Three University of Cincinnati (UC) graduates, Zack Dumont, Katelyn Johnson, and Travis Jacob will forever be able to jest that they graduated at the top of their class.
That’s because they are the first graduates of the University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy’s Pharmacy Leadership online master’s degree program. The program began in fall 2016.
"I know the achievement has opened doors—which door I’ll go through, I’m not yet sure. Regardless of my destination, I’ve been able to apply so much of what I’ve learned to my every day practice (and life!)” says Dumont, BSP, ACPR.
Dumont’s director, Kelly Babcock, BSP,at Saskatchewan Health Authority in Regina, Canada, says that when he heard about the program it seemed a logical step for Dumont, who Babcock says is an "up-and-comer” at the Health Authority.
Babcock says that since completing the coursework and the numerous mentorship sessions with Dumont, and discussing course material, "it seems like it (the program) is perfect for developing leaders in pharmacy. I would recommend it to anyone.”
Dumont will travel from Canada to attend Commencement on April 27 and Johnson and Jacob will also attend.
"Having this degree has prepared me for what to expect and how to be a proper leader within pharmacy. I cannot wait to put this degree to use,” says Jacob, a staff pharmacist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
There are currently 14 other students enrolled. Students can earn either a certificate or a master’s degree in pharmacy leadership. Winkle College is one of the first pharmacy schools in the country to design a completely online graduate degree and certificate program in pharmacy leadership for candidates who already hold a professional pharmacy degree.
Students can complete this program from anywhere in the world and the courses are targeted toward working pharmacists. The college partnered with UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business and College of Allied Health Sciences to incorporate courses from their Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Health Administration (MHA) programs into the curriculum. Pharmacy-specific courses and capstone projects are also incorporated to ensure that the program is truly pharmacist-centric.
"I am excited to watch how these and future graduates of the program will apply the leadership and management skills gained in advancing their own careers as well as the profession,” says Jenelle Sobotka, PharmD, professor and program director.
The online pharmacy leadership program addresses a gap in the profession. For the past 25 years, Sobotka says, there has been an emphasis on direct patient care training, "which is still the heart of our profession, but we now need pharmacists with leadership skills critical to continue expanding our patient care roles and ensure these pharmacist services are recognized and valued in the health care delivery model.”
While other programs in pharmacy administration already exist in the country, they require in person attendance and are typically combined with a residency program, says Neil MacKinnon, PhD, dean of the college.
"We know that many pharmacists who are working full-time and have other family or life commitments are unable to relocate to pursue pharmacy leadership training. Our program was developed with those types of pharmacists in mind,” he says.
For more admission information, visit pharmacy.uc.edu.