Alaska , Idaho educators partner for pharmacy program


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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska's first doctoral pharmacy program is near its debut at the University of Alaska Anchorage through a partnership with Idaho State University.

The program launching Monday allows students pursuing doctorates in pharmacy to stay in Alaska to finish their degrees, KTUU-TV reported (http://bit.ly/2b7TKG0).

Tom Wadsworth, ISU/UAA college of pharmacy assistant dean of Alaska programs, said the curriculum will help bridge a gap in rural areas where communities have trouble finding enough pharmacists.

"A lot of people wat to stay with their families, they want to stay where they grew up, they want to influence the community that they live in," Wadsworth said. "Right up until now if you wanted a degree in pharmacy you had to leave the state. There were a few distance programs, but you had to leave the state to do parts of that program."

The two universities have 80 students enrolled, with seven in Anchorage including Corrie Black from Kodiak.

"It's more than just counting pills, Black said. "There's so much care and attention to what a pharmacist does to contribute."

Long-distance learning will keep students connected from state to state.

Wadsworth said the expansion will not be impacted by university budget cuts.

"This program is not funded by the state," Wadsworth said. "This expansion is supported strictly by student tuition, so we're not really dependent on state funds at this time and that's been good for the program."

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Information from: KTUU-TV, http://www.ktuu.com

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