Texas A&M Health Science Center expands Rangel College of Pharmacy to College Station

The Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy today announced plans for expansion of the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) program to the Bryan-College Station campus.

“By adding pharmacy to the health science center’s existing Bryan-College Station-based professional programs in medicine, nursing and public health, all of our students across the disciplines will have enhanced opportunities to develop their knowledge and technical skills in a team environment that characterizes modern health care delivery” said Brett Giroir, M.D., interim executive vice president and CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center. “Learning to function as a team will, at the end of the day, result in improved quality health care to patients throughout Texas and the nation.”

With 647 applicants vying for a position in the Kingsville campus’s 87-member Class of 2017, additional capacity was needed beyond Kingsville due to the limited number of clinical training settings within driving distance of that campus. Pending approval of the expansion plan from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the college will accept an additional 30 to 35 students per class in August 2014.

“I take so much pride in seeing the tremendous growth of the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy,” said state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., who represents District 27. “When the school was dedicated, it was the first professional school in South Texas, created to address gaps in the health-related workforce in our historically underserved area. In only a few short years, the school, under the careful administration of the Texas A&M Health Science Center, has surpassed that vision, attracting a diverse group of exemplary faculty and students from South Texas and across the nation. The overwhelming number of interested applicants to the college speaks for itself.  The Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy is changing the health care landscape across Texas.  I congratulate the college on its success.”

 Since graduating its inaugural class in 2010, the college has added 309 pharmacists to the workforce – 45 percent hail from South Texas and one-third are practicing in the region.

“In the less than eight years since inception, the college has quickly emerged as a national leader in pharmacy education, ranking among the top 50 programs in the nation in 2012 according to U.S. News & World Report,” said Indra K. Reddy, Ph.D., professor and founding dean of the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy. “By expanding the college to a second campus, we are building upon that strong foundation of excellence and answering the call for improved access to health care across the state.”

Current Texas A&M Health Science Center faculty members have been named as interim vice deans for each of the college’s campuses until the positions are permanently filled in 2014. Allison Rice-Ficht, Ph.D., who leads the Center for Microencapsulation and Drug Delivery, will head pharmacy programs at the Bryan campus and Mary Chavez, Pharm.D., FAACP, professor and chair of the department of pharmacy practice since 2006, will lead the college’s Kingsville campus.

“Bringing the expertise of pharmacy students and faculty to Bryan-College Station will greatly enhance the education and research opportunities for the current Texas A&M academic community, while providing additional opportunities for collaboration and innovation by pharmacists and pharmaceutical researchers both locally and in Kingsville,” Giroir said.  “Expanding our student training will also assist in ameliorating the shortage of pharmacy professionals within Texas, especially as the role of pharmacists in delivering care will significantly expand over the next decade.”

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