Pharmacy: A new Pharmacy Building is on the Horizon
Guest: Dr. Arnold Karig – College of Pharmacy/Dean’s Office, MUSC
Host: Dr. Linda Austin – Psychiatrist, MUSC
Dr. Linda Austin: Dr. Arnold Karig is Dean for the College of Pharmacy here at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Karig, in this podcast, let’s focus on the proposal for a new building for the College of Pharmacy. This has been a dream of yours for a very long time.
Dr. Arnold Karig: Yes. It’s been a particular passion of mine. The facilities that we currently occupy are undersized and outdated. The building is 70 years old. When I arrived here, about four years ago, on the faculty, I was shown a picture of the new College of Pharmacy building, and it has yet to materialize, so it’s something that’s long overdue. And when I became Dean in 2004, I made it my number one priority to see that planning for a new building was finally a reality on the MUSC campus.
Dr. Linda Austin: Now, I understand that one of the reasons that we need a new building, too, is that the way pharmacy is taught has really changed; just as is true in all areas of healthcare, and even education, generally. Can you tell us about that?
Dr. Arnold Karig: Well, the idea of how we deliver curriculum now is changing drastically, and people are talking about the curriculum of the future, which is only a few years down the road. So, we need facilities that we can configure to deliver these new technologies in learning, make use of the latest technological equipment, and completely revolutionize the way in which we deliver curriculum. And our new facilities will give us the ability not only to teach locally, but potentially deliver our curriculum worldwide.
Dr. Linda Austin: How much of the planning has already been determined? For example, has the budget been set? Have you raised the funds? Do you know where it will be; and so forth?
Dr. Arnold Karig: We know the exact location. It’s been carefully planned. The Drug Discovery Building, which is now going up on campus, has considerable space for our instructional program and our research program, and Pharmacy. And the new Pharmacy building will be immediately adjacent and linked to Drug Discovery so that we can make use of the new facilities in Drug Discovery, which come on line late in 2011. And, hopefully, the Pharmacy building will start soon after that. So, the two are tied together very intricately. Also, the Bioengineering Building, which is going up at the same time, being a distance program with Clemson University, will have the facilities for delivering distance education. And we’re very much in the business of distance education now. So, that will only enhance the location which we’re at to deliver.
Dr. Linda Austin: And, physically, that location is, what?
Dr. Arnold Karig: It’s near the intersection of President and Bee Street. The building will back up to President Street, be immediately adjacent to Drug Discovery and across from the Pharmacy building, the new Dental Clinic building, as well as the Education and Library building; and directly across from MUSC’s Children’s Research Institute.
Dr. Linda Austin: Have any drawings been done yet?
Dr. Arnold Karig: We’ve only done a preliminary rendering of what the building might look like. It’s an 83,000 square-foot facility, and approximately; in the preliminary plans, six stories, and should have everything that we need to deliver an effective curriculum in the future.
We have a top-ten quality faculty. We have a top-ten quality student body. And we need a facility that is top ten in quality so that we can continue to maintain the excellent reputation that our college has. Our graduates are highly sought after by employers, and we want to make sure that continues in the future. So, we need the latest in technology and the latest in facilities so we can continue to do that.
Dr. Linda Austin: And it’s very exciting, as is all the building development that has gone on, gosh, within the last decade, here at MUSC. How about the funding? Has the funding been secured yet, or are you still the process of raising dollars?
Dr. Arnold Karig: Funding is a work in progress. We are having the inaugural meeting of our building and leadership committee on November 20th, 2009 to kick of the fundraising campaign. Preliminarily, through a number of foundations, we’ve secured two and half million dollars to start the campaign. Our goal, of course, would be to raise 30 million dollars towards the new facility. Of course, construction in the future will depend, I’m sure, on the ability to identify some type of funding through bonds; whether that be from the state legislature, which has not been issuing bonds for educational buildings, now, for the past nine of ten years. And we hope that will change. But there are also other mechanisms of bond funding which we think would come into play at the appropriate time.
Dr. Linda Austin: Dr. Karig, I understand that there’s been a lot of support from MUSC leadership for the planning for the proposed College of Pharmacy building. Can you tell us about that?
Dr. Arnold Karig: The support of the MUSC leadership has been instrumental in finally seeing a new Pharmacy building become a reality on the campus. I’d particularly like to thank Dr. John Raymond, who’s worked so closely with me and Dr. Ray Greenberg, who’s become one of the number one cheerleaders for the new Pharmacy building.
Dr. Linda Austin: Dr. Karig, some people listening to this podcast will be students, or alumni, of the College of Pharmacy, but some will be folks who, really, may not be so aware of the very extraordinary new directions that pharmacy education has taken and the new, emerging, roles that pharmacists are taking in the healthcare system. Can you speak to that?
Dr. Arnold Karig: Pharmacy is evolving from a product-oriented profession to a patient-oriented profession. We’re dealing with managing patient’s medications, monitoring patient’s therapy, educating patients on the appropriate use of both prescription and nonprescription medications, and improving the overall outcomes of patient well-being; all of this so that they have a better quality of life and fewer drug misadventures, fewer mishaps. We’re playing a very important role in patient management, in conjunction with their physicians and the other members of the medical team that are taking care of the patient.
Dr. Linda Austin: Thanks so much for talking with us today, and good luck with the new building. And, I understand that you’re going to be retiring in a few months. So, congratulations on such a successful tenure that you’ve had here at MUSC, and best wishes for your own future.
Dr. Arnold Karig: Well, thank you. And, I hope to pay a visit back in 2012 and see a new pharmacy facility that I can take great pride in. I know our alumni are looking forward to seeing this. And it’s going to be a great benefit to us to be able to continue to attract the best students and the best faculty, and maintain the quality program that MUSC is well-known for.
Dr. Linda Austin: Dr. Karig, thanks so much.