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February 13, 2017   Columns Articles | Inside UGA | College of Pharmacy opens new educational facility…

College of Pharmacy opens new educational facility in Augusta

Mickey Y. Montevideo

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By Mickey Y. Montevideo | February 13, 2017
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For the first time in its more than 40-year history, the UGA College of Pharmacy's program in Augusta has its own facility.

Located on the Augusta University Health Sciences campus, the new facility offers a 50-seat classroom, eight small group learning spaces that feature video connectivity to other UGA College of Pharmacy campuses across the state, a collaboration lounge, faculty and administrative offices, and a full-service kitchen and break area.

Prior to this new site, the program was housed in rented and shared buildings.

"With this new site, we've more than doubled the educational space for our expanded course offerings in Augusta," said Susan Fagan, the Albert W. Jowdy Distinguished Research Professor and the college's interim director of interprofessional education. "In addition, classroom and small group areas feature state-of-the-art technology and connectivity, allowing us to provide a truly superior academic experience for our professional pharmacy and graduate students."

The college obtained approval from the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and a long-term ground lease from Augusta University in 2015, and the $3.2 million demolition and renovation of the former dialysis clinic began in January 2016.

Eight months later, the 10,000-square-foot site opened its doors to students. Open house festivities were held in late January, where Fagan told the more than 100 guests and attendees that inspiration for the design of the facility came from collaborative efforts with building and design experts, faculty members and students enrolled in the program.

Designs for the project were developed by May Architecture + Interiors of Atlanta, construction of the facility was completed by the Augusta office of Christman Construction Inc., and Ben Liverman from UGA's Office of University Architects was the project manager.

A second phase of the Augusta expansion is planned for the near future and will support the college's Program in Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics, which aims to identify new treatments for diseases such as cancer, stroke, dementia and heart disease. New laboratory space will also support the planned expansion of the master's in pharmacy programs on the Augusta campus.

The College of Pharmacy campus in Augusta provides an academic setting for 30 third-year students; 40 fourth-year students; eight doctoral students; eight residents, along with two postdoctoral fellows; an international exchange visitor and five staff members.

Students enrolled in the program gain experiential learning through rotations at University Hospital, Augusta University Medical Center, Doctors Hospital, Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, Eisenhower Medical Center and other community health care settings. In addition, the site also hosts staff who administer the Medication Access Program, which provides medications to transplant patients in Georgia.

Other campuses of the UGA College of Pharmacy include the main campus in Athens, Savannah, Albany and a pharmaceutical regulatory affairs program in Gwinnett.

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