College of Pharmacy awarded four-year accreditation
By Jan Jarvis
The UNT System College of Pharmacy at UNT Health Science has reached another milestone just eight years after it was founded in 2011. The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education has granted the college a four-year accreditation term, the maximum allowed for a new program.
Achieving this latest goal has taken years of dedication, starting with a group of leaders who believed Fort Worth needed a pharmacy school and set out to make it happen. Many people from across the campus and in the community have played a part in achieving this goal, Dean Suresh Madhavan, PhD, said.
“They came here with the charge of building a pharmacy school at a time when they had no students, and now look what they have done,” he said. “We are building this college thanks to the efforts of so many people.”
The push for a pharmacy college to serve North Texas took off in 2011 with support from state Senator Jane Nelson, Chancellor Lee Jackson and Brint Ryan, Chairman of the UNT System Board of Regents.
Dr. Thomas Yorio, Provost Emeritus, played a key role in working with state leaders to secure approval of the college. Founding Dean Myron Jacobson and Senior Associate Dean Tina Machu also led the effort.
“Dean Jacobson was a phenomenal leader because he knew what needed to be done and never micro-managed,” Dr. Machu said. “He left before accreditation in 2017, but he ensured that our accreditation documents were in tip-top shape.”
In 2017, Charles Taylor, PharmD, was named Dean of the College of Pharmacy and began building on the foundation that had been laid by previous leaders. He was named Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs in 2018.
“Receiving this accreditation validates what I already knew. Our System College of Pharmacy is built on an exceptional foundation with outstanding faculty, staff and students,” Dr. Taylor said. “I am very proud of all we have accomplished thus far and look forward to great things ahead with the leadership of our new Dean, Dr. Suresh Madhavan.”
Dr. Madhavan said he would continue to build on the tradition of creating an outstanding educational program as well as focusing on research efforts.
“What has most impressed me is how innovative and hardworking faculty members are, and while building a great curriculum, they were also getting research funding to rank No. 52 among the 144 colleges of pharmacy in all grant funding,” he said.
There is also an eye on the future of health care and preparing graduates to work in diverse pharmacy careers. As the role of pharmacists evolves, graduates will be prepared to work with other health care providers. This comprehensive approach will provide integrated care, reduce costs and ultimately improve the quality of care for all patients, Dr. Madhavan said.
The move toward offering dual degrees, providing international rotations and increasing residency opportunities is adding value and expanding opportunities for pharmacy students, Dr. Machu said.
The four-year accreditation means the pharmacy program meets all standards set by the ACPE. It extends accreditation through June 2023.
“It’s like a check-up to see how well we are doing,” Dr. Machu said. “When they come back in four years, we hope to get an eight-year accreditation term.”