First pharmacy students arrive for new UCSF program in Fresno UCSF School of Pharmacy Dean to welcom

By Wallace Ravven

Responding to the chronic shortage of pharmacists in the San Joaquin Valley, the University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy officially launches a new program July 2 to boost the number of pharmacists practicing in Valley communities.
The UCSF Fresno Pharmacy Education Program brings fourth-year students in UCSF’s top-ranked pharmacy school to spend their last student year in “rotations” in Fresno—at University Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Central California, Kaiser Medical Center and other institutions. The goal is to attract pharmacy students to the region who will remain in the area and serve Valley residents.
Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy and a Valley native, will welcome the first six students in the program at a July 2 reception and dinner held at Copper River Country Club.
“As a Valley native and dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, I am doubly pleased with this innovative program to create a much-needed pipeline of young pharmacists to serve Valley communities,” Koda-Kimble said. “Our students will benefit tremendously from the expertise and mentorship of Fresno-area pharmacists. At the same time, our goal is to give something back.
“The nationwide pharmacist shortage is hitting every part of the state, but this community has a disproportionately low number of pharmacists serving its citizens. As we age and as medications become more numerous and complicated, the role of pharmacists in health care becomes more important than ever - and critically important here in the City of Fresno.”
Born and raised in Dos Palos, Koda-Kimble received her PharmD from UCSF and joined its faculty in 1970. She became dean in 1998. She serves on both professional and government panels overseeing pharmaceutical education and practice.
Acting director of the new program is Mitra Assemi, PharmD, UCSF assistant clinical professor of pharmacy. Assemi grew up in Fresno. Her new position brings her back to the San Joaquin Valley.
The July 2 event is sponsored by the UCSF School of Pharmacy Alumni

REPORTERS, ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: For more information or to inquire about interviewing the pharmacy graduate students, the program director or UCSF School of Pharmacy Dean Mary Ann Koda-Kimble, please contact Mitra Assemi: (559) 241-7660; [email protected]