Oregon State University

College of Pharmacy expands Portland presence

Guadalupe Ortiz, came to Oregon from Arizona to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree three years ago. Upon arrival in Corvallis, she fell happily into what she calls the “orange bubble.” Oregon State’s campus in Corvallis is warm, friendly and welcoming. Ortiz found comfort in the college-town atmosphere and a second family at the College of Pharmacy. Yet, when students begin their third year of pharmacy school, the orange bubble pops when students leave the classic college town behind and head to urban Portland.

The final two years of the PharmD program at Oregon State are spent away from the Corvallis campus. Pharmacy students spend year three at Oregon Health & Science University, and both OSU and OHSU award the PharmD degree. Students spend their final year spread out across the Northwest doing hands-on, clinical rotations.

“When we’re in Corvallis it’s great because it’s a smaller community, and we get to really build relationships with other students and faculty,” Ortiz says. “Being at OHSU is different because we have a lot more opportunities and resources and gain valuable hands-on experience.”

The Portland Program 

David Bearden, chairman of the Pharmacy Practice department, says students like Ortiz arrive in Portland ready for new experiences and deeper learning. “Being at OHSU is certainly a different dynamic,” Bearden says. “[Students] go from a college campus with a large undergraduate presence, to a hospital where everyone they see is studying something in the health care field.”

Associate Dean Gary DeLander says the move from Corvallis to Portland helps tighten the focus of pharmacy students. “Sometime in their junior year they get more focused into a specific discipline,” he says. “At that point, they decide what they are able to accomplish.”

At OHSU students work to understand the principles of pharmacy learned in Corvallis. Pharmacy students are part of medical teams integrated with medical, nursing, and dentistry students. This collaboration between healthcare vocations allows students to learn and grow as professionals. “Working in these medical teams helps us all take the best care of patients,” Bearden says. “Everyone works together and does what they’re best at.”

Furthering Collaboration

OSU College of Pharmacy is expanding its footprint in Portland. Soon, Pharmacy students will be even further integrated with OHSU, thanks to the new Collaborative Life Sciences Building.

The 500,000-square-foot building – Oregon State’s first property in Portland – is located on South waterfront between the Marcum and Ross Island Bridge. The spaces to be occupied by the College of Pharmacy include a 150-person theater-style lecture hall, three 25-person classrooms and clinical practice labs, space for eight additional faculty members, and a six-fold increase in research laboratory space. The building will also house conference rooms, learning clinics, and a state-of-the-art simulation center.  The CLSB is designed to encourage greater collaborative practice and inter-professional education among students, as well as foster extended partnerships among universities.

“The building will be an amazing advance,” Bearden says. “It will put all the different programs under one roof and allow a more natural feel for interactions between students in different disciplines.

Dean Mark Zabriskie says students are excited for the change. “I haven’t heard a single negative thing about it,” he says. “They are incredibly excited about moving into a space that’s really state-of-the-art and designed for inter-professional education and research.”

Occupancy is scheduled for July 2014.

All in the family

Ortiz says she was drawn to the College of Pharmacy because of the sense of community she felt. “My instructors care about me as a person,” she says. “I had a great foundation when I came up to Portland earlier this year. I’ve never been a part of a community the way I am at OSU and OHSU.”

Ortiz will utilize the Collaborative Life Sciences Building during her fourth year, and says her own focus is tightening in the direction of pediatric pharmacy. “I fell in love with the babies in the neonatal intensive care unite during a rotation,” Ortiz says. “I would love to work in pediatrics in a hospital setting.”

Student success is exciting for Bearden. He says the additions of the state-of-the-art educational technology, including the patient simulation laboratory, further advance pharmacy education in today’s rapidly evolving healthcare setting.

“We are committed to progressing our educational techniques, and implementing advancements in pharmacy education,” Bearden says. “Collaboration among health professionals is rapidly becoming the cornerstone of pharmacy education.”


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