UH Hilo's first pharmacy residents establish themselves on Maui

March 8, 2011

The first pharmacy residents through the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Pharmacy (CoP) are working with the staff at Maui Medical Center while helping to achieve national accreditation for the University’s residency program.

Similar to residencies that allow medical doctors to get postgraduate experience, the UH Hilo pharmacy residency gives pharmacists specific training in health care settings. In this case, the setting is Maui Clinic Pharmacy in Kahului, Maui.

“Many students who graduate with a Pharm.D. go right to work in a pharmacy, but many look to enroll in pharmacy residency programs, which are often a requirement for employment in hospital pharmacy practice or as a faculty member at a pharmacy school,” said CoP Dean John M. Pezzuto. “Our inaugural class will be graduating soon, and several will be looking for residency programs. This is something we can offer to them, but it’s also an important statement to the greater pharmacy community: UH Hilo is ready to enhance the training of pharmacy graduates.”

In 2010, Sheena Jolson earned her Pharm.D. from the University of Arizona in Tucson and Amy Baker earned her degree from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Anita Ciarleglio, assistant professor in CoP’s Department of Pharmacy Practice, is their program director while they are living on Maui.

“These women are trail blazers. They are redefining community pharmacy,” Ciarleglio said. “They primarily act as the liaison between the community, the hospital and the physician, and provide a continuity of care that just wasn’t there before.

“Their stint on Maui is also helping CoP achieve accreditation for the residency program, which in a lot of ways mirrors the accreditation process for the College,” Ciarleglio added.

The residency program requires accreditation from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the American Pharmacy Association (APhA). It is anticipated that the program will be ready for an accreditation site visit between fall 2011 and winter 2012.

“We are being guided through this accreditation process by Bill Jones, a pharmacist who was the Pharmacy Residency Director for 23 years at the Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Tucson, Arizona, who has been their mentor through the residency process and is actually mentoring me,” said Ciarleglio.

See more news from 2011.