WSU to offer pharmacy degree program at PNWU in Yakima

320px-PNWU_Logo-80YAKIMA, Wash. – Applications will be accepted starting mid-summer for a Washington State University doctor of pharmacy degree program in Yakima offered by WSU and the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences beginning in August 2015.

“This partnership reflects our strong commitment to aligning WSU educational programs with the most pressing needs of our state,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. “Increasing the number and skill sets of those providing health care in rural and underserved areas goes to our fundamental mission as Washington’s land-grant institution.”

The collaboration will allow WSU student pharmacists and PNWU students of osteopathic medicine to learn to care for patients as a team.

“PNWU embraces an interdisciplinary learning model,” said PNWU President Keith Watson. “With the WSU College of Pharmacy on our campus, future physicians will share learning space and work in teams with future pharmacists.”

“This advanced model of education prepares future physicians and pharmacists to work as a team providing primary care as efficiently and close to home as possible,” said Gary M. Pollack, dean of the college at WSU in Spokane. “This is a smart model for the future of health care. It supports the nation’s health care reform goals of better health and better health care that is delivered with lower costs.”

Pursuing a pharmacy education in Yakima is expected to particularly appeal to students interested in providing health care in rural and underserved areas after graduation, said Jennifer Robinson, director of student services at the college.

The Yakima community will benefit from the pharmacy degree program because of the number of outreach activities – such as health screenings and health education – that student pharmacists will conduct in the community, she said.

The college has had faculty and students in Yakima since the 1990s. WSU pharmacy faculty work as pharmacists at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and supervise student pharmacists who obtain practice experience there. The college has a large alumni base of practicing pharmacists in Yakima who train student pharmacists as well.

Pharmacy continues to be an exceptional career choice: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently projected 14.5 percent employment growth for pharmacists by 2022, with the field adding 41,400 new jobs. Median salary for pharmacists is $116,670 per year.

More information is available on the college’s website at



Linda Garrelts MacLean, WSU pharmacy associate dean, 509-358-7732,

Emily DuPleiss, PNWU marketing and communications director, 509-249-7771,