UH Hilo College of Pharmacy receives approval to provide continuing medical education

May 18, 2009

Physicians will now be able to earn continuing medical education (CME) credits through the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Pharmacy after a vote from the Hawaiʻi Medical Association CME Facilities Accreditation Committee at an event in Honolulu on May 13, 2009.

Hawaiʻi Medical Association (HMA) is recognized by the national Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education as the intrastate accrediting agency for organizations and institutions that provide CME activities for physicians in Hawaiʻi.

The College of Pharmacy joins 15 hospitals and one other organization accredited by HMA that provide CME activities on a regular and recurring basis primarily to physicians practicing in the state of Hawaiʻi or the Pacific region.

"Physicians and pharmacists have always worked closely together so we are excited to have this outlet to strengthen that relationship," said Dr. John M. Pezzuto, dean of the College of Pharmacy. "We also plan to offer continuing education to pharmacists in the near future. This is further confirmation that we are on the right path as we work to build one of the preeminent schools of pharmacy in the nation."

Accreditation is official recognition that an overall program of CME complies with accepted criteria for planning, implementing, and evaluating CME activities, said Nathalie George, CME coordinator for the Hawaiʻi Medical Association.

"Accreditation assures the medical community and the public that such activities provide physicians with information that can assist them in maintaining or improving their practice of medicine," George said.

These activities are free of commercial bias and based on valid content, she added. Physicians must complete a required amount of CME activities to retain their licenses.

"The gold standard in continuing education in healthcare is improving patient outcomes, which fits perfectly in the College of Pharmacy’s vision to improve the quality of health care in Hawaiʻi and throughout the Pacific," said Dr. Karen L. Pellegrin, chair of the continuing education executive committee and director of strategic planning for the College of Pharmacy. "Our goal is that physicians not only gain knowledge through one of our courses, but change practice in a way that helps patients as a result of it."

While programs sponsored by the College of Pharmacy will cover a broad range of topics in medicine and patient care, it will emphasize its areas of expertise in medication therapy management.

To receive future announcements about continuing education events, please send an email to karen3@hawaii.edu.

See more news from 2009.