Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) and Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee continue their longstanding association that has spanned more than 15 years. Administrators from both institutions announced today a financial gift toward Concordia’s $12 million School of Pharmacy, which is expected to be completed by June 1, 2011.
“We are pleased to continue this association with Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee and are extremely grateful for their support,” noted Curt Gielow, executive dean of CUW’s School of Pharmacy.
“We recognize the critical shortage of pharmacists in Wisconsin,” noted Leo P. Brideau, president and CEO of Columbia St. Mary’s Health System. “Our support of Concordia’s School of Pharmacy is yet another way that we can assure the people of this community that they will have continued access to the healthcare services they need.”
This past August an initial class of 71 pharmacy students began studies on Concordia’s campus. Next year, that number is expected to increase with the move to the new facility, which will mark only the second pharmacy school in Wisconsin. Nationally, there are just over 100 accredited pharmacy schools.
“Pharmacists could play a much greater role in managing chronic illnesses, which are a major factor in escalating health care costs,” said Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee President David Olson. He further noted that the Milwaukee area is the largest community of its size nationally without a pharmacy school.
The two institutions are not only linked in proximity, being less than a mile apart, but in their mission statements. Concordia has a 130-year commitment of “helping students develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and the world,” while Columbia St. Mary’s encourages its staff and physicians “to make a positive difference in the health status and lives of individuals and our community, with a special concern for those who are vulnerable.” In addition, students pursuing various health care professions at CUW have completed their practicum experiences at the hospital.
Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee is one of four hospitals within the health system, the others being Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee, the Women’s Hospital and Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Institute. The former, founded in 1848 as the state’s first private hospital, opened a new $417 million hospital in October on Milwaukee’s near east side.