(4 March 2008)
Over the past few years the College has cultivated affiliations with institutions and practice sites in the Upstate, including the Greenville Hospital System (GHS) and Spartanburg Regional Health-System (SRH) and many community pharmacy partners. We are firmly established in the Upstate and have ambitious plans for the next few years to continue to expand pharmacy education and also alleviate the shortage of pharmacists in the region.
Last year the College hired Dr. Alissa Smith, its first full-time Upstate regional director. Based at GHS, she has responsibility for all training throughout the Upstate and works with preceptors in many locations. The Greenville Hospital System has invested significantly in the SCCP, providing personnel, facilities, talent and financial support to prepare the College to grow and help meet the increasing pharmacy needs of the Upstate. There are 14 clinical faculty members at GHS already working part-time for SCCP and GHS has invested $5 million in the College in a partnership to support pharmacy education in the Upstate. In 2009, the newly-constructed Research and Education Innovation Institute (REII) on the GHS campus will open and the College will have over 5,000 square feet of dedicated space as well as considerable shared space for instruction and student support. For 2008-09, over 100 introductory and advanced student practice experiences are planned at GHS.
The College also has a number of initiatives in progress or being generated with Spartanburg Regional Health-System and with community pharmacies. At SRH, SCCP will co-fund a faculty position in the near future. The College has affiliations with many independent pharmacies throughout the Upstate as well as chain and supermarket pharmacies. At present, there are approximately 800 alumni from either USC or MUSC Colleges of Pharmacy who practice in the Upstate and many serve as preceptors for student training.
Growth of pharmacy education in the Upstate will occur in three phases. We are currently implementing Phase 1. Over the next one to two years we will expand pharmacy training in community, clinic, and health-system facilities. This will include introductory and advanced practice experiences. Phase 2 will occur over the next one to two years as we initiate pharmacy education for our 3rd professional year at GHS. This could begin as soon as fall 2009. In Phase 3, four to five years from now, we plan to offer the full, four-year doctor of pharmacy program in the Upstate. Implementation of this phase will require new University resources and the approval of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.
That is a brief “update on the Upstate.” The SCCP is committed to providing the best pharmacy education, comparable to the top colleges in the country. The long and exemplary history of pharmacy education at our two campuses in Columbia and Charleston, along with our new campus in Greenville, will assure the legacy of our alumni and friends. Thanks for all that you do for the College to make SCCP one of the premier pharmacy colleges in the nation. Please do not hesitate to contact me, USC Campus Dean Rowen or MUSC Campus Dean Karig if you have any questions.