Q&A with California Health Sciences University College of Pharmacy

March 2, 2015

When California Health Sciences University was founded in 2012, the very first program offered was the College of Pharmacy due to high demand for pharmacists in the Central Valley area.

Clovis, California

Founded: 2012

Class Size: 72-84 students

When California Health Sciences University (CHSU) was founded in 2012, the very first program offered was the College of Pharmacy due to high demand for pharmacists in the Central Valley area.

The college cited a US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ expectation that showed pharmacist employment could increase by 14% over the next decade. This projection—coupled with the Central Valley’s need for pharmacists—encouraged CHSU to build the pharmacy program first.

Now, CHSU’s 4-year pharmacy program will graduate its first class in 2018. With an expectation to grow in enrollment numbers, the school’s pharmacy building is expected to be completed by fall 2017.

One of the ways in which CHSU’s College of Pharmacy differs from other schools is that students learn pharmacy practice and primary patient care skills alongside physicians. Students learn under the direct supervision of pharmacists and physicians during rotations at hospitals, clinics, and community pharmacies.

The school’s 7 major objectives are to teach students how to accomplish the following:

· Provide primary patient care in collaboration with other health care professionals.

· Improve patient care outcomes.

· Formulate evidence-based pharmacotherapy consultations.

· Manage pharmacy and other health care resources.

· Initiate strategies for promoting health, wellness, and disease prevention.

· Maintain a professional and caring pharmacist-patient relationship.

· Continue to engage in self-directed learning.

Founding Dean David Hawkins, PharmD, who is also the vice president of academic affairs, has almost 40 years of experience as a professor in pharmacy and medical schools. His expertise includes creating new academic programs, designing team-based learning curricula, and developing and assessing critical thinking skills and student learning outcomes.

In an exclusive interview with Pharmacy Times, Dr. Hawkins said that CHSU’s College of Pharmacy program benefits from its small class size because it allows for more faculty-student interactions.

Q: What is the teaching style or philosophy?

A: We engage our students in active learning, or team-based learning, for every course.

Q: What are some community outreach activities or programs the school participates in?

A: Community service activities that took place in fall 2014 included the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Run/Walk, the Central California AIDS Walk, and the inaugural CHSU blood drive.

Q: What is unique about your school/program?

A: Our mission to transform pharmacy into a primary care profession.