March 21, 2008

UAMS College of Pharmacy Receives $100,000 Grant

LITTLE ROCK – The College of Pharmacy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has received a grant of $100,000 from USA Drug to be used for a new communications skills program.


The gift will be made over a five-year period.


“We are extremely grateful to USA Drug for this generous gift,” said Stephanie Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D, dean of the UAMS College of Pharmacy. “It will serve to significantly enhance the college’s current admission process and build on our communications curriculum to develop pharmacists who excel in patient care through excellence in counseling.”


The gift will be used for several new initiatives related to the development and assessment of communications skills among pharmacy students from the time of application to the end of the pharmacy curriculum, including these new activities:


  • Support of a newly developed interview that will become integral to the admissions process within the UAMS College of Pharmacy
  • Support of curricular innovations that emphasize the development of communication skills needed by pharmacists in patient counseling, hiring, and managing employees, and working with other health care professionals
  • Supplies for health screenings and for teaching medication therapy management skills
  • Support for counseling and clinical skills competitions that build confidence in students while putting the theory into direct action

“USA Drug is proud to show our support for the college and this ambitious effort to strengthen its communication program,” said Dr. Stephen L. LaFrance, founder and chairman of USA Drug. “We have formed a productive partnership with Dean Gardner and the college and look forward to a long and fruitful association.”


The first USA Drug store opened in 1984 in Pine Bluff. The USA Drug family, comprising USA Drug, Super D Drugs, May’s Drug Stores, Drug Warehouse, Med-X Drugs and Ike’s Discount stores, has grown to more than 170 stores with retail outlets in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri and Arkansas.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,538 students and 733 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with about 9,600 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $5 billion a year. Visit