By Kevin Hogencamp
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital has added to its multidisciplinary approach to health care by expanding its partnership with the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy. UGA will now teach as many as 50 graduate-level pharmacy students in new classroom space on the Phoebe campus in the former Albany Middle School across from the hospital.
he new residency program that kicks off in the fall is a post-graduate program for doctors-of-pharmacy residents who have received their degrees, and for doctoral students in their third and fourth years of clinical training. The expansion of the pharmacy residency program at Phoebe also means that five new instructors and other College of Pharmacy staffers will call Albany home.
The pharmacy college’s Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday. The new space includes classroom space, a computer lab, and a lounge decorated in UGA red and black with a huge Georgia bulldog – the university’s mascot – painted on the wall.
The venture – 10 years in the making — aims to cut into the short of pharmacists in southwest Georgia.
“We (will) train them here in hopes they will stay here,” said Svein Oie, the pharmacy college’s dean. “Southwest Georgia for a long time has not had an adequate number of pharmacists.”
“This helps ensure that we have individuals who choose to practice in this area of the state,” added Laura Shearer, Phoebe’s senior vice president and chief nursing officer.
In addition to UGA’s full-time faculty, the southwest Georgia region has about 70 pharmacists offering advanced practice experiences. Students have opportunities in hospitals, long-term care, community pharmacies, specialty pharmacies, ambulatory care clinics and others.
The UGA-Phoebe partnership has a far-reaching community impact, said Phoebe CEO Joel Wernick.
“I remind myself that it’s not buildings and equipment that takes care of patients, it’s people that take care of patients,” Wernick said.
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and University of Georgia administrators and faculty cut the ribbon last week to UGA’s College of Pharmacy in Albany.