This edition of Pharmacy Magazine reflects the growing local
and global involvement of our faculty, students and alumni, and
their commitment to delivering innovative pharmacy education.
Ferris Pharmacy is making a difference around the world and
Students’ interest in international experiences is growing
rapidly, triggered in part by a significantly increased level of
university support, but also reflective of the global world we
all live in. In spring 2013, students under the mentorship of
Drs. Kierstan Hanson and John Jameson provided services in
Mexico and Guatemala, respectively. Dr. Hanson’s work with
the children of Mexico is a collaborative effort that includes
Rotary International and the University of Iowa, led by Hazel
(Hilton) Seaba, a 1967 Ferris College of Pharmacy alumna.
Dr. Joel Robertson, class of 1974, was recognized with an
Honorary Doctorate in 2013 for his multiple and successful
efforts to improve global health care through technology.
We continue to participate in a healthy exchange program with
both the United Kingdom (University of Bath) and France
(University of Angers), and expansion to additional countries
is very likely next year. This activity provides faculty and
students with the opportunity to contrast our health care
system with widely varying systems, while at the same time
improving the quality of life of those they care for.
Our attention to West Michigan also continues to grow.
Spring 2013 marked the completion of our first full academic
year in the 25 Michigan Avenue instructional center. The
facility itself and the access it affords to the growing Grand
Rapids health sciences center are truly impressive. In Big
Rapids, through the extraordinary efforts of Dr. Jeff Bates,
the College of Pharmacy has opened a “model” pharmacy to
serve patients of the Hope House Free Clinic in Big Rapids.
Dr. Bates recognized the significant need for a pharmacy
designed to serve the needs of those in the local area unable
to afford prescription medications. The Ferris Pharmacy
Care Clinic is open three days a week to ensure patients of
the Hope House Clinic receive in-depth patient care services.
All medications are provided without charge through various
grants and generous support received by the Hope House
Clinic. The clinic also serves as an internship site for many
of our students, and several faculty members and local
pharmacists are providing volunteer staff support. It’s a great
step forward to have patients routinely visiting the pharmacy
and experiencing the high-level of care our students and faculty
In academics, this edition features Dr. Rick Hult, who retired at
the end of 2013. Many of us remember Dr. Hult’s “dry humor”
as we struggled to match drugs and receptors; he will certainly
be missed. The magazine also features the new DIRECT
model for clinical clerkships that Dr. Dean VanLoo is piloting
at Bronson Methodist Hospital. I had the opportunity recently
to meet with Dr. VanLoo’s latest cohort of students — their
positive review of the program is impressive. As you will see in
the article, Dr. VanLoo has thought through the educational
needs of a fourth-year student and built an almost seamless
experience for them.
Over the past two years, the College of Pharmacy’s Alumni
Board of Directors has undergone significant development.
In its 2011 summer retreat, the board developed a strategic
plan to serve as the foundation for a new set of bylaws
expanding the board from 12 to 16 members and specifying
temporary protocols for new membership selection. The
board also implemented a new organizational structure of four
subcommittees taken from within the board — the Executive,
College Engagement, Alumni Communication and Fundraising
subcommittees. In addition, this summer marked the transition
to a new board president. Mr. Andy Young had served on the
board for over two terms, most recently as president. Board
members had chosen to continue Andy’s presidency through
summer 2013, to provide continuity and guidance through the
transition. I know of very few alumni who have contributed
to the College of Pharmacy as generously as Andy. With the
board’s development complete and Andy’s term concluding,
Dr. Rick Dettloff was elected as the new board president.
We all are indebted to Andy and Rick for their leadership in
the board’s development. I feel strongly that the new structure
will provide the College of Pharmacy with important support
and direction from its alumni base.
I invite each of you to engage in Bulldog Pharmacy, building
upon our rich tradition of opportunity, commitment to
patients, pride in the profession and support of our students,
the pharmacists of tomorrow.
Stephen Durst, B.S., (’81), Pharm.D.