The College of Pharmacy continues to have a strong reputation and sustained growth as a function of great work by our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and board of visitors. We completed the first year of the ACPE reaccreditation in which an 8-year term was awarded and have embarked upon creating our new strategic plan for the years 2023-2027. HUCOP completed our 2018 – 2022 Strategic Plan and was successful in accomplishing nearly 90% of the goals set forth. The portion that has not been completed has been carried over to the new strategic plan developed in Spring 2022. Stay tuned for a copy of the updated strategic plan that covers 2023 thru 2027.
In 2021, we retained our ranking of #75 in U.S. News and World Report list of Pharmacy schools in the U.S. This is up from 98 in 2016 and made us the #1 HBCU Pharmacy school in the Nation. Our goal is to remain on this trajectory and be a premier global institution for Pharmacy Education. HUCOP anticipates expanded partnerships and a higher ranking in U.S. News and World Report in the future. Some of the highlights in the past year include:
- A successful Pharmacy Recognition Ceremony for our Class of 2022 graduates with keynote speaker Dr. Paul Abramowitz, CEO of American Society of Health System Pharmacists
- 97% of our graduating class had a placement with either directly employment, residency, fellowship by May 2022
- A 70% residency match rate for our graduates
- Increase in partnerships with other colleges and schools in service of our mission. Thanks to the student affairs team (Joshua Zeller, Marlon Prince and Dr. Akiyode)
- Receipt of a $450,000 student scholarship from Alto Pharmacy which led to the offering of full ride scholarships to 3 incoming students in Fall 2022
- Receipt of funding for faculty cluster hiring jointly with College of Medicine in Data Analytics and/or Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
- Commemorated 10 years of partnership with JSS AHER in Mysuru, India virtually on April 6 and 7, 2022 which includes student exchanges from the 2 countries. Partnership also includes research collaborations
- The college is preparing to host 28 College of Pharmacy deans from Nigeria (Pharmacist Council of Nigeria) on site to assist them in their transition from BS in Pharmacy to PharmD program. This will mark a 30-year anniversary of their visit to Howard.
- Receipt of approval for a PharmD-MPH pathway and preparing for implementation
Our faculty have published and presented in numerous journals and at several conferences they have also been recipients of multiple awards as listed in the report. Notably, our students HUCOP Chapter of APhA-ASP - Operation Immunization team and advisor (Dr. Malaika Turner) received the APhA-ASP Region 2 Operation Immunization Award. This recognized their service to patients, impact on the community and representation of the profession of pharmacy during an unprecedented year. The group received the award at the 2022 APhA Annual Meeting held in San Antonio, Texas in March 2022. In addition, our HUCOP Student National Pharmacists association chapter SNPHA received the Chapter President of the Year Award (Dagmawit Betru) under the leadership of the chapter Advisor (Dr. Unonu).
In 2022 Howard University College of Pharmacy (HUCOP) increased the number of fellowship slots to 32 and created 21 new open slots. More than 40% of our graduating students in class of 2022 pursued a career in the pharmaceutical industry. All this work is made possible by the intentional leadership efforts of Dr. Ettienne, our director for graduate programs and industry partnerships. Our college and alumni have been featured in numerous articles on partner websites.
The college fundraising plan is managed by our Project Coordinator, Mrs Latney. This role collaborates with our Board of visitors and Alumni association executives. In the prior year, we were able to benefit from $1.6M of philanthropy. We believe the increase engagement with alumni, friends and corporate partners has contributed to this work. The upgraded technology in classrooms, extended reach to our alumni through consistent communication, increased visibility around the nation and the upgraded website has resulted in improved morale and pride among students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
HUCOP continues to lead on the regional, national, and international stage. We have Dr. McCants elected to be the President-elect of the National Association of Pharmacists, Dr. Weaver as President of the Association of Consultant Pharmacists, Dr. Jorden as Chair-Elect for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Experiential Education Section, Dr. CJ Franklin as President-elect for the AACP Minority Faculty SIG, Dr. Rung as President of the Washington Metropolitan Society of Health Systems Pharmacy, Dr. Tofade as the Chair elect of the AACP Council of Deans, and president of the International Pharmaceutical Federation academic section. With the rapid growth of aspiring leaders in the College, an ad hoc committee has been created, led by Dr. Muhammad Habib to allow the college to be more intentional about supporting aspiring leaders (faculty, staff, and students) at the College.
Furthermore, the College celebrated 10 years of collaboration between JSS AHER and Howard University by hosting a joint international symposium that featured faculty and administrators from both institutions collaborating on a wide variety of subjects and speakers from social work, nursing and allied health sciences, education, law, administration, medicine, and Pharmacy. Several HUCOP faculty (Dr. Wang, Dr. Pather, Dr. Evans) participated in this international symposium coordinated by the international team at HUCOP (Dr. Jennings, Ms Cannon, Provost Wutoh and Dr. Tofade) and their JSS AHER counterparts. Feedback from around the world was very complimentary.
We are in the second year of our NTDP program under the leadership of Dr. Karodeh, and it is growing with new students enrolled from Canada. It continues to be a cost-effective enterprise as student enrollment strengthens. Our goal is to continue to aggressively promote this offering.
The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) concluded its visit to Howard University in April. It was a huge success based on the exit briefing and subsequent accreditation. This accreditation was the second under the leadership of Dr. Emmanuel Akala as the Chair of Howard University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The implication is that all Howard University Faculty who use animals in their research can continue to apply to all Federal agencies for funding.
Our NAPLEX score average has remained below national average. We have made solid strides in student performance concerning PCOA and expect to mirror that performance with respect to the NAPLEX given the significant changes made to the curriculum now in its 4th year. Our primary goal for the upcoming year is to increase board scores, enrollment, and student success outcomes. With the class of 2022 (bearer of the new curriculum) we are hopeful that NAPLEX board scores will be much improved given the above average performance of the class of 2022 and 2023 on the PCOA national exam.
With regards to research, the College decided to begin the process of awarding seed grants to faculty who meet specific criteria according to the graduate and research committee seed grant efforts. This year, Dr. Hailemeskel was the first to be awarded under this new initiative led by Dr. Akala and team. Furthermore, we were fortunate to be the recipients of a few major grants this year. The Howard University College of Pharmacy’s Center of Excellence has been renewed by HRSA in the amount of 3.43 million over the next 5 years (2022-2027). Under Dr. Awuonda’s principal investigatorship and directorship, the new purpose of the grant will be to leverage our newly strengthened consortium of strategic regional partners including UDC; other HBCU’s in our BS/PharmD programs; committed high school partners with a pharmacy technician or STEM focus to further expand the College of Pharmacy’s and the University’s long standing institutional commitment to diversity. This purpose will be achieved via focused programs geared to advance underrepresented minority (URM) students and URM faculty within the profession of pharmacy (primarily) and other health professions (secondarily).
New efforts in the renewed COE grant are a re-commitment to community-based student health training via newly proposed additional clerkship site partnerships with Federally Qualified Health Centers, and Community partners focused on health and housing and behavioral health. The grant will also focus on updated student performance programs to support NAPLEX performance, advancing our training in health information technology and digital health for our pharmacy students. New programming for faculty will include expansion of the FSR program and a new Early Faculty Diversity Initiative for pharmacy post-grads to support a pipeline of URM pharmacy faculty. The 7 legislative objectives anticipated to be fulfilled remain the same an include 1) Competitive Applicant Pool 2) Student Performance 3) Student Health Training 4) Curriculum Information/Cultural Competency 5) Faculty Development 6) Faculty Student Research and 7) Provision of Stipends.
In addition, Dr. Akala received a grant entitled “Targeting Lymph Node and Spleen HIV Reservoirs for HIV Cure” has been funded ($772,500) under the auspices of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparity (NIMHD), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and RCMI. The objective is to “Design and fabricate targeted combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) drugs-loaded nanoparticles and latency reversing agents-loaded nanoparticles for HIV/AIDS cure.” Professor Sergei Nekhai (Vice Chair, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Howard University) is a collaborator on the project and will test the targeted multifunctional nanoparticles in humanized mouse model of HIV infection. This grant will enable the Akala Lab to get preliminary data for big grants to achieve the goal of HIV/AIDS cure using nanotechnology platform.
Furthermore, the subcontract for our PHIT4DC project in the amount of $3.4 million dollars was funded in collaboration with UDC for the next 4 years. Dr. Mary Awuonda and Dr. John Kwagyan (School of Public Health) are the Co-Principal investigators on the Howard University side. Dr. Mashonda Smith (Dean UDC) and Dr. Marilyn Hamilton (Associate Dean UDC) are the leads on the UDC side. The entire project was funded at $8 million including UDC, Howard, and other partners in the consortium in the district. The funding is from the Office of the National Coordinator under the Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of our subcontract is to train underrepresented minority undergraduate, health professional students and pharmacists and other health professionals in public health informatics (PHIT). Collaborating faculty at Howard are Dr. Pamela Carter-Nolan Coinvestigator (HU School of Public Health Program Director) while Coinvestigators at HUCOP include Dr. Monika Daftary, Dr. Earl Ettienne, Dr. Jacqueise Unonu, Dr. Tamara McCants Coinvestigator and Dr. La'Marcus Wingate.
As I transition out of Howard University, (Toyin Tofade named 10th president of ACPHS | Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences) I am grateful to God for the opportunity to have served with superstar students, faculty, staff, colleagues, administrators, board of visitors, trustees, preceptors, alumni, partners and friends of the College. I thank Provost Wutoh and President Frederick for choosing me for this honorable position and supporting my growth. My love for the students has been front and center in my leadership style, policies and approached and will continue to take this love with me wherever I go. Dr. Akiyode has been appointed by the president to serve as Interim Dean of our auspicious College. Effective July 1, she will begin her term. I humbly request your unwavering support as she embarks upon this journey. In June, she was gracious to overlap our roles so that the transition would be smooth. Leadership is a team sport, and I am confident that with all your support, she will be successful. Please feel free to let me know how I can continue to serve you. I can be reached at https://www.linkedin.com/in/toyin-tofade-ms-pharmd-bcps-cpcc-ffip-a604181a