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WVU Pharmacy programs earn ‘Program of Excellence’ designation

The Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) professional program and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) graduate degree program in Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences at the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy were recently designated Programs of Excellence by the WVU Board of Governors.

Based on the criteria set forth for Programs of Excellence, academic programs seeking this designation should be a program of distinction, having received state or national recognition or some other clearly defined indicator appropriate to the mission of the program. The program must also show evidence of success of graduates in career placement and or in continuing higher education, should show faculty achievement and faculty scholarly activity, and should have clearly defined curricular goals and hold national or specialized accreditation.

“To hear that both of our educational programs — the Doctor of Pharmacy professional program and the Doctor of Philosophy graduate program — at the WVU School of Pharmacy have been recognized for their excellence is truly an honor,” Mary K. Stamatakis, Pharm.D., interim dean for the WVU School of Pharmacy, said. “Our faculty, staff and students work hard and are dedicated to the school and its success, so this recognition is a reflection of their commitment and efforts.”

The WVU School of Pharmacy has implemented several new educational offerings over the past few years to provide students with opportunities that will broaden their understanding of patient care and give them a competitive edge upon graduation. In the Pharm.D program, students can complete a Pharm.D./M.B.A. dual degree program, a program with the WVU College of Business and Economics, and receive both degrees in four years. Students have the opportunity to concentrate their elective courses in specific areas of study such as clinical pharmacy, research, and gerontology. They can also participate in global health experiences through clinical rotations in South Africa, Oman, and Brazil.

In the Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences graduate Ph.D. program, graduate students have the option of choosing one of two pathways — Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences (PPS) or Health Outcomes Research (HOR) — to concentrate their studies. The Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences pathway focuses on the research of the causes of diseases and health conditions and the development of medications and medication treatments. The Health Outcomes Research pathway focuses on the eventual outcomes of health care services and treatments such as decreases in morbidity and mortality, improvements in physical and mental functioning, patient’s health-related quality of life and/or patient satisfaction with care, cost-effectiveness of treatments, and evaluating health policies in terms of their intended and unintended consequences.

Graduate students in both pathways have performed admirably at national meetings, having received research excellence awards for both podium and poster presentations, and a large number of our graduate Ph.D. students have distinguished themselves by being awarded pre-doctoral fellowships.

“We are proud that the WVU School of Pharmacy has received Program of Excellence designation from the WVU Board of Governors,” Clay Marsh, M.D., vice president and executive dean of health sciences, said. “We strive to provide our future healthcare professionals, researchers and scientists with learning opportunities and a learning environment that will enhance their skills and make them the best and brightest in their respective fields. The designation of the WVU School of Pharmacy programs recognizes our commitment to our students and their educational experiences.”