How Valci Carvalho went from hospital kitchen worker to pharmacy director

Two decades after working in the kitchen at Martha's Vineyard Hospital, Valci Carvalho became the hospital's pharmacy director, The Vineyard Gazette reported Aug. 10. 

At 14 years old, Mr. Carvalho immigrated with his family from Rio de Janeiro to Martha's Vineyard, Mass. He began working at the hospital's kitchen in high school two years after moving, and at 36, he was promoted to pharmacy director in May. 

A high school chemistry teacher, Jim Cressel, encouraged him to explore pharmacy as a future career, according to the Gazette and The Martha's Vineyard Times. Mr. Carvalho approached then-pharmacy director Dave Caron, PharmD, and asked about shadowing the leader, which spurred a yearslong mentorship. 

Mr. Carvalho worked various roles at the hospital in high school before going to Boston to attend the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. After college, he returned to the island and worked at a pharmacy before rejoining the hospital's halls as a staff pharmacist. 

"I've spent some time at other pharmacies, I've had a couple of job offers off the island, but it just seemed like the right thing to do," Mr. Carvalho told the Times in May. "I felt a responsibility to return some of the many benefits I received while I was here, and contribute to the community in any sort of way."

In mid-2023, Dr. Caron became vice president of diagnostic and therapeutic services, and Mr. Carvalho stepped into his mentor's 24-year role. 

"This profession is always changing," Dr. Caron told the Gazette, "and if there's something out there that needs to be addressed or evaluated, Valci brings it to the table."

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