By COLIN M. STEWART
Tribune-Herald staff writer
The University of Hawaii’s Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy came up short this week, when the school’s lack of permanent facilities cost it points in an accreditation evaluation.
Visiting the Hilo campus on Monday and Tuesday, the evaluation team sent by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education found the college to be lacking when it came to providing physical facilities. Currently, pharmacy students are spread out at various locations around Hilo, including in temporary trailer classrooms off of Komohana Street.
“Of the 30 standards that comprise ACPE Standards 2007, the evaluation team found that the College was in compliance with all but one,” wrote evaluation consultant Max D. Ray in a preliminary summary of findings following the visit. “With respect to Standard 27 (Physical Facilities), the team found the College to be non-compliant.
“The College’s current facilities cannot be considered in any way acceptable under the requirements of Standard 27. … It is the evaluation team’s opinion that, unless immediate attention is given to the need for improvement in the College of Pharmacy’s physical facilities, the University will need to take a hard look at whether it can maintain a viable pharmacy program.”
The University is currently working with the Legislature to procure the $38 million in funding it needs for construction, equipment and furnishings for a permanent building. The state Senate has fully funded the project in its version of the state budget, but the state House of Representatives dropped a line item for the college from its version of the budget about halfway through the current session.
In an April 10 letter to members of the House finance committee, Big Isle delegates conveyed their “strong support for full funding.”
“With the support of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, the college was founded in 2006 to address significant healthcare needs in Hawaii, particularly in rural areas. DKICP serves not only our state, but the entire Pacific region, with faculty and students residing on the Big Island of Hawaii, Maui, Kauai and Oahu,” the delegates wrote.
“DKICP is currently established and nationally accredited, with more than 500 people associated with the program, including students, faculty and staff. The College has made rapid and solid progress. Within a few years of its launch, and at no additional cost to the state, the College of Pharmacy has established not only its flagship PharmD degree, but also a PhD and MS degree, as well as a fully accredited commuity pharmacy residency program and continuing education for pharmacists and physicians.”
The current Legislative session will come to a close on May 2.
Meanwhile, any final decision about continuing the College of Pharmacy’s accreditation will ultimately be made by the ACPE Board, Ray said. The evaluation team’s findings will be presented to the ACPE Board in a report. UHH will receive a draft copy of the report within the next few days.
Email Colin M. Stewart at email@example.com.