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Dr. John Gans will Step Down as Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and Associate Dean for Professional Affairs at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy

By Jenna Pizzi

John Gans P’66, PharmD’69, HonDSc’08John Gans P’66, PharmD’69, HonDSc’08 has announced that he will step down from his position as Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and Associate Dean for Professional Affairs at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the end of June 2017.

For almost 50 years, Dr. Gans has been a tremendous advocate, resource, and leader within the field of pharmacy. He began his career as a community pharmacist in Broomall, PA.  He completed a residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where he became a pioneer in parenteral nutrition.  During this time, he saw how rapidly drug therapy was advancing as a primary source of medical treatment and that no other profession was prepared to lead and implement this change. As a result, Dr. Gans partnered with physicians and pharmacy leaders from Penn and Jefferson to develop a new curriculum for the Doctor of Pharmacy program. Dr. Gans was recruited in 1970 to lead the implementation of this draft curriculum with the support of Drs. Hussar and Myers.  PCPS was soon routinely named the top College of Pharmacy by practicing pharmacists in annual national surveys during the 1980s. 

In 1988, Dr. Gans was named Dean of Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.  During his time, PCP continuing education programs were developed to support pharmacists in transitioning to primary care practitioners. Dr. Gans was also elected President of the Pennsylvania and American Societies of Health System Pharmacists, and he received the Roberts, Gonzales- Duffy, and Whitney Awards for leadership.  Additionally, he served as the founding chairman of the Delaware Valley Regional Poison Control Program now the Poison Control Center at CHOP.

Dr. Gans went on to serve as Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Pharmacist Association in Washington, DC from 1989 to 2009. During his tenure working with James Appleby P87, membership tripled, revenues increased eight-fold, and the APhA's iconic headquarters building on the National Mall in Washington DC was rebuilt, and dramatically expanded to become a true home for the expanding pharmacy profession. In addition, the Association's name was changed from "American Pharmaceutical Association" to "American Pharmacist Association."  

While at APhA, Dr. Gans remained committed to improving pharmacy education.  He and the APhA supported establishing the doctor of pharmacy degree as the educational standard to qualify for license to practice pharmacy in the United States. As a member of the APhA Foundation board of directors, Dr. Gans along with William Ellis P85, led the Foundation to develop a research department for the purpose of validating, through data collection, theories of pharmacy practice that are now acknowledged by policy makers and scholars to benefit patient medication use success. This led to the expansion of patient access to vaccines, chronic medication and medication therapy management by pharmacist providers as it was included in federal law and state regulations. 

For 20 years of his career Dr. Gans was involved internationally with the Canadian Pharmacist Association and the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) receiving honorary memberships from both organizations and also serving as Secretary General and Vice President of the Pan American Federation of Pharmacy.
At a meeting with national pharmacist organization leaders, Dr. Gans has been described as being a force to, “Think the unthinkable” and, “As APhA’s CEO he exerted a powerful influence that helped drive pharmacy’s transformation to a more Patient-Centered profession”.

In recognition to his commitment to the profession, Dr. Gans received the 2009 Remington Honor Medal, the pharmacy profession’s highest honor. University of the Sciences also presented Dr. Gans with an honorary degree at its commencement ceremony in May 2008. And in 2013, he was awarded the APhA Foundation Jacob W. Miller Award for his leadership and service to the APhA Foundation board of directors and Bringing Your Medicines to Life Campaign.

Bringing his professional journey full circle and continuing his commitment to pharmacy education, Dr. Gans returned to University of the Sciences in 2009, first with a joint appointment, primarily focused at the Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy, and then transitioned full-time to PCP.  Over the past seven years, Dr. Gans has developed leadership coursework and programs, mentored dozens of students. He partnered with Stephanie Zarus, P’85, PharmD’88 to develop the very successful, “Leadership at the Movies,” a University-wide program which is designed and delivered by students each semester to overflow crowds. In addition, Dr. Gans was significantly involved with the development of PCP’s new strategic plan, accreditation planning and culture assessment.  He also worked with students to re-establish the PCP Yearbook, and annual graduate dinner and to expand the Student Excellence in Professional Preparation Program (StEPP).  

Dr. Gans will be leaving his full-time position at the University to pursue other opportunities, however, he will continue to stay in touch with many faculty, staff, students, and alumni and return to campus frequently.  A reception to honor Dr. Gans’ lifelong service and dedication will be held at a later date.

Categories: Announcement, News, Alumni, Faculty, Academics, Leadership, Philadelphia, College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Pharmacy, Pharmacy Administration