Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Opens College Parkside Pharmacy in Albany's South End
ALBANY, N.Y. (January 25, 2017) -- In an effort to better prepare its students to hit the ground running after graduation and fill a critical gap in providing healthcare to underserved residents living in Albany’s south end, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) today opened College Parkside Pharmacy at 20 Warren Street in Albany.
Located on the first floor of the Capital South Campus Center, the 570-square-foot pharmacy features a full-time, licensed pharmacist who will supervise ACPHS students as they complete their bachelors, masters and doctorate of pharmacy programs. In addition to dispensing medications, the pharmacy will offer expanded services such as medication therapy management, bone density/cholesterol/blood pressure screenings, immunizations, educational programs and wellness counseling. Future plans include sharing space with a physician or nurse practitioner to ensure patients have convenient access to multiple levels of health care.
“By taking part in rotations at this pharmacy, students will refine the clinical skills needed to be a successful pharmacist,” said ACPHS President Dr. Greg Dewey. “They will also learn the essential business skills required to successfully manage a pharmacy. College Parkside Pharmacy will provide hands-on experience in revenue analysis, inventory turnover analysis, break-even analysis, and pharmacy cash-flow analysis. With this training, students will be better prepared to `think like entrepreneurs,’ proactively seeking out opportunities not only for operational efficiencies and growth, but also for creative healthcare business models.
“Working in this pharmacy will also expose students to situations that will push them out of their comfort zone,” he continued. “It might be working with a patient for whom English is a second language. It might involve discussing care with a physician or a nurse practitioner. It might be doing a break-even analysis of the pharmacy’s operation. These are the types of experiences that are difficult to simulate in a classroom, but which are critical to going beyond practice ready.”
Augustine “Gus” Barranca will oversee pharmacy services and work side-by-side with students. Tapping into more than 30 years of experience as a chain pharmacist, pharmacy district manager and independent pharmacy owner, the 1979 ACPHS graduate will help students gain a better understanding of the business and whether they might like to open their own independent pharmacy.
“Our goal is to give everyone a well-rounded experience in a community pharmacy,” said Barranca, noting that the first six-week rotation will begin in March. “Students will learn a work ethic that’s not usually seen at other pharmacy rotations. When a client presents us with an obstacle, we’ll do everything in our power to achieve a positive outcome.”
Steven Longo, executive director, Albany Housing Authority, which owns the building and is renting space to ACPHS, said the “sky is the limit” in terms of what the community can hope to benefit from the partnership with ACPHS.
“We are in the middle of a community that has numerous healthcare needs. Many people living here are on prescriptions for diseases like diabetes and asthma,” he said. “Now they will be able to establish a dialogue with a healthcare professional not only about the benefits of the prescription drug, but also how diet, lifestyle and environment impacts that disease, and the chances of getting off that drug.”
College Parkside Pharmacy is ACPHS’ second student-operated pharmacy in the Capital Region. Last March, the college opened College Hometown Pharmacy — the first student-operated pharmacy in New York state — at Hometown Health Centers, a nationally recognized primary care and dental practice located at 1044 State Street in Schenectady, N.Y.
College Parkside Pharmacy is funded through ACPHS’s $6 million “Beyond Practice Ready” campaign, which was launched last December and aims to prepare graduates to not only learn core pharmacy skills, but also be adaptable to a changing workforce landscape. Supporters include the college’s board of trustees, Rochester Drug Co-Op, Inc., MVP Healthcare, and Albany Housing Authority.
“Approximately $2 million still needs to be raised,” added Dr. Dewey. “Those monies are critical to ensuring that ACPHS is able to sustain and grow the pharmacy in the years to come.”
College Parkside Pharmacy is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is (518) 694-8522.
For more information, visit acphs.edu/beyondpracticeready.