National agency approves UH Hilo College of Pharmacy as continuing pharmacy education provider

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Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo College of Pharmacy is newly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education (CPE). ACPE is the national agency in charge of accrediting professional degree programs in pharmacy and providers of continuing pharmacy education.

"This is another significant benchmark with the very agency that will evaluate us for full accreditation when we graduate our first class in 2011," said Dean John Pezzuto. "Our CPE program will allow us to attract pharmacists and their families to Hilo as we develop and maintain stronger ties throughout the country. It will help us support the professional growth of pharmacists in our home state of Hawai╩╗i. And it will give our future graduates a reason to return."

All pharmacists in the United States are required to take pharmacy continuing education classes in order to renew their licenses every two years. In Hawai╩╗i, all licensed pharmacists must complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education that has been approved by ACPE during each two-year period.

According to the ACPE, CPE courses must "promote continued learning and a readiness to use the best and most current practice ideas and techniques." The organization requires a "First Review Report" due Spring 2010, and a "Second Review Report" due Spring 2011.

In May, the College was approved to offer continuing medical education (CME) by the Hawai╩╗i Medical Association. CPE programs sponsored by the College of Pharmacy will cover the same broad range of topics in medicine and patient care, said Dr. Karen Pellegrin, chair of the continuing education executive committee and director of strategic planning for the College of Pharmacy.

"This will be a good opportunity for us to promote interdisciplinary teamwork as physicians and pharmacists take classes together," Pellegrin said. "But in some cases, we'll have pharmacy-specific programs, as in our preceptor training which is designed to support the educational needs of the healthcare professionals who contribute to the experiential training of our pharmacy students."

The ACPE also awarded the College of Pharmacy candidate accreditation in July 2008.

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