The man whose generosity helped secure the College of Pharmacy’s place on the University of Arizona health sciences campus more than 30 years ago died March 21 at his home in Salt Lake City at age 89.
L.S. “Sam” Skaggs was a Utah businessman and benefactor to multiple causes, including pharmacy education and pharmaceutical research. The nephew of Safeway food store founder Marion Skaggs, in 1950 Sam Skaggs became head of Pay Less Drug Stores in Salt Lake City at age 26 following the death of his father. In 1965, with the business grown to 69 stores, the pharmacies became known as Skaggs Drug Centers. After a merger, Skaggs took over leadership of American Stores Company in 1979. He turned what began as 11 stores into what is now the second largest food-drug retailer in the U.S. He is considered a pioneer in the combining food and drug retailing into the “superstore” concept.
The Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation of Tucson has contributed $250,000 to the Institute of Medicine in recognition of the service J. Lyle Bootman, dean of the College of Pharmacy, has given to the boards of the foundation and of Research Corporation Technologies.
Research Corporation Technologies is a technology investment and management company in Tucson that provides early-stage funding and development for promising biomedical companies and technologies. In 1998, it established the Cottrell Foundation to provide financial support for scientific research and educational programs at qualified nonprofit organizations.
Most of us affiliated with the UA College of Pharmacy learned about the devastation of hurricane and superstorm Sandy through television, radio and social media. A few of us living on the East Coast experienced firsthand the anxieties and losses caused by evacuating homes, flood damage, power outages and business disruptions. But just one of our number traveled from San Diego to Long Island to spend a full fortnight up to his elbows in relief efforts as part of the National Disaster Medical System's response to this massive and extended emergency.
Ken Rogers is a graduate from the Class of 1995 and a 12-year DMAT - disaster medical assistance team - member. His first deployment was to the World Trade Center following Sept. 11, 2001; this was his fifth hurricane deployment.
"This was the largest DMAT operation since Hurricane Katrina," Rogers says. "Nearly two-thirds of all the DMATs in the system were involved in this response."
DMAT CA-4 San Diego, activated on Oct. 30, was the first team to arrive at a shelter set up on the campus of Nassau Community College in Garden City, N.Y., to serve nearly 1,000 homeless evacuees.
Neither wind, nor cold, nor the Colorado Buffaloes slowed the pace and celebrations of the College of Pharmacy’s Homecoming events Nov. 9 through 11. The photos below tell most of the story.
(For more photos from the weekend, go to our Flickr account or click on our Flickr button in the footer of this page.)
Before the reception, about 175 folks gathered in a Drachman Hall classroom to honor the memory of Albert Picchioni, longtime COP faculty member and founder of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, who died this past April. Many members of the Picchioni family and personal and professional friends of the late teacher and mentor listened to memories by four speakers about what Picchioni meant to the college. View a recording of the entire tribute here.
In the spring of 2012, Renee Tyree, PharmD 1993, was browsing the UA College of Pharmacy newsletter when her eyes landed on a photo of a young woman sitting in a wheelchair – and throwing a basketball. Tyree describes her reaction:
“’Oh, my god!’ I said. ‘She’s in a wheelchair! She’s a PharmD student! And she’s a basketball Paralympian! I was a basketball Paralympian while I was a PharmD student at the UA! What an amazing coincidence! I’ve got to meet her!’”
The young woman Tyree was reading about was Jennifer Poist, a second-year UA PharmD student who is one of only 12 people from the United States selected for the U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team that will compete in the Paralympics in London in August 2012.
Tyree knows only too well Poist’s excitement at being chosen to represent the U.S. in the Paralympic games. In 1992, she went with the U.S. team to the Paralympics in Barcelona, where they won a silver medal. In 1996, they went to Atlanta, where they took the bronze medal. In 2004, in Athens, they won gold.
“There is no greater satisfaction,” she says, “than watching a student or trainee or even employee grow and see them develop towards the next phase of their professional career.”
De Los Santos graduated with honors from the College of Pharmacy in 1999.
“I really appreciated my professors at COP because they not only taught us theory, but it was applied theory, how people were actually practicing their profession. For example, the therapeutics courses had practicing instructors rotate in and teach within their area of expertise. I felt as if the community was coming together to train us for the practice that was going on at the time. ”
In Harry Potter’s world, Muggle was a term used to refer to people of the non-magical community. Now through Sept. 10, there is the Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine, traveling exhibition on display in the Arizona Health Sciences Library to help us “Muggles” understand the Renaissance traditions that played a part in the development of Western science and medicine. The exhibit features the “Hogwarts Potions Laboratory.”
The library's exhibit includes artifacts from the History of Pharmacy Museum in the Pharmacy Building.
Pharmacist Marilyn Myers saw the writing on the wall.
“I could see,” Myers explains, “a movement within the profession itself towards the PharmD degree as being an entry level requirement. Even within my company, there was a growing interest in the pharmacist’s degree status. They were transitioning over to a new standard, and I realized that this was the time for me to rejuvenate my career.”
Myers graduated from the University of Arizona in 1978 with a BS in pharmacy and has been working as a pharmacist ever since. But a few years ago she decided to get a PharmD degree. The UA College of Pharmacy didn’t have a working professionals program, so a COP faculty member referred her to the University of Florida. In 2009, while working in Tucson, she enrolled in the University of Florida’s distance learning PharmD program for working professionals.
The working professional program offered by UF is a three-year commitment that includes nine semesters: Foundations of Pharmaceutical Care, Circulatory Disorders, Cardiac Disorders, Renal Disorders, Endocrine – Hematologic and Women’s Health Disorders, Respiratory Disorders, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Protective and Structural System Disorders, Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders. Currently, there are 500 students in the program.
Brooke Moreno loves people. So it’s no wonder that for the past three years she has been involved with the University of Arizona KEYS (Keep Engaging Youth in Science) research internship program.
KEYS is a seven-week summer internship program for highly motivated high school students. It is sponsored by the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center at the College of Pharmacy and by the BIO5 Institute.
Moreno’s interest in science started in high school. She took coursework on human biology, anatomy and physiology, and medical terminology.
“I fell in love with it,” she reminisces. “I loved learning about the human body and how and why it works. I think it’s interesting just to know what happens internally when we do something as simple as raising our hands or coughing.”
Moreno first got involved with KEYS when she was selected as a student intern for the program in the summer of 2009. This was right after she graduated from Marana High School in Marana, Ariz.
“When I graduated from high school,” she says, “I didn’t know what I wanted to study in college, so I thought that this internship would give me the opportunity to explore different possibilities.”
She ended up working with a researcher who was studying diabetes in postmenopausal women and whether estrogen encouraged or inhibited diabetic damage.