CVS gives Howard University $300,000 for lab upgrade

7/10/2008

WASHINGTON Howard University and CVS officially opened on Thursday the university’s newly upgraded Pharmacy Practice Laboratory, where pharmacy students can hone their skills in a practice setting, learning how to dispense medication, counsel patients and utilize the technology found in many pharmacies.

CVS donated $300,000 to the renovation of the laboratory, building upon the company’s strong partnership with the school to provide enhanced educational and career opportunities.

“CVS/pharmacy is committed to building an outstanding workforce through win-win partnerships such as with Howard University, and through the hiring, training, development and retention of quality colleagues,” stated Gordon Howard, area vice president for the Washington D.C. market at CVS. “We are thrilled to expand our relationship with Howard University, a school with many outstanding alumni who are now talented pharmacists at our CVS/pharmacy stores in Washington, D.C. and beyond.”

The Pharmacy Practice Laboratory houses 24 state-of-the-art workstations that allow students to gain experience in entering and assessing patient-related information, such as health, allergy and medication history.

The workstations also provide access to other technical support needed to ensure appropriate delivery of medications, patient counseling and medication therapy management. The laboratory is also stocked with prescription and OTC medications, alternative medications, and home-testing devices so that students may practice dispensing and advising on medication and home tests.

The pharmacy retailer has partnered with Howard University in a number of ways beyond the laboratory. For example, CVS pharmacists guest lecture at the school’s pharmacy management class, judge the annual Patient Counseling competition and mentor Howard University pharmacy school interns at CVS pharmacy locations. More than 35 percent of Howard University pharmacy graduates began careers at CVS pharmacies this year. The company has similar partnerships with other schools nationwide.

Howard University has received an increased demand for its 70 freshmen class seats in the Doctor of Pharmacy program, growing from 300 applicants annually 10 years ago to 1,300 applicants today. A main driver for this growth is the job market. While many new college graduates in other fields may struggle to find jobs, pharmacist graduates generally receive numerous job offers with highly competitive salaries.

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