Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science to Launch New College of Pharmacy in Northern Illinois for Fall 2011

The new College of Pharmacy will increase the supply of PharmDs in Lake County, as well as all of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. By 2015, it will be educating a full complement of 260 pharmacy students.

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"Illinois is the fifth most populous state and its population is aging fast. That means an increased demand for drugs and for related therapy, counseling, management and dispensing services," notes Gloria E. Meredith, Ph.D. and Founding Dean.

North Chicago, IL (PRWEB) July 21, 2010

The new College of Pharmacy, located on Rosalind Franklin University’s sprawling 92 acre North Chicago, Illinois campus, anticipates enrolling its first class of 65 students in the fall of 2011, once it receives appropriate approvals from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Applications for the inaugural class are now being accepted.

Students who complete the four-year pharmacy program will be awarded a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree.

Gloria E. Meredith, PhD, Founding Dean of the College of Pharmacy, said “The College is a good fit for both Rosalind Franklin University and nearby areas in Illinois and Wisconsin that are experiencing a pharmacist shortage.”

The new College of Pharmacy will complement Rosalind Franklin University’s four existing academic units – the Chicago Medical School, College of Health Professions, Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine and School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

“As a health sciences university concentrating on interprofessional education, we’re addressing a gap in our program that deals with the most important aspect of medicine, and that’s drugs,” said Dr. Meredith, Professor and Dean.

“Interprofessional education is ideal for pharmacists because in reality they are often working in teams,” Dr. Meredith said. “Pharmacy students will train side-by-side in interprofessional teams that include students in medicine, physician assistant, podiatric medicine and physical therapy programs.”

The new College of Pharmacy will also feature a student to faculty ratio of approximately 10-1. An intimate class size of 65 students will offer the inaugural class exciting leadership opportunities. Additionally, pharmacy students will join a highly diverse group of interprofessional University students that includes increasing numbers of Latinos and African-Americans.

The College will educate a new generation of modern pharmacists as they take on increasing responsibilities in areas such as medication therapy management in hospitals and specialty clinics, drug research and development, as well as regulation in the pharmaceutical industry, and in many areas of government and public health.

Students will have a rewarding set of experiential learning opportunities in private and public clinics, health systems and public health agencies in the Chicago to Milwaukee metropolitan corridor, and in rural settings in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

“Health care delivery is going to change and the duties of delivering health care to patients, particularly in hospitals, will change substantially over time,” said Thomas Moore, PharmD, President of U.S. operations for Hospira Inc., a global pharmaceutical and medication delivery company based in Lake Forest. “We are going to see more and more involvement of different health professionals, including pharmacists, in the frontline care of patients.”

Moore is a member of the College of Pharmacy’s advisory board. The board includes representatives of healthcare-related companies, all in close proximity to Rosalind Franklin University, including Takeda Global Research and Development, Walgreens, Supervalu (Osco Drugs) Abbott Laboratories, Baxter and CVS Caremark, as well as health systems, clinics and other institutions, many of which will offer clinical rotation sites for PharmD students.

“This is a great area for students in pharmacy education, because a number of large pharmaceutical companies are located here,” Moore said. “Not many pharmacy programs have those kinds of relationships with industry, which offer students other career paths in addition to patient care. Rosalind Franklin University’s strategy is to step back and ask, ‘Where can pharmacists contribute and how can we design our curriculum to meet the diversified interests of pharmacists and the needs of the health care industry?’”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in pharmacy will grow by 22 percent over the next decade. A nationwide shortfall of 157,000 pharmacists is projected by 2020.

Dr. Meredith cites another trend.

“Illinois is the fifth most populous state and its population is aging fast,” she said. “That means an increased demand for drugs and for related therapy, counseling, management and dispensing services.”

About 60 percent of PharmD students are women. The median salary for the profession is $106,000 per year. In June 2009, Forbes.com reported that a much smaller pay gap exists between male and female pharmacists than in other professions, including medical doctors, and the July 14, 2009 issue of Forbes magazine placed pharmacy first among top-paying jobs for women.

The profession of pharmacy provides expanding opportunity with equitable salary and attractive career-lifestyle balance.

A PharmD offers a springboard to a variety of practices in direct patient care, managed care, regulatory affairs, policy, drug research and development, academia and more. As pharmacists continue to assume expanding roles in health care and as the economics of health care continues to drive more cost-effective options for high-quality treatment, health sciences education must continue to follow the future.

“There’s still a mismatch between supply and demand,” said Rob Rosenow, PharmD, OD, Founding Dean of Pacific University’s School of Pharmacy in Oregon. “The job is broadening and that is fueling the need to increase education. Rosalind Franklin University is a perfect match. It’s an exceptional student learning center renowned for its interprofessional education. That’s an incredible benefit to adding another school.”

The College of Pharmacy – Discover the Rosalind Franklin University Difference.

Students seeking admissions to the College of Pharmacy are required to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) and have two years of college-level pre-pharmacy course work, including both science and general education courses.

The College of Pharmacy desires to enroll students who present evidence of strong preparation for a career in pharmacy paired with bold leadership and initiative. The inaugural Pharmacy class at Rosalind Franklin University will have innovative technology readily available to use -- from the classroom to the laboratory.

Approximately 25 faculty members, including 14 newly hired professors, will teach pharmacy students, who will attend classes in the new $5 million Interprofessional Education Center, home to a state-of-the-art Pharmacy Skills Laboratory.

See the RFUMS College of Pharmacy website for more enrollment details.

For more information on Rosalind Franklin University’s new College of Pharmacy, contact the Office of Admissions at 847-578-3204, email pharmacy.admissions (at) rosalindfranklin (dot) edu or visit the website http://www.rosalindfranklin.edu/collegeofpharmacy

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Founding Dean, Gloria E. Meredith, Ph.D.

Founding Dean and Professor