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South College student pharmacists receive white coats, encouragement for profession’s future
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 16, 2015
For additional information,
Contact: Natalie Bailey
Today, 87 South College student pharmacists received their white coats marking the beginning of clinical rotations in the community.
As they took this educational step towards their professional careers, speakers focused on the future of the industry. Micah Cost, executive director of the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, spent the week at the National Community Pharmacists Association’s annual convention in Washington, D.C., where he and pharmacists from across the country lobbied for provider status for pharmacists.
The federal legislation, currently covered in House bill 592 and Senate bill 314, would allow pharmacists’ patient care services to be covered by Medicaid and insurance providers.
“This important, patient-focused legislation would increase opportunities for patients, especially those in medically underserved areas, to receive essential care and services provided by our pharmacists,” Cost said. “Pharmacists are among the most accessible and trusted health care providers, and it is important for us to be formally recognized within the larger health care team.
“More importantly, our patients need access to more efficient and coordinated teams of providers, including pharmacists, in order to improve their health outcomes and reduce overall costs to our healthcare system.”
While Cost was in Washington, U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., a co-sponsor of the House bill, was in Knoxville. On Monday, Duncan visited South College School of Pharmacy and discussed the importance of the congressional bills. Duncan said he wants to ensure communities are able to use pharmacists to their full potential.
“It has been a great week for our school,” said Walter Fitzgerald, dean of South College School of Pharmacy. “With Congressman Duncan visiting on Monday and Micah speaking to our students today, the future of our industry is very bright. This ceremony is a significant step for these PharmD candidates in their journey during a very exciting time for our profession.”
The School of Pharmacy is the first doctorate degree program at South College. South College offers an accelerated, three-year curriculum unique to pharmacy education in Tennessee. This fully accredited PharmD degree program enables graduates to apply for licensure as a pharmacist.
About South College
South College is a private institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to offer programs at the doctorate, master’s, baccalaureate, and associate levels. To learn more about South College, visit http://www.southcollegetn.edu.