Walgreens funds diversity efforts at UH Hilo's College of Pharmacy

University of Hawaiʻi
Martha Hanson, (808) 956-3716
AVP of Communications and Donor Relations, University of Hawaii Foundation
Posted: Mar 18, 2010

HILO - The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo College of Pharmacy has received $10,000 from retail pharmacy giant Walgreens to fund a diversity initiative at the university. This gift will fund a program to heighten student understanding of native Hawaiian culture, as well as one scholarship for a pharmacy student who has made efforts toward raising awareness or educating others regarding diversity in pharmacy practice.
“We’re very appreciative to Walgreens for their continued support and plan to put the money from the diversity initiative to good use to further foster an appreciation of our Hawaiian culture,” said College of Pharmacy Dean John M. Pezzuto. “Walgreens’ commitment helps us take our place alongside the top pharmacy colleges in the country in the critical business of educating students about the multicultural population we all serve.”
In 2009, Walgreens began the program to donate $1 million annually toward diversity initiatives at all of the pharmacy schools across the country. This is the second year the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy was awarded the gift from Walgreens.
“I’m very happy to see the College of Pharmacy utilize the richness of the Hawaiian and local culture to teach the respect and wealth of ideas that is engrained in our very history,” said Gail Makuakane-Lundin, director of Kipuka Native Hawaiian Student Center.
With this new initiative, Walgreens said it hopes more students will be encouraged to consider the contributions they could make as front-line health professionals in America's neighborhood drugstores.
The UH Hilo College of Pharmacy was officially launched in 2007 and was awarded candidate accreditation status by the Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education in July 2008. The college will be eligible for full accreditation when its first class of students graduate from the four-year program next year.
“It’s been amazing to see the progress UH Hilo has made in the last three years to develop this first home-grown, world-class College of Pharmacy for students here in Hawai‘i and throughout the Pacific,” said Nancy Huang, Walgreens district pharmacy supervisor for Hawai‘i. “We continue to look for the best pharmacists who can help us deliver great retail, specialty and clinical services to our patients. It’s good to know there will be a new generation of pharmacists in the pipeline ready to serve Hawai‘i’s growing aging population and its complex pharmacy needs of the future.”
Walgreens also recently completed a $50,000 pledge, to support the building fund for the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy, the only pharmacy college in the Pacific region.
For information about the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy, call (808) 933-2909 or pharmacy@hawaii.edu.
The University of Hawai‘i Hilo is a comprehensive university with five degree-granting colleges, six master’s programs and two doctoral programs. UH Hilo strives to integrate culture and science, offer hands-on learning opportunities to its students and use the Island of Hawai‘i as a natural learning laboratory. Enrollment has doubled since 1980 to nearly 4,000 students coming from all 50 states and more than 40 countries. Please visit www.uhh.hawaii.edu.
The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. Our mission is to unite our donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations to benefit the people of Hawai‘i and beyond. We do this by raising private philanthropic support, managing private investments and nurturing donor and alumni relationships. Please visit www.uhf. hawaii.edu.