THE WINTER 2007 ISSUE of UCLA Medicine featured an article about Laura Pacha, M.D. ’98, and the Books Without Borders project, which was created after the Medical Alumni Association received an email from the U.S. Army major, who was deployed as a public-health officer with the 25th Infantry Division, asking for medical textbooks to distribute to schools and doctors in Iraq. Today, Dr. Pacha is a disease-surveillance specialist for the U.S. Army Public Health Command in Maryland, and Books Without Borders has become Operation Medical Libraries (OML). To date, OML has donated more than 30 tons of formal references and continuing education materials for health-sciences students and professionals in developing countries. Most of these supplies have been medical textbooks sent to Afghanistan.
“I am extremely proud to be a graduate of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where the MAA exemplifies the school’s commitment to compassion, education and addressing complex social issues,” Dr. Pacha says. “I am truly overwhelmed to find myself part of an organization that can harness such incredible support, not only from within its ranks, but also among other universities, hospitals and professionals to ensure the ongoing education of health-sciences students and providers in less-privileged and under-resourced countries.”