A residency program in community pharmacy that gives licensed pharmacists opportunities for further training through the College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has been awarded national accreditation.
“Pharmacy residency programs are similar to training that allows medical doctors to gain postgraduate training,” noted Anita Ciarleglio, assistant professor in the college’s Department of Pharmacy Practice.
“Receiving a three-year accreditation was a coup for us because we’re so new,” Ciarleglio said. “It means we can continue to concentrate on patient care while giving licensed pharmacists from all over the country the experience they need to get on with their careers and gives them credentials to compete for jobs.”
Accreditation for the residency program mirrored the accreditation process for the college, which was awarded last year after the inaugural class graduated from UH Hilo, Ciarleglio said.
Community pharmacy training on Maui
The UH Hilo pharmacy residency program has been conducted on the island of Maui where Ciarleglio is the project’s program director. She began compiling data that met standards for accreditation more than two years ago with assistance from Bill Jones, a pharmacist who was the pharmacy residency director for 23 years at the Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Tucson, Arizona.
Thus far, five pharmacists have gone through the program at Maui Clinic Pharmacy and are able to get retroactive credit for being part of an accredited program. All have since left the program to attain gainful employment as pharmacists.
They include Sheena Jolson (University of Arizona, Class of 2010), Amy Baker (University of New Mexico, Class of 2010), Tehane Ornellas (UH Hilo, Class of 2011), Erika Miyahira (UH Hilo, Class of 2011) and Christina Mnatzaganian (University of Arizona, Class of 2011). Mnatzaganian has joined the College of Pharmacy faculty.
Ciarleglio referred to these women as “true trailblazers” for believing in the program while it was still being accredited.
“These women are redefining community pharmacy,” Ciarleglio said. “They primarily act as the liaison between the community, the hospital and the physician, and provide a continuity of care that just wasn’t there before.”
—Adapted from a University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo news release