This year the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy celebrates 75 years of excellence. Each month we will highlight moments in our history that contributed to our success!

In January 1947 the Arizona Board of Regents approves the School of Pharmacy, and in September the School of Pharmacy opens as a department in the Liberal Arts College. The School of Pharmacy then became the College of Pharmacy in 1949.


In honor of our 75th anniversary we are highlighting alumni memories from their time at the College of Pharmacy

Steven Dudley, PharmD graduated from the College of Pharmacy in 2015. He is now the Director of the Arizona Poison Control Center. He shared this special memory with us from his time as a PharmD student:
"One of my favorite things from pharmacy school was actually being able to apply what we learned in the classroom to real life scenarios. I remember participating in the Pharmacy Day on the Capitol event and meeting with Senator Steve Farley to discuss the value of pharmacists and the impact we can have in healthcare. It was great to see his and his staff's eyes light up when they recognized all the ways pharmacist involvement improve patient care. It felt great to advocate because if we don't fight for our profession, who will?"

ALUMNI, please send in your special photos and memories to be featured in our newsletter and/or on our website! Send your responses to


From MERV 13 filters to an Oxivir disinfectant station, Facilities Management has made significant changes to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

As students return to the University of Arizona Health Sciences campuses in the midst of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, a group that largely works behind the scenes is carefully watching to make sure the buildings are as healthy and safe as possible.

The UArizona Facilities Management team of more than 600 people, led by Chris Kopach, associate vice president and incident command system (ICS) commander, provide maintenance, operational services and utilities services that support the campuses. Even in “normal” years, the team charged with keeping the campuses running is kept busy. But preparing for the infrastructure mitigation measures needed for COVID-19 added an additional layer of effort.

Kopach said the key to staying ahead of the game was “Communication, communication, communication. Our entire team worked to create a safe environment throughout our campuses. How did we measure that? We didn’t see huge spreads of COVID. Yes, we had some cases, but they were predominantly coming from outside back onto campus, so we addressed that by going ahead and cleaning.”

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HOPE Center Study Identifies Payer Coverage of Valley Fever Diagnostic Tests in Arizona

College of Pharmacy students Chloe Grace Rose, Joshua Kessler, and Jennifer Weisbrod along with HOPE Center faculty Amy Grizzle, PHARMD and Jason Hurwitz, PhD, co-authored a new study in the Southwest Journal of Pulmonary and Critical Care titled Payer Coverage of Valley fever Diagnostic Tests. The nonspecific symptoms of Valley Fever, or coccidioidomycosis, delay proper diagnoses resulting in unnecessary health care costs and antibiotic usage. This descriptive study contacted 40 health insurance companies located in Arizona to determine coverage of the diagnostic tests for Valley Fever. All 15 companies that provided information covered Valley Fever testing, of which 4 required prior authorization, 14 provided coverage in primary and urgent care settings, and 13 provided coverage for all available plans. The remaining 25 companies were unable to share coverage information with third party inquiries, but may cover testing. These results help to inform providers about insurance coverage and encourage earlier diagnosis of Valley Fever cases. Co-authors also include College of Science student Brittanie Hoang and Banner-University Health Valley Fever Program Director John Galgiani, MD .


Cholesterol Buildup in Brain Presents New Target to Reduce Dementia Risk from Stroke

University of Arizona Health Sciences researchers, including co-author Rick Schnellmann, PhD, and Dean of the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy, discovered a potential treatment to reduce the risk of post-stroke dementia, which may be influenced by the immune response to dead brain tissue left in the wake of a stroke, according to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The research team investigated 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin, or cyclodextrin, which is FDA-approved for use as an ingredient in other drugs. Cyclodextrin’s chemical properties and shape allow it to “scoop up” and safely store cholesterol without provoking a heightened inflammatory response.

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Congratulations to Marie Chisholm-Burns, our former department head for Pharmacy Practice and Science. She is continuing her leadership role in higher education. On July 2022 she will be the next executive vice president and provost at OHSU. 

PharmCATs: there are so many ways to stay engaged with us!

Join the Bear Down Network!

No matter where you are or where you live, you always have a special connection to the UArizona. That’s the Bear Down Network was born – to make it easier than ever for our alumni to stay connected and engaged. Create your account today at and join our group (College of Pharmacy).

Pharmacology and Toxicology Department Highlights: January 2022

Pharmacy Practice and Science Department Highlights: January 2022

PharmCats Rx is a monthly newsletter published on behalf of the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy for alumni, friends, faculty and staff. If you have comments or feedback, please email Leanna Dominguez (
Copyright © 2022 University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, All rights reserved.

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