Howard University’s School of Pharmacy has a new, state-of-the-art Pharmacy Practice Laboratory, thanks in large part to CVS/pharmacy.
CVS/pharmacy donated $300,000 to the renovation of the laboratory, where students can hone their skills in a practice setting, learning how to dispense medication, counsel patients and utilize technology found in many pharmacies.
"We are pleased that CVS/pharmacy has contributed to the renovation of our laboratory so that we may continue to attract talented students and better train them for their pharmacy careers," Clarence E. Curry, Pharm.D., interim associate dean at the School of Pharmacy, said at the ribbon-cutting last week.
"As the demand for top pharmacists increases nationwide due to an aging population and increased use of prescription drugs, Howard University is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of applicants to our pharmacy school. Partnerships such as with CVS/pharmacy have helped us become more competitive."
Beatrice Kelley, Ph.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Sciences, also praised CVS/pharmacy for its contribution.
“The College and Board of Visitors hold in high esteem our partner relationship with CVS/pharmacy,” Adderley-Kelly said. “The primary focus of CVS/pharmacy programs is health and education. Howard University is a direct benefactor of CVS/pharmacy’s widespread giving programs.”
Gordon Howard, CVS/pharmacy vice president for Washington, D.C., area, said the facility reflects CVS/pharmacy’s ongoing relationship with Howard.
"CVS/pharmacy is committed to building an outstanding workforce through win-win partnerships such as with Howard University and through the hiring, training, development and retention of quality colleagues," Howard said. "We are thrilled to expand our relationship with Howard University, a school with many outstanding alumni who are now talented pharmacists at our CVS/pharmacy stores in Washington, D.C., and beyond."
About 35 percent of 2008 Howard School of Pharmacy graduates began their careers this summer at CVS/pharmacy stores.
The Pharmacy Practice Laboratory houses 24 high-tech workstations that allow students to gain experience in entering and assessing patient-related information, such as health, allergy and medication history. The workstations also provide access to other technical support needed to ensure appropriate delivery of medications, patient counseling and medication therapy management.
The laboratory is stocked with prescription and over-the-counter medications, alternative medications and home-testing devices so students can practice dispensing and advising on medication and home tests.
Howard University has received an increased demand for its 70 freshmen pharmacy positions, growing from 300 applicants annually 10 years ago to 1,300 applicants today. A main driver for this growth is the booming job market. While many new college graduates in other fields may struggle to find jobs, pharmacist graduates generally receive numerous job offers with highly competitive salaries.
Nnenna Okeke, 26, who graduated from the school in May and now works a Washington, D.C., CVS/pharmacy store, broke into a smile as she toured the new facility during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“Current and future Howard students are in for a treat with the new laboratory and will be even better prepared for their careers," she said.