MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University School of Pharmacy was ranked No. 26 in the Best Health Schools-Pharmacy category of the U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”

The pharmacy school rankings are based on ratings by deans, administrators and senior faculty in Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

“This recognition is truly an honor,” Patricia Chase, Ph.D., dean of the WVU School of Pharmacy, said. “Our faculty and staff work very hard to make the WVU School of Pharmacy one of the best in the country, and it shows that we are recognized by our peers as a school that is dedicated to providing our students with a high-quality education and environment.”

In 2008, the time of the last report of pharmacy schools, the WVU School of Pharmacy was tied for No. 32 of approximately 88 schools of pharmacy in the U.S. At the time the survey for the 2013 report was conducted, there were 125 schools of pharmacy.

The School equips student pharmacists with the skills and knowledge they will need to provide superior patient care after they graduate. For example, in 2008, the state of West Virginia passed legislation that allows pharmacists to provide certain immunizations to their patients. The WVU School of Pharmacy now offers immunization certification as part of the curriculum. The School also offers diabetes certification, which helps train student pharmacists to discuss diabetes medications and treatments, design medication plans and provide instruction on diabetes management devices, products and equipment.

The School not only offers these certifications to students but also to practicing pharmacists through the WVU School of Pharmacy Office of Continuing Education. In fact, from June 1, 2010, through May 31, 2011, the WVU School of Pharmacy provided more than 5,200 pharmacists with more than 8,200 hours of continuing education.

Another advancement at the WVU School of Pharmacy is the Health Education Center, which was implemented in 2008 with the mission of integrating wellness education and disease prevention activities into the Pharm.D. professional program. The Center serves as a learning lab and also extends its reach to provide direct patient care activities, such as health fairs, in the community. The courses and service activities help the student pharmacists step into their role of managers of patient wellness and prepare them for clinical practice.

The School’s “My First Patient” program — recognized by the Association of Prevention Teaching and Research with a Certificate of Excellence — gives WVU student pharmacists valuable insight into their own health and health choices, which prepares them to more effectively guide improvements in the health of their patients.

WVU pharmacy students also learn that the profession of pharmacy is one of empathy and compassion. Through the Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) course, student organization activities and other service activities, WVU student pharmacists provide more than 8,000 hours of community service annually to citizens of the Mountain State. The IPPE program is able to match student pharmacists with local community organizations through the WVU Center for Civic Engagement in an effort to improve the health and overall well being of West Virginians.

“We have made considerable leaps and bounds in the courses, electives and service opportunities we offer all in the name of education for our student pharmacists,” Dean Chase said. “We are proud that we can offer this to our students, and in turn, our graduates make us proud by going on to become valued members of a patient’s healthcare team and leaders in the profession of pharmacy.”

The WVU School of Pharmacy is the state of West Virginia’s flagship pharmacy school and will be celebrating its centennial in 2014.

For more information: Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy, 304-293-7192
an: 03-16-12