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PCP Moves Boldly Forward

By Carol R. Cool

pcp building

Founded in 1821 to protect the public by providing essential training for pharmacists and consistent standards for the medications they delivered, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy is the flagship school of University of the Sciences. And while the buildings have changed and the tools have evolved, the focus on protecting the patient still guides PCP today as it seeks to train professionals in the practice and science of pharmacy to be leaders and innovators. PCP students leave with the skills to interact with both health professionals and the public.

quoteAccreditation through the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) is a vital component in fulfilling the PCP mission. Accreditation is an ongoing process, with regular review by the ACPE. PCP has a long accreditation record. “The college has always been fully accredited; it has never been on probation since the ACPE began in the 1930s,” said LISA LAWSON, PharmD, dean of Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.

PCP’s last accreditation review took place in the spring of 2013 and resulted in full accreditation of two years’ duration. The college is now busy preparing for its comprehensive review, with students, faculty, alumni, and preceptors engaged in a comprehensive self-study. “PCP is poised and ready to describe its excellence,” said University president HELEN F. GILES-GEE, PhD. In October of 2014, an ACPE site review team will be on campus; their recommendations will be given to the ACPE board, and an accreditation decision will be handed down in January of 2015.

PCP is working hard to achieve the full-term accreditation of eight years because, while quality improvement reports are required over that time period, there is no site visit to prepare for. “We would like to get out of that extensive paperwork phase,” Dr. Lawson said, “and back to doing innovative things.”

quoteThe desired innovation within PCP will be spelled out in a new strategic plan currently in the works. Extensive input has been gathered from stakeholders, including faculty, students, staff, alumni, administrators, preceptors, and PCP board of visitor members. While unable to share specifics to a plan that  confirmed that the plan contains two college strengths mentioned by Dr. Giles-Gee—interprofessional education and industrial pharmacy.

Interprofessional education (IPE), which has always been a strength of the University as a whole and is required by the ACPE, will continue to expand. “Our unique partnership with the new Cooper Medical School at Rowan University (CMSRU) is a great example,” said Dr. Lawson. “Our pharmacy educators worked with the CMSRU medical faculty to develop their curriculum to include IPE.” Ten PCP faculty members (and one from the physician assistant program) hold faculty appointments at CMSRU; another two are pending approval. A few are involved with the didactic teaching at CMSRU, specifically to the medical students, while others will serve as preceptors in ambulatory care clerkship or as preceptors on clinical rotations.

USciences’ partnerships with the UPenn nursing and medical schools and the School of Social Policy and Practice also provide expanded IPE training for students from both universities, allowing them to develop the skills needed to work with other professionals to provide truly patient centered care (see article in the spring 2014 Bulletin entitled “Collaborative Programs Expand Interprofessional Education”).

Industrial pharmacy has always been an important part of USciences’ history, and PCP faculty and students have done a great deal of research in dosage  “Especially with industrial pharmacy, we have a history of existing industry partnerships; we’re looking to expand on that, increasing opportunities for internships for our bachelor degree programs within PCP and contracts for faculty,” said Dr. Giles-Gee.

Another element of the strategic plan involves the discipline of pharmacy administration in the area of outcomes research. Rigorous evaluation of new and current healthcare practices and interventions identifies which methods are optimal for improving the quality of patient care and health.

The strategic plan will move the college forward to nurture leaders in pharmacy, reflecting and expanding on its contributions to the field of pharmacy and practice that protect and enrich patient lives.

Categories: The Bulletin, Alumni, Faculty, Staff, Students, Academics, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Pharmacy, Pharmacy Administration