Walgreens to donate more than $1 Million Annually to Support Diversity at Pharmacy Schools
More than 100 U.S. colleges of pharmacy will each receive $10,000 annually for initiatives aimed at attracting more minorities to careers in pharmacy
Walgreens (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG), the nation’s largest drugstore chain, has committed to donating more than $1 million annually to support initiatives dedicated to promoting diversity at the nation’s pharmacy schools. Each of the 111 accredited colleges of pharmacy across the country will receive $10,000 every year to aid their efforts at increasing diversity among pharmacy school students.
This unprecedented commitment reflects Walgreens strong presence and continued growth in the country’s most diverse communities, as well as its dedication to advancing the field of pharmacy. Today, less than 12 percent of students pursuing pharmacy degrees are minorities. With this new initiative, Walgreens hopes more students will be encouraged to consider the contributions they could make as front-line health professionals in America’s corner drugstores.
“As our country’s need for pharmacy services continues to rise, so does its need for dedicated community pharmacists to serve an increasing diverse patient base,” said Walgreens Chairman and CEO Jeffrey A. Rein. “Today’s pharmacists play a vital role in their local communities. For many people, they are the first place to turn for anything from a runny nose to hypertension or diabetes. Our nation’s pharmacy schools have great ideas for attracting more talented, compassionate people across every culture. We are pleased to be giving them a helping hand.”
The donation, announced at the recent American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) annual meeting, received enthusiastic response from pharmacy school deans.
“I want to congratulate Walgreens for making tremendous strides toward inspiring more young people of every background to choose a rewarding career in pharmacy,” said Barbara Hayes, Dean of Texas Southern University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and chairwoman of the Council of Deans for AACP. “We have long discussed the ways in which we can ensure that the future health professionals we’re grooming reflect the diverse needs of the communities they will serve. We are delighted that one of our strongest allies is now offering additional assistance toward meeting this challenge.”
This initiative is the latest in the Walgreens long history of providing support to pharmacy schools and aspiring pharmacists. Last year, Walgreens donated more than $9 million in educational assistance to thousands of student pharmacists. Walgreens is also taking additional steps to introduce more minorities to pharmacy with its summer Career Explorers program in which 50 high school students from Chicago and St. Louis experience what it’s like to take college classes and work in a Walgreens pharmacy. Now in its eighth year, the program has produced a substantial number of students who enter pharmacy school or continue to work as pharmacy technicians.
For more information about this and other diversity initiatives or pharmacy careers at Walgreens, visit Walgreens.com.
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