Lansangan Garcia was born and raised in the Metro Manila area of the Philippines, later immigrating to southern California. She considers San Francisco her real hometown. She says, “I’ve lived there the longest!” But today she lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, attending Penn Nursing as a Lauder Fellow and working as a Research Assistant to Dr. J. Margo Brooks Carthon’s THRIVE program, an innovative clinical pathway that addresses health disparities experienced by low-income minority patients after hospitalization.


Lansangan Garcia has witnessed first-hand what “falling through the cracks” looks like, having grown up in a low-income immigrant family whose first language is not English and as someone who has been a caregiver to her medically complex sister. She says, “I understand that for many vulnerable patients and their families, there are often multiple layers of social needs and circumstances that require attention before one can focus on achieving health goals. My interests have always been aligned with working with underserved communities like the one in which I grew up.”


Medication interactions can be dangerous, and so when Lansangan Garcia discovered a camper at the sleepaway camp at which she worked (in the health center) was taking two contraindicating medications, she immediately knew that she could change a life. She says, “The parents endorsed the camper as someone who gets lightheaded often and may need to be seen at the health center frequently. Once I reviewed the chart and discovered the contraindicating medications, the parents were immediately notified—and they later shared that their child’s physician had missed this detail and was able to prescribe a different medication for the camper. The parents were so thankful, as their child had been taking the two medications together for a month and was not aware of the potential harmful effects.” The moment speaks to the best nursing advice Lansangan Garcia has ever been given: trust your gut.