Google. Amazon. Warby Parker. These disruptors of business and industry have some common characteristics: innovation in thinking, transformation of the status quo, flexibility in their growth.

These traits are not necessarily associated with institutions of higher education, especially ones who may have just celebrated a 125-year history, but our vision is to be a leader in advancing, promoting and protecting human health. To be true to that mantra while educating outstanding health care professionals and scientists, we have chosen to lead by example and make a trail that can hopefully guide others to join the movement in transforming health care education for the better.

Five years ago, the Washington State University College of Pharmacy made a commitment to the transformation and innovation of the way it educates health care professionals and scientists. The college strives to provide a transformative educational experience with a focus on student-centered learning that will contribute to the patient-centered care teams of the future, and to challenge the status quo in order to develop practice-ready graduates who will lead tomorrow’s health care solutions.

Our successes can be measured in many ways. One is demonstrated in the milestone we reached this year with the third cohort of Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) students beginning their pharmacy education in Yakima. Our decision to extend our Pharm.D. program to a second location on the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences campus was spurred by our commitment to extend access to high-quality education within our state. Plus, offering our program in Yakima was a perfect catalyst for the transformation of our Pharm.D. curriculum into a student-centered and active-learning model.

What we have accomplished so far has garnered national attention. This year we hosted our second Transformation in Pharmacy Education (TIPed) Institute which drew attendees from our peer institutions across the U.S., and within our own university we have been highlighted as a program to emulate.

Over the summer, the college made several organizational and administrative shifts in order to put us in a better position to accommodate the evolution we have undergone and more importantly capitalize on the opportunities we now face for the future. Here’s what you may have missed at the WSU College of Pharmacy this summer:

WSU graduate program in pharmaceutical sciences gets new leadership, structure
Susan MarshAdministration of the pharmaceutical sciences graduate program has been moved within the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. As chair of the department, Dr. Phil Lazarus will provide overall leadership for the graduate program and Dr. Susan Marsh has been named the new director of graduate studies. Christina Brelia is now a program coordinator supporting the graduate program.
New role for faculty and student development
Kathryn MeierOur former associate dean for graduate education, Dr. Kathryn Meier, has transitioned into a new role as associate dean for faculty and student development. WSU President Kirk Schulz has identified faculty development, excellence in teaching, and the delivery of a transformative student experience as keys to the success of the Drive to 25 initiative. Meier’s efforts in this new position are therefore of strategic importance to the college and the university.
Professional education realigns for better focus on Doctor of Pharmacy residency programs
Brian GatesAs the future of pharmacy evolves to envelope personalized medicine through integration of genomics and technology, specialization through post-graduate pharmacy residency programs continues to gain importance.
Our former associate dean for professional education, Dr. Brian Gates, has transitioned into directing the post-graduate pharmacy resident training program offered by the Department of Pharmacotherapy, to focus on working directly with students and residents. He will also continue his practice site at Providence Visiting Nurse Association of Spokane.
New role at pharmacy strengthens interprofessional collaboration in education
Brenda BrayDr. Brenda Bray has accepted a new role as director of interprofessional education, leading the Department of Pharmacotherapy’s integration into campus-wide interprofessional education at WSU Health Sciences Spokane. This initiative supports our commitment to prepare our students for the patient-centered care teams of the future. This is a high priority activity as the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine welcomes its first class of physicians in Spokane this year.

The college’s emphasis on data-supported decision-making within our office of assessment and accreditation will continue under Sue Wright as director of analytics. Hannah Lee will continue to provide support for the college’s block testing activities until a new associate dean for professional education is identified.
New director of student services for the Doctor of Pharmacy program
Kim MickeyKim Mickey has rejoined the College of Pharmacy in the new role of director of student services. Mickey has been with WSU over 12 years, previously serving as an assistant director in undergraduate admissions, as an assistant director in student services with the College of Pharmacy, and most recently serving as the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus registrar for the past two years.

“Our milestones will be defined by how well we capitalize on our strengths, seize opportunities, and embrace audacious excellence.” –Kirk H. Schulz, President, Washington State University

[Lori J. Maricle] 8/29/17