Summer Program Exposes High Schoolers to Pharmacy Profession, Careers

July 18, 2012

Media Contact: David N. Hefner, (678) 547-6244 or Hefner_DN@Mercer.edu

ATLANTA – Fifty high school students are scheduled to participate in a three-day pharmacy summer program at Mercer University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences thanks to a $10,000 gift from Walgreens designed to foster diversity in the field of pharmacy. Most of the participants attend metro Atlanta high schools, but some are coming from other Georgia cities, and even other states such as North Carolina and Wisconsin.

The Mercer Pharmacy Scholars Summer Program runs July 24-26 on the University’s Atlanta campus. The program, now in its second year, is for rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors with interests in careers in pharmacy or pharmaceutical sciences. The program includes activities in a compounding lab and workshops in pharmacy ethics, drug identification and patient care, as well as a pharmacy-related field trip. A panel of pharmacists will also discuss pharmacy careers with the participants.

“This summer program is critically important to increasing awareness among young people of the unique training, expertise and value of pharmacists and pharmaceutical sciences within the health care delivery system,” said Hewitt W. “Ted” Matthews, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and senior vice president of Mercer’s new Health Sciences Center.

“The generous gift from Walgreens also allows us to expand opportunities in this profession to underrepresented groups, which is critical as our health care system expands to meet the increased needs of Americans who are becoming more ethnically diversified and are living longer lives.”

In April, the Mercer University Board of Trustees approved the formation of the Mercer University Health Sciences Center to coordinate the efforts of the University’s medical, nursing, and pharmacy and health sciences colleges. The center will also establish the University’s new College of Health Professions, effective July 1, 2013, which will include the University’s existing programs in public health, physician assistants and physical therapy.   

About the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Mercer University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is the No. 4 ranked pharmacy program among private universities in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. The College offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.), pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.), and physical therapy (DPT), and the master’s degree (M.M.Sc.) for physician assistants. Founded in 1903 as the independent Southern School of Pharmacy, the school merged with Mercer University in 1959 and in 1981 became the first school in the Southeast to offer the Doctor of Pharmacy degree as its sole professional degree. The College officially became a comprehensive College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2006, adding the Department of Physician Assistant Studies in 2006 and the Department of Physical Therapy in 2010. With an enrollment of more than 800 students and a distinguished faculty of basic scientists and clinicians, the College houses five centers focusing on research, teaching and learning. The College’s motto, “A Tradition of Excellence – A Legacy of Caring,” frames its philosophy of providing excellent academic programs in an environment where every student matters and every person counts. For more information about the College, please call 678.547.6244 or visit www.cophs.mercer.edu.

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