Touro College of Pharmacy in Harlem Graduates Inaugural Class

Date: May 18, 2012
Media Contact:

Barbara Franklin
Director of Communications
212-463-0400 x5530

63 Students Celebrate Commencement at New York Academy of Medicine.

New York, N.Y. – Sixty-three graduating students of the first class of the Touro College of Pharmacy received their PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy) degrees yesterday at commencement ceremonies held at the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM).

The class of 2012 began their studies in October 2008 when the College launched in Harlem - the first pharmacy school to open in New York City in 68 years and the only pharmacy program in Manhattan. The school’s mission is to improve the public’s health by educating a diverse student body who will serve underrepresented communities and work to minimize health disparities.

Founding Dean Stuart Feldman, Ph.D. welcomed the audience of approximately 600 graduates, family members and well-wishers, and called the students “true pioneers” from whom he anticipated important achievements as they joined the next generation of health care professionals.

Inspirational remarks and accolades then followed from Touro College President and CEO Alan Kadish, M.D., NYAM President and keynote speaker Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D., and student speakers Keren Avisrur and Charysh Randolph.

Dr. Kadish praised the graduates’ service to underrepresented communities. “Being part of a new enterprise is a great achievement,” the president said, stressing the importance of helping others rather than becoming part of what he termed a “syndrome of complacency.”

“At Touro, we believe we’re here for a purpose, which is to make the world a better place. You’ve all declared yourselves individuals who will fight against complacency and move our society forward,” the president said.

Citing statistics on infant mortality, adult life expectancy and noting increasing health disparities in poor communities, Dr. Boufford reminded the newly-minted graduates of their important role in providing advice and helping consumers manage medications, especially in neighborhoods where residents cannot afford or do not have regular access to primary care doctors. “Wherever your career leads you, Touro has given you a unique vantage point that will let you bring a community’s needs and ‘disparities reduction perspective’ into your practice,” Dr. Boufford said.

Touro College of Pharmacy is committed to offering increased educational opportunities – especially in Harlem - through programs in pharmacy education, research and scholarship, and through service to the community and the profession. The school’s unique “2+2” educational model provides two years of instruction followed by two years of full-time experiential education.

For pharmacy practice and public health rotations, the College has established significant affiliations for students at 83 sites, including pharmacies, hospitals, community-based organizations, public agencies and health insurance organizations. Additionally, the school and its students have won significant awards and recognition, including from the American Pharmacist Association, the United States Public Health Service, and the New York State Council of Health-system Pharmacists.