St. Louis College of Pharmacy
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Contact: Brad Brown
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St. Louis College of Pharmacy to Partner with College of Pharmacy in South Africa

Published on 24 June 2013

The AIDS epidemic in South Africa has produced a substantial need for health care professionals. To help meet that demand, St. Louis College of Pharmacy has been chosen to assist in the development and expansion of a pharmacy technician training program in South Africa. The College was the only school of pharmacy in the U.S. selected to work in South Africa. On Wednesday, May 22, three faculty members will travel to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth for the first of four visits to establish the program. Later this year, professors from NMMU will visit the College.

“There’s a need for about 2,500 additional pharmacy technicians per year in South Africa,” says Ken Schafermeyer, Ph.D., director of international programs at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. “Pharmacy technicians there practice with limited supervision and are an excellent resource for delivering care for the more than five million HIV and AIDS patients in the country.”

The College was selected through a competitive grant process by the American International Health Alliance (AIHA). Funding for the grant was provided by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are honored to assist Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in building up its capacity to educate pharmacy technicians and strengthening the education students receive there,” Schafermeyer says. “We’ll be sharing the same teaching methods we use at the College, including the importance of giving students practical experience working with patients to improve their health.”

Joining Schafermeyer on the trip will be Kimberly Simmons, Pharm.D., M.B.A., assistant vice president of diversity and inclusion, and Amy Tiemeier, Pharm.D., BCPS, director of professional affairs. The two institutions will stay in contact through the year via e-mail and distance learning technology.

“We will also determine how this project may involve students from St. Louis College of Pharmacy,” Schafermeyer says. “The goal of the Office of International Programs is to promote cultural competence, emphasize the importance of a world view, and enable students to think broadly about issues concerning humanity. We feel that this will help us prepare better pharmacists.”

Schafermeyer and two St. Louis College of Pharmacy students, Katie Conklen and Belma Muharemovic, worked with the Swaziland Ministry of Health and Management Sciences for Health last summer to help establish a similar pharmacy assistant program at Southern Africa Nazarene University in Manzini, Swaziland.

About St. Louis College of Pharmacy: For more than 150 years, St. Louis College of Pharmacy has been committed to educating the best pharmacists in the United States. The region’s only independent college of pharmacy, St. Louis College of Pharmacy is the third oldest continuously operating and 10th largest college of pharmacy in America. The student body is comprised of 1,400 students, 40 percent of which are minority or multicultural. The students come to the College from 31 states and 10 countries. The College admits students directly from high school and accepts transfer students and graduates from other colleges and universities in the sophomore and junior years of the undergraduate program and the first year of the professional program. Students earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) with an integrated Bachelor of Science degree in a seven-year curriculum. An education at the College opens up the world to graduates for a career in a wide range of practice settings. Graduates have a 100 percent job placement rate. The campus is transforming to better fit the needs of students, faculty, and staff. This summer, a new six-story, 213,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art academic and research building opened. Construction is underway for a seven-story student center, residence hall, and recreation facility scheduled for completion in December 2016. When not in class, students can participate in more than 60 organizations, fraternities, intramurals, and sports. The College competes in 12 NAIA Division I sports. College alumni practice throughout the nation and in 13 different countries, providing a strong network to assist students with their goals. Additional information is available at