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November 2022

Message from the Dean

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It has been a busy month for everyone in the college, but I’m pleased to say that a lot of hard work has come to fruition. The college welcomed representatives from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) last month for our reaccreditation site visit. This 18-month process successfully concluded on October 27. While the official report on our reaccreditation does not come out until early next year, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our site visitors. I have been in academic pharmacy for 30 years and I have had the privilege of participating in a total of five site visits. I have never heard such positive comments from a group of site visitors. Ever. I’m so proud of our faculty, staff, students, preceptors, and alums for their honest assessments of our college and their contributions to the accreditation visit. Thank you to everyone involved, including our site visitors who trekked through our two campuses in Spokane and Yakima, and spent an enormous amount of time getting to know the ins and outs of our college at our two locations. The exceptional reviews by our alums and students are certainly a testament to the quality education and special community we have created together.

Now that the reaccreditation site visit is over, November has been a month of getting ready for the year ahead. The month kicked off with a health science preview day on November 5 for high school and college students in the Yakima Valley area. We have been making a concerted effort to recruit students in the area to our PharmD program in Yakima as the need for pharmacists in the area is becoming increasingly apparent. Signing bonuses for pharmacists range from $50,000 to $70,000, and we know by talking to recruiters that more pharmacists are needed. Associate Dean of External Relations Julie Akers and Director of Alumni Relations Kelly Sylvester put together a fantastic networking meet and greet for students to interact with recruiters from health care systems and chain pharmacies across Washington state. If you know someone who would make a great Coug pharmacist, don’t forget to refer them!

As we head into Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for your continued support of the college. A generous, anonymous donation earlier this year helped us launch the Rural Health Initiative, which has taken on a life of its own. In just 6 months, we accepted our inaugural class of student pharmacists specializing in rural health and we are in the middle of recruiting our second class of students for the program. We are actively recruiting a faculty member focused on rural health in partnership with Providence in Centralia, and a second faculty position in psychiatric pharmacy together with Comprehensive Healthcare in Yakima. Other partnerships with our community and health care system partners continue to develop. In less than a year, the Rural Health Initiative has made significant strides to improve health care access in rural areas of in the state. While we have a long road ahead of us, I am thankful for the wonderful support you all have provided—support that will help so many people living in rural Washington for years to come.


Mark Leid, Professor and Dean
WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Michael Sauseda, right, with fellow Rural Health Initiative students at the Crimson Gala, the annual fundraising event for the college.

Erik Puthoff from STCU gives pharmacy students financial advice during a Career Seminar Series presentation.

Philanthropy Focus

Several times each semester, pharmacy leaders gather on campus to speak to our students about the many different career paths a PharmD degree offers. For several years, we’ve been fortunate to have the support of STCU (Spokane Teachers Credit Union), our corporate sponsor for this program. STCU provides lunches for these events, as well as financial advice as part of the Career Seminar Series. Kudos to STCU (Spokane Teachers Credit Union) and their wonderful team, Erik Puthoff, Traci McGlathery, and several others, who provide leadership in financial education, information on banking services, and other important life skills as part of this program. And, of course, the free lunches are a big hit too! Thank you, STCU. We appreciate all you do for the college!

Alum Updates

We had a chance to catch up with some alums from the Walgreens team at the recent meet and greet networking reception on the college’s Yakima campus. The event was held on November 9 to give student pharmacists and companies who want to hire them a chance to meet in person and network. Also at the meet and greet was Darick Chai, class of 2022, who was working the Albertsons booth with Annie Stout, Manager of Pharmacy Recruitment and College Relations for Albertsons. Darick graduated from the Yakima campus and worked at Albertsons as an intern while he was a student pharmacist. He was recently named pharmacy manager for an Albertsons store in Yakima, making him one of the youngest pharmacy managers for the company in this region. Congratulations, Darick!

After 13 years at Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, Monica Graybeal, class of 2008, has taken a position as Pharmacy Director with Heritage Health in Coeur d’ Alene. Heritage Health is North Idaho’s largest provider of integrated medical, dental, and behavioral health services. Monica, who specializes in Hep-C treatments and ambulatory care pharmacy, was named one of WSU’s preceptors of the year in 2018 and is looking forward to precepting WSU student pharmacists in her new role.

Want to be listed in our alum updates? Send us your career information or let us know what you’ve been up to at!

November 2022 Updates



Pharmacotherapy Vice Chair & Allen I. White Distinguished Professor Joshua J. Neumiller and eight co-authors published, “Diabetes management in chronic kidney disease: a consensus report by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO)” in Diabetes Care in October 2022.

Director for the Center for Pharmacy Practice Research and Associate Professor of Pharmacotherapy Kimberly McKeirnan and five co-authors published, Cultures of support and resilience are associated with certified pharmacy technicians embracing new roles,” in Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy in October 2022.

Josh Neumiller and eight co-authors published, “Incidence of chronic kidney disease … » More …

Other News

A Native voice in their care
WSU Spokane’s Center for Native American Health addresses longstanding health disparities in Native American and Alaska Native communities, where higher rates of chronic illness and shorter lifespans are the norm.
Read more from the WSU Insider

Research Week Awards recognize researchers and staff excellence
Director for the Center for Pharmacy Practice Research and Associate Professor of Pharmacotherapy Kimberly McKeirnan was selected for the 2022 Technology with an Impactful Contribution to Society Award for her work focused on increasing access to vaccinations, including running a vaccine administration training program for pharmacy technicians along with conducting research that supports expanding clinical services which can be provided in a community pharmacy.
Read more from the WSU Insider