California Health Sciences University Receives $250,000 Grant fromCVS Health

September 15, 2016

Launches New Pathway Program to Pharmacy Career for High School Students


CLOVIS, Calif. – California Health Sciences University College of Pharmacy today was honored with the 2016 CVS Health Diversity Award, which includes a five year $250,000 grant to promote pharmacy as a career for high school students.

With the support of CVS Health – the nation’s leading pharmacy innovation company – CHSU College of Pharmacy is launching Próspero Program: Pathway to Pharmacy Careers, an innovative new initiative to meet the high demand for culturally competent pharmacists in the Central Valley area by introducing Hispanic and bilingual high school students to a career in pharmacy.

“At CVS Health, we recognize the strong connection between a culturally diverse pharmacy workforce and the ability to provide quality, culturally competent patient care,” said Amy Holland, Sr. Director of Talent Acquisition at CVS Health during an event on the Clovis campus. “We’re proud to support CHSU’s innovative, new pathway program as it aligns with our commitment to invest in partnerships and initiatives that help build a highly-skilled, diverse talent pool to serve our patients, especially in the Hispanic/Latino community.”

California Health Sciences University was the only university in the nation to receive the full grant award from the CVS Health Diversity program.

“This new, five year pathway program will prepare high school students to serve the health care needs of our Hispanic/Latino community,” stated Florence Dunn, President at California Health Sciences University. “We will provide education and patient care experiences to help students transition from high school to 2- or 4-year colleges and then to CHSU College of Pharmacy to become Spanish-speaking pharmacists.”

“The CVS Diversity Grant also allows us to expand our community engagement efforts to provide health care to the Hispanic/Latino community, especially those who live in rural and undeserved areas,” stated Dunn.

Through an existing partnership providing medical career pathway options to high school students, the university is collaborating with Clovis Unified School District and Clovis Community College to ensure the Próspero Program, Pathway to Pharmacy Careers is successful. The new program will be launched within Clovis Unified School District, inviting eleventh and twelfth grade students taking the Medical Careers class at their high school to apply.

“We are proud to collaborate with California Health Sciences University as part of our Career Technical Education initiative,” said Dr. Janet Young, Superintendent for Clovis Unified School District. “This program will provide our students with additional training, knowledge, and exposure to health care careers, many they may not know about otherwise. More importantly, our students have the option to fast-track to pharmacy school and a rewarding career.”

There are currently about 100 students within Clovis Unified School District taking the Medical Careers class on the campuses of Clovis North and Clovis East high schools. Eleventh and Twelfth graders who meet specific criteria are eligible to take the elective class and many continue on to college and careers in health care.

Through an existing partnership with Clovis Community College, CUSD students can choose one of six pathway programs to help them begin taking courses in high school, including:  pre-medical, pre-pharmacy, pre-dental, pre-optometry, pre-physician assistant, and pre-veterinary. These pathways prepare students for college and sometimes satisfy prerequisite courses for health care careers that are in high demand.

“Our pathway programs help high school students begin focusing on career preparation earlier in their education to potentially reduce the amount of time and lower the cost of their college education,” said Lori Bennett, President for Clovis Community College. “The new Próspero Program, Pathway to Pharmacy Careers will give participating students advanced preparation for pharmacy school, Spanish language and cultural competency skills, and a reserved seat at CHSU College of Pharmacy.”

The university is planning to accept up to 20 students in the new program and provide them with skills in lifelong learning, leadership training, professionalism, and financial counseling in addition to the clinical skills and certifications offered.

While the university hopes to attract Hispanic/Latino students into the new program, non-Hispanic students who will learn to speak Spanish and understand the Hispanic/Latino culture so they can better connect with patients will also be eligible to apply, stated Duncan.

“We have so many talented, Hispanic students that do not see the opportunities in our community and often leave the area for college or chose to work instead of going to college,” stated Dora Westerlund, CEO, Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation and Downtown Business Hub. “We have high hopes that programs like the Programa Próspero, Pathway to Pharmacy Careers will help Hispanic students choose health care careers and stay local.”

This new program will also help with the shortage of Hispanic/Latino and Spanish speaking health care providers in our area, said Westerlund.

Applications for the new Próspero Program, Pathway to Pharmacy Careers will be available to Clovis Unified high school students later this year. Students in the Medical Careers classes will have learning experiences about the field of pharmacy in their class and on the campus at California Health Sciences University over the next several months.

About California Health Sciences University

California Health Sciences University was founded in 2012 and is the first university of its kind in the Central Valley. CHSU offers a local option for health care professionals seeking post-graduate and doctoral programs and to help remedy the shortage of health care services offered in the Valley. Students can enjoy the unique combination of high quality of life, affordable cost of living and plentiful career opportunities the Valley provides.

The College of Pharmacy was the first program offered because of the demand for pharmacists in the region. CHSU plans to open up to 10 post-baccalaureate colleges to train health care professionals in the coming years and is considering Allied Health, Podiatry, and a Medical school. The timing and specific discipline for each new school will be determined based on the need and opportunity for job placement within the region.

The fall 2017 admission cycle for the CHSU College of Pharmacy is underway and applications for the Doctor of Pharmacy program are now being accepted.

About CVS Health

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,600 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 80 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at

For more information about CHSU, and the Doctor of Pharmacy program, visit, call 559-325-3600 or find them on facebook, twitter and Linkedin.

[su_button url=”″ target=”blank” background=”#911f1f” color=”#ffffff” size=”2″ center=”yes” radius=”5″ icon=”icon: file-pdf-o” icon_color=”#ffffff”]Click here to view photos of the CVS Health Grant Announcement[/su_button]