URI College of Pharmacy named top ‘Health Care Educator’ in publication’s inaugural Health Care Heroes awards

Providence Business News honors college’s ‘top tier’ status, response to COVID-19 pandemic

KINGSTON, R.I. — March 15, 2023 — Honoring its standing as a “top tier pharmacy college,” as well as its impressive response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy is among the first honorees of Providence Business News’ inaugural Health Care Heroes awards program, the publication announced.

The honorees are recognized for their work and for “making a difference in the health care sector in both Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.” Nine categories honor the top doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, health care administrator and more. The College of Pharmacy was named top “Health Care Educator.”

The URI College of Pharmacy is routinely ranked among the top pharmacy schools in the country. It is among the top 5% nationally in federal research funding, and led the way in that category in the northeast region in the last decade. The college has a top-10 rank in post-graduate year 1 residency placements—highest in the region—and students are employed upon graduation at a rate of 97%. The college had the second-highest graduation rate in the northeast last year, and was among the schools with the highest pharmacy board pass rates.

During the height of the pandemic, faculty and staff members, students and alumni jumped into the fray, helping lead the local response. Faculty members trained hundreds of immunizers, administered thousands of vaccines themselves, and led dozens of community immunization and testing clinics. One professor developed a novel non-PCR based COVID-19 test, while others volunteered to fill the severe shortage of pharmacists at state field hospitals and clinics, and worked directly with the state performing outreach to COVID-19 positive patients. The College donated and supported the distribution of electronic tablets to patients isolated in hospitals and nursing homes, and the Pharmaceutical Development Institute produced hand sanitizer when it was in short supply at the start of the pandemic.

“The URI College of Pharmacy is being honored for its standing as a top tier pharmacy college and also for its extraordinary work during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dean Paul Larrat said. “These dedicated efforts made and continue to make a significant impact on the local fight against COVID-19. They reinforce and remind us of the overwhelming strength of our community and the commitment to service of our college and our profession in general. I couldn’t be prouder of our college’s efforts not only during the pandemic, but in our day-to-day mission to continue improving health care locally, nationally and globally. The Providence Business News award highlights those efforts, and is a credit to the many dedicated professionals in our college.”

The URI College of Pharmacy will be recognized along with the other honorees during PBN’s annual Health Care Summit on April 6 at the Providence Marriott Downtown.