The Paso del Norte Health Foundation recently awarded $1 million to The University of Texas (UTEP) at El Paso School of Pharmacy (SOP) to support the growth and accreditation of their Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program.
“We are grateful to the Paso del Norte Health Foundation for supporting this endeavor,” says Jose O. Rivera, PharmD, Founding Dean, University of Texas, School of Pharmacy. “Building our program and developing qualified pharmacists to work in our region is one of our main goals.”
The School of Pharmacy has since been involved in developing a fully-accredited PharmD program in El Paso and enrolled the first class of 40 students in the fall of 2017, with 60 more students expected in the fall of 2018.
According to PdNHF Officials, the Health Foundation’s award will support “SOP’s efforts to achieve full-accreditation, develop a local supply of future pharmacists and contribute to the overall economic growth and health of the region.”
UTEP’s School of Pharmacy has been an active member and grantee of the Health Foundation’s A Smoke Free Paso del Norte Initiative, providing expertise and support to regional partners and coalitions who work to eliminate tobacco smoking in the region. They have integrated tobacco cessation into their curriculum, developed promotional materials aimed at preventing smoking among youth, promoted quit lines and smoking cessation efforts, and are conducting research on e-cigarettes and thirdhand smoke.
The initiative’s work with UTEP’s participation, has resulted in measurable declines in smoking rates (from 24% in 2002 to 13.8% today) and a correlating reduction in the incidence of lung cancer.