needed the most.”

Bateman has an unexplainable cheerful, infectious attitude that helped DeLoach get through the hardest time in her life.

DeLoach returned to college with the support of her classmates, faculty and her friend, Bateman. “I can’t even put into words how much she has helped me through these past four years,” DeLoach said. “We pushed each other to learn as much as we could in school, but we still managed to have fun and enjoy ourselves despite the stress.”

Faculty members noticed DeLoach’s positive attitude and her expression of the college’s core values – care, compassion, competence, collaboration and community.

Patsy Cavazos, H-E-B Gulf Coast and southwest regional director, presented the H-E-B Guiding Principles Award to DeLoach on May 20 at the College Awards. Faculty voiced that DeLoach embodied and exhibited the college’s guiding principles through practice.

DeLoach strives to improve patient care, expresses compassion to those she serves, builds competence as she is a lifelong learner, strengthens her collaborations with health care providers, and strives to improve the quality of life to her community in South Texas and beyond.

“I hope to one day become an accessible, trustworthy neighborhood pharmacist and valued member of the community,” DeLoach said.

She served at multiple community health fairs. She shares the importance of vaccinations and health care of patients.

“You don’t have to be a certain age to die from pneumonia,” DeLoach said. “Vaccines are a way to try to avoid pneumonia, I hope everyone understands, it can happen to anyone.”

Throughout their journey in the pharmacy program, Bateman and DeLoach learned a secret to success. “Take time to laugh,” DeLoach said. “Looking back, I will cherish the belly-aching moments when we laughed so hard we had tears in our eyes.”

Faculty members noticed DeLoach’s positive attitude and her expression of the college’s core values – care, compassion, competence, collaboration and community.