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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116

URI College of Pharmacy names Westerly
resident Externship Preceptor of the Year

KINGSTON, R.I.-- July 10, 2003 -- Westerly resident Lorraine Quirk was named the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy’s Externship Preceptor of the Year during recent ceremonies at URI’s Kingston Campus.

Quirk, who earned her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy at URI in 1978, is the pharmacy manager at the Westerly Super Stop & Shop. She has been a pharmacist with Stop & Shop for 18 years, 16 of them in Westerly.

She was cited by the College of Pharmacy for service to students as a mentor and teacher in retail pharmacy. The Quirk family is no stranger to the preceptor award. Her husband William, a 1978 URI pharmacy graduate who works at the Brooks Pharmacy in Westerly, is a previous recipient.

"The URI pharmacy students who have worked with me are smart and focused," Quirk said. "They help keep me abreast of new developments. Of all the drugs on our shelves, half of them weren’t even available when I was in school."

She said it’s easy working with pharmacy students, among the brightest admitted to the University each year. "They are often valedictorians in their high schools and they are all URI Centennial Scholars," she said.

Quirk said she focuses on one major lesson—teaching her students how to listen.

"You have to listen to everyone," she said. "If someone says they are having side effects, you have to pay attention even if you don’t see any physical evidence of side effects. You have to listen to patients’ needs."

She said the students pay attention. "You know, I start out being their teacher and I wind up being their friend. I enjoy seeing how successful they become."

June Spink, coordinator of pharmacy experiential programs at URI, said Quirk is very inventive in giving students a wide range of experiences. "She works with her husband in providing the students special projects. She has involved them in projects with senior centers."

Spink said such experiences are essential for pharmacists in training because the majority will start in retail pharmacy.

Students probably do the best job of explaining how much they value Quirk as a role model.

"I had a lot of fear on this rotation and learned so much along the way," one student said. "Lorraine was extremely kind and very informative. She created a great environment for learning. I was not intimidated by the setting, even though I realized there was so much to learn, because Lorraine made it exciting to learn new things."

For Further Information: June Spink 401-874-5006

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