School of Pharmacy Dean Mary Anne Koda-Kimble offers her perspective on work-life challenges at UCSF and her personal reflections on being a Japanese woman in a new interview posted on the Supportive Work Environment website. The dean also offers insight into the separation anxiety initially felt when the first wave of researchers moved to the new campus at UCSF Mission Bay and what she has done to help faculty and staff left behind. The interview is the third in a series posted on the UCSF Supportive Work Environment website, which was created to house news and information about the campuswide initiative designed to improve the quality of campus life. During his year as chancellor, Haile Debas, former dean of the UCSF School of Medicine, endorsed the supportive work environment (SWE) initiative. Chancellor Mike Bishop supported the idea and appointed a committee to oversee the initiative in 1999. In one particularly poignant part of the interview, Koda-Kimble describes her humble beginnings and her future direction: "You know I came from a pretty basic background. I grew up in poverty with Okies and Mexican-Americans -- these were my friends. I was called a Jap and fatso and a few other names, so I carry this little pain inside of me. I think in the end, those were good things because they make me a little more tolerant and sensitive to other issues. I've been lucky to be here at UCSF -- who would have ever guessed that I'd be sitting here? It's not real. In many ways, I still am that kid in the Central Valley. "My early education in science was memorizing periodic tables. I had to study like a dog. You know, I used to go to the basement of the library and pick up every book that had the word "basic" in its title and pull it out. When I heard about 'clinical pharmacy' I said, "Oh, so that's what I want to do." I had to be in clinical pharmacy and I had to be the best clinical pharmacist in the world. Now my direction is creating an environment to provide the best pharmacy care in the world. "We are not done with this work. We've done it in the hospital but we haven't done it in the community. When you go to your pharmacy, you're not getting the kind of care you should be getting. So, that has been my focus, my passion -- that would be the single turning point in my career." The interview was made possible by Sandy Burnett and Sharon Spaulding, co-chairs of the SWE communications committee; David Bell and Claudette Johnson, both of the SWE office; and Sara Magee, School of Pharmacy administrator.