Duluth -- A new pharmacy program is set to open at UMD in September 2003. The program will be an expansion of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. The announcement was made at a news conference held by University officials at UMD today.
The expansion to UMD is aimed at addressing the severe shortage of pharmacists in Minnesota, especially in Greater Minnesota. Minnesota had the highest aggregate demand for pharmacists (of all states) between 1999 and 2001, the most recent year for which data are available. The UMD pharmacy program will serve several purposes, including educating students in Greater Minnesota, making it more likely they will practice in the region.
UMD Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin said, "UMD is very pleased to participate in this rural health care initiative which is so important to our state and our region. We are proud to be providing basic science education for students admitted to the pharmacy program, and excited about opportunities for important collaborative research involving the School of Medicine, the College of Pharmacy, and the UMD College of Science and Engineering."
In September 2003, 50 students will be enrolled in the program at UMD as first year pharmacy students. The second year of the pharmacy program will be added in 2004, with the third and fourth added in the following two years. Each UMD class will have 50 students. The new pharmacy program will be temporarily housed in the UMD Kirby Plaza Building until completion of the renovation of the Life Sciences Building. UMD officials anticipate that renovation to be complete in either the Fall of 2005 or 2006.
"We are excited about the opportunity to better serve the health needs of Minnesotans and look forward to the collaboration with UMD and the Duluth community," said Marilyn Speedie, Ph.D., dean of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.
"This expansion represents the fulfillment of a commitment to the state of Minnesota," said Frank Cerra, Sr. Vice President for Health Sciences. "We promised to meet the need for health professionals in the state through funding from the tobacco settlement - and that's what we're doing with this pharmacy program."
This is the first branch expansion of the College of Pharmacy in its 110-year history. The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy is the only pharmacy school in the state.
"I am gratified that the Legislature and the University have been responsive to the problems created by the shortage of pharmacists," Speedie says. "I anticipate that this expansion will help alleviate the problem."
The recurring funding for the program will come from the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center (AHC) Education Endowment funded with tobacco settlement funds, and tuition. Start-up funding will come from the AHC Endowment and private funding.
The College of Pharmacy is a four-year program. Students are accepted into the four-year program after completing at least two years of undergraduate education.
The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy had 360 applications for admittance to the Class of 2006. Of those applications, 121 students were admitted.
News Conference Officials:
Kathryn A. Martin, Chancellor, University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD)
Frank Cerra, M.D., Senior Vice President Health Sciences, Academic Health Center University of Minnesota
Marilyn Speedie, Ph.D., Dean, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota
James P. Riehl, Dean, UMD College of Science and Engineering
Richard Ziegler, Dean, Duluth School of Medicine