Inaugural Pharmacy Class Highlights LECOM Bradenton Commencement Ceremonies

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Bradenton, Fla., campus held its fourth commencement ceremony on Sunday, June 5 at the Manatee County Convention and Civic Center, and for the first time graduated a class of pharmacists.

For more photos of LECOM Bradenton's commencement, click here.

On the authority of the Board of Trustees, LECOM President and CEO John M. Ferretti, DO conferred degrees to 145 medical students and 77 pharmacy students.

Wayne Krueger, Ph.D., receives the Distinguished Citizen Award from LECOM President and CEO John Ferretti, DO.

Dr. Ferretti also made a special presentation of the President’s Distinguished Citizen Award to LECOM assistant dean of pre-clinical education Wayne Krueger, Ph.D. Dr. Krueger has spent over 40 years as an anatomy instructor at medical colleges in North Carolina, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Florida.

The year’s commencement ceremony held special meaning for the inaugural graduating class for the School of Pharmacy.

“This (pharmacy) class has a special bond,” says Alvana Nicaj, Pharm.D. “Our classmates were family for many of us during pharmacy school.”

Erika Olson of Bradenton was a part of the graduating class. She is a graduate of Lakewood Ranch High School, located one block from LECOM.

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the School of Pharmacy Hershey S. Bell, M.D. led the Oath of the Pharmacist, which calls upon the new Doctors of Pharmacy to apply the knowledge they've gained for the welfare of humanity, the relief of suffering and to assure optimal outcomes for their patients.

“On behalf of our superb faculty and staff, it is a great honor to graduate our first class of Doctors of Pharmacy in Bradenton,” said Dr. Bell. “These future leaders will impact their communities by providing high quality patient-centered care and by furthering the LECOM mission of providing care in the spirit of the osteopathic philosophy that serves as the foundation for all of LECOM’s activities.”

Erika Olson of Bradenton, Fla. receives her doctor of pharmacy diploma.

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Robert George, DO, presented the candidates to receive the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degrees. Dr. George led the new osteopathic physicians as they took their professional oath that calls upon them to be mindful of the great responsibility they are taking to preserve the health and life of their patients.

Medical school graduates Douglas and William Pokorny did not have much time to celebrate becoming osteopathic physicians. With their diplomas in hand, the brothers headed to their respective residencies in the U.S. Navy. William began residency at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., while Douglas started his residency at the U.S. Naval Hospital Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va.

LECOM medical graduates now begin osteopathic internships or residencies or go into specialized medical programs. Pharmacy graduates will get jobs working in community pharmacies, hospital or clinical pharmacies, or long-term care facilities. Others will pursue specialized pharmacy residency programs.

Nearly 20 percent of the School of Pharmacy Class of 2011 has matched into post-graduate residency programs with others going into retail, community or health system pharmacy. The average residency match rate for U.S. Schools of Pharmacy is 16 percent.

“From Day 1, our administration and faculty has emphasized post-graduate opportunities to our students,” says associate dean for the School of Pharmacy Sunil Jambhekar, Ph.D. “By participating in residencies, these students will train and become experts in their chosen fields.”

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, LECOM School of Dental Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.




June 6, 2011
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