For more information about the Wuest Pharmacy Practice Fund or other giving opportunities in the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy, contact Meridy Glenn at 513-556-6788 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gifts Increase Wuest Pharmacy Practice Fund, Improving Student Education
Alumni weekends are a time to gather and reminisce, but during the upcoming Alumni Weekend, April 13-14, graduates of the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy will also have cause to celebrate. That’s because, due to the financial support of alumni, faculty, students and staff, the Wuest Pharmacy Practice Fund has more than doubled—from $25,000 to $60,000—since the fund was established in 2003.
"Over 10 years that’s pretty significant growth,” says Meridy Glenn, the college’s development director.
This growth is a testament in part to the continuous alumni support specific to the college and a reflection of alumni dedication to the profession, says Glenn, but also reflects the admiration the entire college holds for the fund’s namesake: professor emeritus J. Richard ("Dick”) Wuest, PharmD (‘58, ‘68, ‘71), a Cincinnati native who became a nationally recognized leader in pharmacy education and pharmacy practice.
Winner of the 2011 William Howard Taft Medal for Notable Achievement—the highest of six honors awarded by UC for lifelong excellence in a chosen field—Wuest’s influence went far beyond the UC community, extending to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy and numerous professional organizations throughout the country. In addition, Wuest provided drug information resources to pharmacists that allowed them to counsel patients about their medications, and was a leader in developing warning labels for prescription bottle alerts and reminders. Although he retired from the college in 2001, he still writes continuing education articles that help pharmacists keep current with new drugs and drug therapy.
In addition, Wuest and his wife, Suzanne Eastman Wuest, are devoted Bearcats fans and contribute to University of Cincinnati Athletics Team Support (UCATS) both financially and in the bleachers.
Wuest has six children, all of whom attended UC: Cathy (Pharm ‘85), Susan (A&S ‘86), Diana (Bus ‘87), David (Pharm ‘91) and wife Debra (Pharm ‘91), Douglas (Ed ‘12) and Patrick.And it’s a legacy that will soon span three generations, as his granddaughter, Meredyth Bond, graduates from the Winkle College of Pharmacy next month.
"The Wuest children have been referred to as ‘pharmacy brats’ … we still reminisce about being in the dispensing lab with my father over 40 years ago,” says, Diana Wuest Bond, Meredyth’s mother, who recently traveled from California to join the entire Wuest clan for the dedication of the college’s modern-day dispensing lab, the J. Richard Wuest Family Pharmacy Practice Skills Center to which her father made a significant gift to the university’s capital campaign.
"Dick was instrumental in the development of our experiential training programs and pharmacy practice laboratories as pharmacy transitioned to a patient centered profession. Our pharmacy practice skills center, named in honor of The J. Richard Wuest Family, expands our ability to educate and train our students to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing health care system,” says William Fant, Pharm D, the college’s interim dean.
While the skills center gives students the physical space to learn their profession, the Wuest Family Pharmacy Practice Fund provides the funds to purchase the tools specific to learning how to become a practicing pharmacist, says the college’s assistant dean Shauna Buring, PharmD. Those tools include items such as a simulation arm where students can practice taking blood pressures and the supplies needed to practice giving injections, such as gloves, alcohol swabs, needles and practice sponges. And because these skills, once acquired, are so often used in their community service rotations and volunteer work, the students see the full circle effect of supporting the fund.
What the fund does, Buring says, is give students—who become alumni—"a nice sense of giving back to the community and their alma mater,” which is something Wuest also instilled in his children.
Says his daughter Diana: "I would say that Dad is ‘paying it forward.’ Yes, he’s given (over 30) years as a professor and financial gifts as well, but he wants the college to thrive and succeed. … He wants us all to do our part.”