As the Manchester University College of Pharmacy prepares to begin its third academic year, one of its leaders sees an increasing need for pharmacists. Associate Dean for Student Affairs Joe Bonnarens says demand will grow as baby boomers continue to age. He also says as advances are made in pharmacogenetics, which is what DNA tells about how an individual responds to medicines, the pharmacist's role will become increasingly more important.

Bonnarens points to recent health care coverage changes as another reason patients are relying more on pharmacists.

News Release

July 30, 2014

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. — Northern Indiana’s only Pharm.D. program is entering its third academic year, with more than 200 students, and about 40 percent of its new students are from Indiana.

Classes begin at the College of Pharmacy on the Fort Wayne campus on Monday, Aug. 4. To celebrate their new journey, the 73 newcomers will receive white coats and sign the college’s honor code at the Friday event.

Seating for the White Coat Ceremony begins 30 minutes before the ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday in Cordier Auditorium at the campus in North Manchester. Keynote speaker is Raylene Rospond, the new dean of the College of Pharmacy who joined Manchester University this summer. She succeeded Dave McFadden, who is the new Manchester University president.

This week, members of the Class of 2018 are meeting their faculty mentors and current students, as well as getting to know those with whom they will share their four-year journey to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. They are learning about the curriculum, student services and the experiential program that will place them in a variety of pharmacies to learn about their new profession.

“Focus on service is a large part of what we do,” said Joe Bonnarens, associate dean for student affairs at the College of Pharmacy. Students throughout their education learn the importance of communicating with patients, with real-life applications building on knowledge and skills gained in lectures and practice labs.

Nearly 600 qualified students from across the nation applied for the 73 seats in the Class of 2018. After filling the class, Manchester still had more than 100 students on the waiting list, said Bonnarens.

Friday’s White Coat Ceremony emphasizes the importance of both scientific excellence and compassionate care for the patient. Bonnarens said each student has a faculty mentor. At the ceremony, that mentor and the dean will place the white coat on the student.

The College of Pharmacy has earned candidate accreditation status from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. When members of the inaugural Class of 2016 graduate and complete the state board licensing exams, the College will move toward the final step of the accreditation process. The college has added three faculty members this year in addition to the dean, bringing the total to 26.

For more about Manchester University, visit

Source: Manchester University

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