Founding Dean of the Medco School of Pharmacy Ruth Nemire addresses guests in Lenfell Hall.

MELISSA HARTZ
Editor-in-Chief

“Today is special and historic,” began Fairleigh Dickinson University President Michael Adams. “This is the official birth of an incredible and innovative program.”

On Feb. 3, over 200 guests gathered in Lenfell Hall to celebrate the unveiling of the Medco School of Pharmacy, a project nearly three years in the making. The opening of the school is not only a special occasion for the university, but also for New Jersey, as FDU’s is the first pharmacy school to be established in the state since 1892.

The concept was introduced to the university by Assistant Dean of Students for Judicial Affairs Dwight Davidson, and Dean of Becton College Geoffrey Weinman and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Michael Avaltroni were among those responsible for the program’s outreach, design and development.

The school of pharmacy is named for Medco Health Solutions, Inc., the Franklin Lakes-based company that donated $5 million to support the program’s opening in Fall 2012. Medco Chairman and CEO David B. Snow, Jr. expressed his positive view of the partnership between Medco and FDU.

“We are proud to work with Fairleigh Dickinson University in the opening of the Medco School of Pharmacy and to offer our experience and expertise in support of a new generation of pharmacy school graduates who will be able to apply their education across a wide range of health care fields,” said Snow during his speech. “We also look forward to collaborating on new advancements in the practice of pharmacy and on research initiatives of mutual interest. Together we can have an even greater impact on health care in our country.”

“Now is our time to change the world,” said Founding Dean of the Medco School of Pharmacy Ruth Nemire. “It is time to be leaders in a revolution in heathcare.” Nemire was hired as the founding dean last November.

The Medco School of Pharmacy plans to graduate students who can keep up with the ever-changing responsibilities of modern pharmacists.

Medco Chairman and CEO David Snow and FDU President Michael Adams look on during the opening ceremony.

In his address, Snow noted that the pharmacists of today, and the future, will be those to come out from behind the counter and become more responsible for face-to-face patient care.

Nemire outlined the major points of the program, which include a focus on individualized patient care, integrated technology and inclusion of beta testing within the curriculums.
“We will graduate students who will take us to the future,” said Nemire.

In addition to its pharmaceutical degree, the Medco School of Pharmacy is currently seeking approval to include several master’s degrees in health sciences so that students in the program will gain specialty knowledge. Once approved, these master’s degrees will include regulatory affairs, clinical trials management, health humanities, health communications and health and pharmacy informatics.

“No other pharmacy school in the country offers the range of dual-degree programs that the Medco School will provide,” said Nemire.

In Fall 2012, the school of pharmacy’s first class, about 85 students altogether, will begin their journey toward graduation, gaining the necessary knowledge and skills to become pharmacists ready for the ever-changing landscape of the field.

Photos courtesy of www.fdu.edu

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