College of Pharmacy joins north Fort Wayne health care growth with classroom-research facility

News release (March 31, 2011)

Supported by a $35 million grant, Manchester University will break ground this summer on a College of Pharmacy building designed for world-class education, research and hundreds of northeast Indiana health care and education collaborations.

The school will join the health care growth at Interstate 69 and Dupont Road in north Fort Wayne, said Manchester President Jo Young Switzer. The location is optimal: just minutes from Parkview’s Regional Medical Center and Dupont Hospital, and a quick drive to Lutheran Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System, DeKalb Memorial Hospital in Auburn, Parkview Hospital on Randallia Drive and the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Manchester’s four-year Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program will include more than 700 community experiential (internship) partnerships for its students, said President Switzer. An aggressive one-year construction schedule will have the facility ready for its first 70 doctoral students when classes start in August 2012, pending approval by the accreditation organization for pharmacy.

Our pharmacy students will benefit from being part of such a dynamic health corridor,” said President Switzer. “We are grateful for the many ways the entire northeast Indiana health community is opening doors for the Pharmacy School. Two impressive health systems – Lutheran Health Network and Parkview Health – as well as extensive commercial pharmacies provide rich resources.”

In selling nearly 12 acres on its north campus to the College, Parkview Health continues to assist the new pharmacy school as it moves from its start-up headquarters on Parkview’s Randallia campus in central Fort Wayne. The transformative $35 million Lilly Endowment grant, a need for more research space and a too-tight renovation schedule for the Randallia facility led to the search for another home for the College of Pharmacy, Switzer said.

Until its new facility is ready in July 2012, the College of Pharmacy will continue to occupy the top floor of Carew Medical Park on the Randallia campus of Parkview Hospital.

Design Collaborative will provide architectural leadership for general contractor Kinder & Sons Inc. to construct the two-story structure. Both Fort Wayne-based firms have helped the University transform its North Manchester campus.

A brand-new facility designed for pharmacy education and research is accelerating recruitment of 40 excellent faculty, said Philip J. Medon, vice president and founding dean of the College of Pharmacy. “Frankly, a new building for the school of pharmacy will help in the recruiting of students and faculty, with its space and technological advantages.”

With 18 months before the first 70 students arrive, the College of Pharmacy already has seven of its eight administrators and four faculty members. Most administrators also will teach. “We are in an excellent position,” said Medon.

Research facilities are a big hiring attraction, Medon said. The 5,000 square feet of state-of-the-art research facilities, research equipment and collaborations will help draw exceptional faculty. “We’re seeking to hire people with new ideas, who want to try novel things not tried elsewhere,” said Medon. Faculty and students also will engage in outcomes research, gauging the effectiveness, cost benefits, therapeutic benefits of medicines.

The College is swiftly building partnerships with community pharmacists, agencies, health systems and organizations for experiential (internship) opportunities for the pharmacy students. “This is just fantastic,” said Medon. “The whole community has been very open to our experiential needs.”

In their fourth and final year, pharmacy students must engage in a full year of on-site experiential education. First-year students also will go into the field during their first year. That means these partnerships must be in place when the doctoral students begin their senior year in fall 2015. “We’ll be ready for them,” assures Medon.

 

The school design includes a 300-seat auditorium and small conference rooms that will be available for use by the northeast Indiana medical community. Lecture halls will be tiered 75-seat classrooms designed to facilitate small-group discussion. Smaller classrooms, faculty and administrative offices and student gathering areas are in the design.

 

The accreditation process also is on-schedule with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, said Medon. For more about the Manchester University College of Pharmacy, visit pharmacy.manchester.edu.

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