USF Health wins key $6M School of Pharmacy funding

TAMPA, FL  (June 4, 2010) — USF Health can now move forward with plans to establish its new School of Pharmacy, thanks to approval by the Florida Legislature, which awarded $6 million in the budget signed last week by Gov. Charlie Crist.

“This is an exciting moment for healthcare in Florida,” said Dr. Stephen Klasko, dean of the USF College of Medicine and CEO of USF Health. “We are grateful that the Florida Board of Governors, the USF Board of Trustees, USF President Judy Genshaft and state lawmakers all have recognized the critical need for more pharmacists in the state’s shifting healthcare landscape.

“The school also presents a great economic development opportunity for the entire state of Florida,” Dr. Klasko added.

The Board of Governors approved the plan last year to establish the four-year Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (PharmD) Program in the USF College of Medicine. The School of Pharmacy plans to begin enrolling students in August 2011. The school’s first dean, Kevin Sneed, PharmD, now is heading the effort to hire more faculty and staff and go through the accreditation process.  The state’s approval of the USF PharmD license and the awarding of $6 million of recurring funding allows USF to begin the process of achieving accreditation and selecting students.

USF’s pharmacy program will be a model of innovation, Dr. Klasko said. It will prepare pharmacists for a future in which they help provide care designed specifically for individual patients, Dr. Sneed said.

“Tomorrow’s pharmacists will be expected to take a lead role in managing and delivering technologically-advanced pharmaceutical care based on a patient’s genetic makeup and individualized responses to medications,” Dr Sneed said. “We are building a program strategically designed to prepare pharmacy clinicians for this challenging new model of patient-centered practice.”

The program will emphasize interdisciplinary collaboration, so that pharmacy students can learn from faculty and other resources in the USF Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health. Pharmacy students will receive their clinical training at USF-affiliated teaching hospitals across the state, most of which have pharmacy residency programs, and at outpatient sites, including the Watson Clinic in Polk County and the Centers for Advanced Healthcare on USF Health’s north and south campuses.

“As Baby Boomers age, we are ill-prepared to deal with the medication impact – and the impact is going to be greatest in Florida,” said Dr. Sneed. “The USF School of Pharmacy is helping Florida prepare for its future healthcare needs.”

USF Health remains committed to having the program become an anchor at USF’s newest campus, USF Polytechnic.  “We are disappointed that Governor Crist vetoed the pharmacy and other buildings at USF Polytechnic, but we are confident that the state will understand the importance of that campus in a revitalized Florida economy,” Dr. Klasko said.  “The veto in no way decreases our commitment to USF Polytechnic.”

The School of Pharmacy is one more way that USF Health is helping design tomorrow’s health care, Dr. Klasko said.

“In so many ways, the USF School of Pharmacy represents the spirit of USF Health,” Dr. Klasko said. “USF saw a need for more pharmacists to provide the best healthcare in the future. We designed a unique program that will be innovative and groundbreaking. Then we delivered on that vision. The School of Pharmacy will provide a great opportunity for Florida students – and their future patients.”

– USF Health –
USF Health ( is dedicated to creating a model of health care based on understanding the full spectrum of health. It includes the University of South Florida’s colleges of medicine, nursing, and public health; the schools of biomedical sciences as well as physical therapy & rehabilitation sciences; and the USF Physicians Group. With more than $380.4 million in research grants and contracts last year, the University of South Florida is one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community-engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.