Accreditation board approves continuation of status for pharmacy

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642
Director, Media Relations, University Relations
Posted: Jul 27, 2010

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Pharmacy is on track to receive full accreditation next year after a positive evaluation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

ACPE is the national agency that sets standards for the education of pharmacists. At its annual June meeting in Illinois, ACPE's Board of Directors reviewed an interim report based on a March 22 visit to Hilo. The board voted to continue the status of candidate for accreditation to CoP's Doctor of Pharmacy program, which will graduate its first class in spring 2011.

“We have diligently concentrated on meeting every one of the 30 standards set aside by ACPE so we certainly anticipated a positive outcome,” said Dr. John M. Pezzuto, dean of the college of pharmacy. “But it never pays to be overconfident, and we didn't want to overlook the obvious. There is more work to be done before we are accredited next year, and we are just as dedicated as ever to fulfill our promise to our inaugural class.”

The reviewers commended Pezzuto for “assembling a strong leadership team and faculty. The degree of attention that has been given to developing all elements of the mission, including research and scholarship, is particularly notable for a new college at this stage of development,” according to the report.

Pre-visit materials met expectations in every category, with special attention recommended mainly in the areas of curriculum and facilities. The College of Pharmacy is currently housed in temporary facilities on the UH Hilo campus, with plans for a permanent building underway.

“The evaluation team notes the existence of a college mission statement and its consistency with that of the university,” the report stated. “It is notable that the college is now considering the development of other elements of its mission, including continuing pharmacy education, residency programs, graduate programs, and seeking federal funding to support scholarship and research.”

The evaluation team also noted plans to expand health care initiatives in nursing and physical therapy programs, and recommended support should be provided to ensure that the new programs coordinate well and expand opportunities for interprofessional education with the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

The university administration was commended in the report for providing support, noting that “the college enjoys a strong and supportive relationship with the university and university administration.”

“Our College of Pharmacy has been successful since its inception in 2007, and has met all the milestones for ACPE accreditation,” said Dr. Philip Castille, UH Hilo vice chancellor for academic affairs. “In itself this is a highly significant achievement because ACPE's standards are exceptionally stringent. But what also is truly remarkable is that Dean Pezzuto has hired a world-class pharmacy faculty and recruited a terrific cohort of PharmD students as the accrediting team noted with great approval. We're proud that they are part of the UH Hilo ʻohana.”

ACPE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national agency for the accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy.