College of Pharmacy

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URI Dedicates CVS Caremark teaching/learning wing at the College of Pharmacy

Ceremonies mark support of new College of Pharmacy building


URI President David M. Dooley, right, and President and CEO of CVS Caremark, Larry Merlo, left, along with pharmacy students join the ribbon-cutting to formally celebrate and dedicate new facilities at the College of Pharmacy.

KINGSTON, R.I. – September 20, 2013 — University of Rhode Island officials, pharmacy faculty and pharmacy students joined CVS Caremark Corp. leaders yesterday at 11 a.m. for a ribbon-cutting to formally celebrate and dedicate new facilities at the College of Pharmacy supported by the Woonsocket-based corporation.

The $75 million home of URI’s College of Pharmacy opened last fall. Yesterday’s ceremonies gave URI leaders a chance to recognize CVS Caremark for its many contributions to the success of the project and its lengthy record of support for the College of Pharmacy and URI overall.

The teaching and learning spaces highlighted yesterday are the: CVS Caremark Professional Practice Laboratory, CVS Caremark Teaching Wing, CVS Caremark Interdisciplinary Health Delivery Simulation Laboratory and CVS Caremark Multipurpose Teaching Laboratory.

The inclusion of such facilities in the building project was due in large part to a $2 million pledge made by CVS Caremark in 2009 to support the project and the pharmacy college. It remains the largest single corporate gift to URI’s College of pharmacy in its 56-year-history.

President and CEO of CVS Caremark, Larry Merlo, right and CVS Caremark coworker, left, explore the Simulation Laboratory.

The simulation laboratory is designed for use by pharmacy and URI nursing students. Ultimately, physicians will also be able to participate in training sessions with the equipment from remote locations. One of the learning spaces features a mock CVS pharmacy where students work with faculty on developing their clinical and communication skills.

The goal in developing such teaching and learning spaces was to enhance teamwork and communication among pharmacists, nurses, physicians and other health professionals to deliver the best possible care to patients.

“We celebrate the commitment made by CVS Caremark to our students and faculty of the College of Pharmacy,” said URI President David M. Dooley. “These facilities are tangible examples of the productive and mutually beneficial partnership between our two organizations. Such collaborations only serve to benefit the health of Rhode Islanders, and indeed, people around the world, while also helping to bolster the state’s economy in the burgeoning health care and biomedical science industries.”

“This event commemorates the decades-long partnership between the University and CVS Caremark,” said E. Paul Larrat, interim dean of the College of Pharmacy. “We are deeply appreciative of the strong support that this organization has provided in assisting us in the education of caring, valued and effective pharmacists.”

“Rhode Island is CVS Caremark’s home, so we are very proud to support the expansion of the URI College of Pharmacy’s educational programs and facilities,” said Larry Merlo, president and chief executive officer of CVS Caremark. “The practice of pharmacy continues to evolve and pharmacists are playing a more direct role in improving their patients’ health. The addition of these teaching and learning spaces will help provide the resources that URI pharmacy students need to be successful in their careers.”

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401.874.5862


Pharm.D. student as well as student pharmacist at CVS Caremark, Sean Haggerty, right, gives thank you notes from URI pharmacy students to the President and CEO of CVS Caremark, Larry Merlo, left.


Sean Haggerty

Pharm .D. Class 2014

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”  This popular quote from the late Steve Jobs resonates with me when I look back on my experiences in the Pharm.D. program here at the University of Rhode Island.  My name is Sean Haggerty and I feel incredibly privileged to be standing here in this forward-looking building as a sixth year doctor of pharmacy student.  Although I’m from Upstate New York, only miles away from Albany College of Pharmacy, the College of Pharmacy at URI was undoubtedly my first choice to study pharmacy because of its community-centric learning philosophy.  The faculty, staff, and students I have encountered here over the past six years have instilled in me a sense of belonging and purpose that is difficult to find in most academic institutions.I never imagined, however, that this type of communal support could be united in the Fall of 2012 with a $75 million, leading-edge teaching and research facility.  Being able to live the transformation from learning in an outdated and overcrowded building to the largest and (in my opinion) most remarkable building on the Kingston campus has been a testament to the innovative spirit of the URI community.  Students are now able to expand their academic curiosities via sophisticated classrooms and conference rooms, hands-on practice in patient simulation and pharmacy practice labs, a mock CVS/pharmacy, a 3D animation facility, a beautiful medicinal garden within the Pharmacy Courtyard, and spacious public study areas.  It cannot be expressed how appreciative we are as students to be training in this expansive and groundbreaking facility.  This building provides us with the resources necessary to explore our own niches within the field of pharmacy and to mature into highly competent leaders in health care.

It has been enlightening to apply what I have learned in my years as a Pharm.D. student to real world practice as a CVS intern.  I have been with CVS/pharmacy for over six years.

The most rewarding part of my progression as a student has been utilizing what I learned from the college and bringing it to CVS to provide solutions for our customers’ health care needs.

As I became more confident as a student pharmacist at CVS/pharmacy, I noticed a cooperative relationship between my scholastic achievement at the College of Pharmacy and my ability to practice health care in a real world setting.  My observations and experiences at CVS/pharmacy filled in the puzzle pieces of complex disease states to make my pharmacy courses more comprehensive, while my efforts to learn at the college gave me sureness to provide pharmacist services to patients.  For a student, there is nothing more gratifying than that “aha!” moment when you realize that you can solve a complex patient problem without the help of a superior.  I owe nearly every one of these moments to the interdisciplinary learning experiences I encountered from being active at both the College of Pharmacy and CVS/pharmacy.

Our “big thinking” College of Pharmacy at URI could not ask for a more suitable donor than the pharmacy innovation company that is CVS/pharmacy.  It is clear that our goals are aligned to reinvent the already upstanding image of the pharmacist and to help people on their path to better health.  We want to sincerely thank you for helping the College of Pharmacy build leaders and innovators in today’s health care market.”


Newsletter Article – Fall 2013 Edition

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