New facility will benefit pharmacy students, hospital

By Sidney Burngasser

Jackson-Madison County General Hospital is partnering with Union’s School of Pharmacy to develop the Pharmacy Education Center, to be located in the lower level of the hospital.

The classroom space, next to the hospital’s own pharmacy, will house 12 student workstations and a conference room to be used in conjunction with the previously established learning program.

Each station will be equipped with state-of-the-art computers, allowing students to work independently of supervisors. The project is scheduled for completion before February.

This enhancement is the latest addition to a long-standing partnership between the School of Pharmacy and the hospital.

“The pharmacy staff is excited for the students to get here,” said Dr. Sherry Osborne, executive director of the department. “While we have already been working with them through the Applied Therapeutics Class, it will be a completely different experience when they do a clinical rotation here for an entire month.”

In addition to introductory practice, clinicals will allow students to become oriented with the hospital, patients and medical specializations.

Students will complete two semesters of month-long rotations that allow for in-depth examination and analysis of patient charts.

“Roughly 25 percent of pharmacy education occurs in the practice world,” said Dr. George DeMaagd, associate dean of the School of Pharmacy. “Jackson-Madison County General Hospital is a part of everything that goes on here. We consider them faculty and rely on their expertise.”

Osborne said, “It has been a pleasure working corroboratively with the faculty of the Union School of Pharmacy. With every encounter I have with the students, I am able to see the quality of the program and how it is only growing. All of this is coming together as a result of the continued partnership between the hospital and Union.”

The partnership is a consequence of an increasing demand for pharmacists, and will benefit both students and the hospital as it becomes a reality.

“The hospital obviously sees this as training of practitioners to assist them in the future and further their needs,” DeMaagd said.

The hospital is an affiliate of West Tennessee Healthcare. It is a 634-bed facility that serves approximately 400,000 residents in a 17-county area.

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