Categorized | Education

College of Pharmacy receives $1.5M from U.S. DOE


The University of Hawaii at Hilo’s College of Pharmacy (CoP) will receive $1.5 million to support student activity and begin new health care initiatives in Hawaii and the Pacific region, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye has announced.

The funds come through a congressionally directed grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

“I have watched the College of Pharmacy grow over the past few years, and it is very gratifying to see what a critical difference it is making in Hawaii and throughout the Pacific,” Inouye said. “Improvement in health care is very important to me and I am very glad we can help the College of Pharmacy fulfill its critical mission. I know the financial support will be put to good use and the College will continue to make us proud.”

The congressionally directed grant has been issued for a two-year period beginning Sept. 1.

“Thanks to this congressionally-directed support provided by the Department of Education, we will be able to significantly accelerate the pace of filling our mission of improving health care in Hawaii and the Pacific region,” said John M. Pezzuto, Dean of the College of Pharmacy. “The new educational opportunities provided by this support are extraordinary. The activities described in the application are not easy but we will keep our promises. These are the types of actions that make a top 25 ranked College, and that’s what we intend to be.”

CoP will use the congressionally-directed grant to accomplish 10 key objectives:

(1) Provide support for Pacific Island students toward completion of Pre-Pharmacy academic requirements. Specific goals are to continue current collaboration with administrators/educators/advisors at the University of Guam and American Samoa Community College as they further develop Pre-Pharmacy Programs.

(2) Create a guaranteed admissions program for students from underserved communities. The Steps Towards Excellence in Pharmacy (STEP) program provides students from underserved communities and populations the opportunity, guidance and mentorship to achieve their academic potential with successful completion of the PharmD Program at the UHH CoP.

(3) Support a Pacific region-based advanced pharmacy training. Fourth-year pharmacy students will perform six week clinical rotations in Guam, Saipan, American Somoa, and Alaska.

(4) Develop community partnerships and further engagement opportunities.

(5) Manage critically important conferences and administer continuing education.

(6) Continue development and foster a general pharmacy practice residency program that will provide advanced clinical pharmacy training in general pharmacy practice as well as specialty areas in the institution, ambulatory care and community pharmacy practice settings.

(7) Leverage technology to advance pharmacy practice in rural settings, including Health Information Technology education for pharmacists.

(8) Establish joint pharmacy initiatives to enhance rural healthcare education. Funds would be used to conduct a needs assessment in Hawaii and Wyoming, both of which have similar health care challenges, in order to identify ways to improve healthcare in rural areas in these states.

(9) Continue development of a Physical Therapy Program. No such program currently exists in the State of Hawaii. The planning phase can begin upon approval by the Board of Regents.

(10) Development of a simulation and chemistry platform to train pre-pharmacy, pre-engineering, and PharmD students. The overall goal is to provide hands-on experience in how new drugs are evaluated for activity and characterized to determine how they are best incorporated into dosage forms.

UH-Hilo College of Pharmacy began in 2007 and welcomed its fourth class of students this month. It will be eligible for full accreditation from the American Council for Pharmacy Education when its first class of students graduates from the four-year program in 2011.

For more information about the College of Pharmacy, call (808) 933-2909 or email

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