School of Pharmacy opens off-campus location at Tiffany Court
By Jenn Deon
Over the last year, the School of Pharmacy has been exploring possibilities to relieve a critical space shortage at their location on the third floor of the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) – a shortage that has hampered any expansion for the greater good of the pharmacy program.
With no additional room available either in the HSC or the main campus, obtaining rented space off-campus became the only viable alternative.
As of early June, 10 faculty members from the school's clinical team and two administrative staff have relocated to new offices at 75 Tiffany Court, in the east end of St. John's.
Faculty and staff who have moved will retain their existing telephone numbers, and the school's director will maintain an office in both the HSC and Tiffany Court locations.
The clinical faculty and staff who have made the move are settling into their new surroundings over the summer before regular classes resume in the fall.
Everyone at the school acknowledges that this change will present challenges that will impact not just the clinical faculty, but all staff, faculty and students.
"We feel that there is no alternative but to move forward for the good of the whole program," said Dr. Linda Hensman, director of the School of Pharmacy.
"If we do not take this step, we will have to live with the status quo for several more years. This is just not acceptable."
The status quo includes these observations from last year's accreditation report: "The lack of physical space is beginning to be an impediment. There is no room for growth of faculty and the wet-laboratory space is not conducive to placement of modern equipment."
This move will free up some space at the HSC location to accommodate some new faculty hires.
Unfortunately what it will not be able to achieve is the ability to expand the pharmacy program beyond its current enrolment of 40 students per class. In 2009 the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador had provided funding to increase enrolment to 60 students per class.
"The school must expand its capacity in order to meet the province's growing demand for pharmacists," Dr. Hensman stated emphatically.
"We are doing everything we can to prepare for growth, but it is simply not going to happen until government approves the creation of a new physical space for the School of Pharmacy."