What SB 493 Means for Future Pharmacists

February 15, 2014

NEWS from California Health Sciences University


December 4, 2013

What California SB 493 Means for Future Pharmacists

Clovis, CA – For the last several years, as the founders and leadership at CHSU have been evaluating health care in Central California and making critical decisions to determine the direction and focus of our new University, it became overwhelmingly apparent that we needed to help find a solution for the primary health care shortage. The College of Pharmacy was selected as the first school to open based on a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic that estimates the employment of pharmacists will increase by 25% over the next 10 years, which is faster than the average for all other occupations, with one of the greatest needs in the Central Valley. “As a new university, we have the luxury of building every component of our curriculum, classrooms, laboratories, and even campus culture, so we can train our students to meet the increasing demands of today’s complex health care system,” said Dr. David Hawkins, Founding Dean of California Health Sciences University College of Pharmacy.

In early 2013, as we began developing an innovative curriculum focusing on training pharmacists to provide primary care, we learned about new legislation proposed by Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D. that was working its way through the California Assembly. SB 493 passed on October 1, 2013, and grants pharmacists with advanced pharmacy training “Provider Status,” so they can provide primary care to patients in collaboration with physicians. This historic law serves to elevate the status of the pharmacy profession and enable pharmacists to help remedy the primary health care shortage, which is most severe here in Central California. This provision of SB 493 and the mission of CHSU College of Pharmacy – to transform pharmacy into a primary care profession – provide our students with the tools needed to be competent contributors to the health and well-being of our community.

“Pharmacist have long been regarded as highly trained, yet under-utilized health care professionals and we look forward to providing our students with the clinical training necessary to help bridge the primary health care provider gap in Central California,” stated Dr. David Hawkins. “We appreciate Senator Hernandez’s leadership in expanding the role of pharmacists to provide primary care in collaboration with physicians, which directly coincides with the mission and vision of our new university.”

We hope that California and CHSU College of Pharmacy will be considered the birthing ground for this new role of pharmacists, as many other states and universities will be closely watching our progress. It’s also important to note that SB 493 received unanimous bipartisan support from both the California Senate and Assembly and will take effect January 1, 2014.

Contact: Richele Kleiser, rkleiser@chsu.edu