New School of Pharmacy to Open in Georgia

In response to growing demand for pharmacists in the Southeast, one Philadelphia medical college works to expand its southern roots in Suwanee, Georgia.

The Southeast has demonstrated a critical demand for pharmacists, according to a recent feasibility study that pointed to a need for more than 2100 pharmacists in Georgia by 2012. The Pharmacy Manpower Project and a Georgia Board of Regents report underscored the need for more pharmacists and nurses in this area in the near future. In response, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has opened a new School of Pharmacy in Suwanee, Georgia, scheduled to accept students in August 2010. Mark P. Okamoto, PharmD, was named the founding dean and chief academic officer, along with a core group of pharmacy educators in preparation for the new 4-year Doctor of Pharmacy degree program.

“We view the development of the School of Pharmacy as a natural extension of the PCOM’s 110-year-old legacy,” said John Fleishmann, EdD, Georgia Campus executive officer. The PCOM, a Philadelphia-based college (with a Georgia campus as well), is dedicated to educating primary care physicians and focuses on a comprehensive approach to health care, offering advanced degrees in psychology, physician assistant studies, and biomedical sciences. Unique to the PCOM School of Pharmacy in Georgia is the fact that it is housed in the same academic facility as the medical program, which will offer the opportunity for interaction among pharmacy students and medical students. The new comprehensive pharmacy program will focus on developing the skills and knowledge to provide patient-specific pharmaceutical care, manage and use the resources of the health care system, and promote health improvement, wellness, and disease prevention.

According to Dean Mark Okamoto, “One of the fundamental principles in the educational program will be the development of professional skills and attitudes to improve humanistic outcomes for the patient.” Information about the PCOM School of Pharmacy program is available at www.pcom.edu or by calling 678-407-7330.

For other articles in this issue, see: FDA Issues Guidelines for Compounding Liquid Tamiflu