This year the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and the University of the Pacific are celebrating a milestone. Sixty years ago the School of Pharmacy admitted the first class of 16 students with the promise that, by providing an outstanding education, they would become practice-ready pharmacists. The School's founders also made a promise to society that, through innovative research, we would contribute to the provision of quality patient care in our community. As I reflect on the success of our students and faculty, the leadership of our alumni and the continually expanding network that is the Pacific PaHS Family over the last 60 years I realize we are celebrating the fulfillment of those promises and our renewed commitment to them.
Since establishing the School in 1955, we have grown from our initial offering of an undergraduate pharmacy degree to the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences which boasts a robust offering of academic programs. Our programs now include:
- accelerated doctoral degrees in pharmacy, physical therapy and, most recently, audiology;
- undergraduate and accelerated graduate degrees in speech-language pathology;
- graduate and doctoral pharmaceutical research degrees that include partnerships with the department of chemistry in the College of the Pacific as well as international institutions;
- several dual-degree and certificate programs
Each program is designed to deliver on our promises to provide our students an outstanding education and career opportunities and to provide society with outstanding young health care professionals. We pride ourselves on, what I believe is, an unparalleled strength of faculty and staff resources, state of the art facilities and innovative technology. The exceptional learning environment we provide our students is the result of the teaching and mentorship of the faculty, alumni and administrators who have come before us.
Health care is a discipline that has always stood on shifting sands. A day does not pass when you don't hear about changes in the health care industry, evolution of infrastructure and how it is delivered and organized, innovations in related technology or updates to reimbursement policies and procedures. Our profession is synonymous with constant change. For 60 years, the School has provided students with competencies and flexibility they need to adjust to change in all forms.
Our students will be the leaders who guide their professions, always focused on improving patient care. Even as young professionals, they are already contributing to the legacy of excellence built by our alumni. That is our history; it is what we do today, and that is our promise for tomorrow.
I hope you will join me in looking forward into our promising future.
Phillip R. Oppenheimer, PharmD