Kudos to office
Mr. (Donald) Ikeda’s experience in filing nomination papers described an elections office unrelated to the one that I have been dealing with.
I am a first-time candidate running for the County Council in District 4, the Puna makai seat. I am also seeking public funding under the “clean elections” pilot program for publicly funded elections, which is a more complex system than regular candidate nominations.
In the last four months, I have been in the elections office numerous times. From the very first, and every other time I have dealt with the staff, their service has been exceptional. The people there have always been friendly and helpful. They have quickly answered questions and resolved issues about the process. All of this has been done despite turmoil created by the extraordinary personnel issues in the department.
The county is lucky to have such dedicated and competent people working for us.
The May 6 article by Colin Stewart lambasting the University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Pharmacy for the “low marks” earned by the class of 2011 missed the point. Since the school’s 2007 inception, the college made strides towards its goals of becoming one of the top 25 pharmacy colleges in the nation, and a leader in pharmacy care throughout the Pacific region.
More than 80 percent of the students graduating in 2011 passed the North American Pharmacists Licensure Exam on their first attempt. The fact that so many graduates passed the exam validates the competency of the COP program and the students. The success or “low marks” (depending on your point of view) of the class of 2011 must be viewed in light of the fact that the pharmacy program is in its infancy. As such, the class overcame challenges like navigating untested curriculum, founding relationships with internship sites, and enduring inadequate and disjointed temporary facilities.
These challenges were not faced by students at other pharmacy schools, so the direct comparison of performance reported in Stewart’s article is misleading. Yes, there is room for improvement in exiting classes’ NAPLEX scores, but improvement is expected. Each entering COP class will meet a progressively more refined program, and will presumably produce higher test scores.
The college distinguishes itself as a competitive pharmacy school through achievements such as receiving full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education in June 2011, and being ranked in the top 5 of 40 new pharmacy schools by U.S. News and World Report in March 2012. Instead of reporting these positive and truly newsworthy achievements, Stewart’s article overemphasizes a negative result, smudging the reputations of the students and faculty of the COP, and community members who work at ensuring the school’s success.